Having problems with my "orientation"

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Idon'tknow 5 months ago.

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    I want to reveal something about myself. I am not only interessed in the art of drawing with lines, I am also learning the complex world of 3d Animation and 3D sculpting on blender. The problem is, my approach into getting better at something is really disorganized, I usually orbit towards the thing i am mostly interested in at the moment but in this case it seems my interests constanlty shift around too fast for me to learn enough, sometimes i straight up forget what I just learned... as an example I actually took a break from these site for a month because i was really into sculpting a character but i got stuck into sculpting head because i have no idea how to do it, now i shifted myself into drawing again and really... I did not became better at sculping in 3D, i got stuck at the same problem when i first started and I don't know... I sorta feel like i lost time.

    Without digressing, the most common solution should be "why don't I teach myself some discipline?" only that it turns out that doing this made me lose motivation into "keeping the grind" because my mind just saw it as a chore. That is what I am searching for, I really want to see a way to convince my brain into shifting its interests less frequently (idk perhaps I suffer from ADHD or something) and to not consider what i am learning as an external obbligation.

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    This seems like something to discuss with a doctor. That's not meant to be dismissive, but if it is ADHD then that should be the first step!


    I... am not sure if I have it... I wanna know how can I convince my brain into seeing practice as a pleasent activity when I am already shifted into a new interest


    just wanted to say i also struggle with something somewhat similar, where i kind of beat myself up for not practicing enough, and so i'm not actually getting better at something (ex., i've been drawing for 10+ years but i still haven't achieved my one main goal, which is to draw humans from imagination.. cause sometimes i can spend weeks without practicing, which is a problem). i then associate a lot of bad feelings with the practice and it becomes even harder to pick up.

    a thing that helps me practice is telling myself that i'm just gonna do it for 5 minutes. like literally, if i really don't feel like doing it i put a 5 minute timer and do it. oftentimes, after the 5 minutes i want to keep going for a bit. sometimes i don't have the time or don't feel like it, and i have to tell myself that it's fine at least i sat down and tried. so that's a small trick that can maybe help with motivation/discipline, which is just setting a super achievable goal and then going from there.

    but tbh i get where you're coming from, and i'm far from practicing as much as i would want to at the moment. we have to keep trying tho! that's the only way we'll get anywhere.


    One other question. Did others ever tell you to just practice in order to get better? To me it was just like telling me to do the same mistakes over and over again until my inexperience kinda moves out of the way. I am still doing it regardless because, it is my life now, and it is something i like doing regardless... but I can see I am not really improving at all. I know that in order to get better I should understand theory first, then use practice to apply what i got told. Are you feeling the same way I do?

    Anyway, thanks a lot for your incredible advice, you gave me an answer and that's really valuable to me.


    yeah i've definitely heard the "practice practice practice" thing, which i'm sure is mostly true. what i've struggled with tho is practicing the right way. i think practicing straight from imagination, when we don't have the basics, is not helpful. for example right now i'm not just drawing from imagination, i almost always use a photo reference. i need the reference to properly understand where to place my lines. without the reference, it's impossible to place them correctly because i'm still learning. another example could be when you learn music, you're not just playing random notes from imagination. you're following music sheets and melodies that someone has already written, until eventually you're good enough to compose your own. idk if that example is clear ahaha, but what i'm trying to say is that it's normal to use references in order to not just make the same mistakes over and over again, as you said.

    but tbh, after the "references stage" i'm not sure how to move on from that. i've been drawing using references for a long time, and these drawings look good. but as soon as i draw from imagination, nothing looks right. i don't know if i should keep drawing from references, or draw from imagination and make a lot of mistakes? probably a bit of both? i've heard some people that do it from imagination, then look at a reference of what they wanted to draw to see what went wrong, and then they re-draw their thing.


    Good for you I should say, because not even with reference I understand what i am doing: if I devide the body in simpler shapes, the shapes fail to capture said part of the body and i do not know why, I tried learning from tracing other images and I didn't learn a thing about structure, it is something that makes me MAD.


    Whatever problem you have, I feel like I am definitely sharing it. I really can't give you "the solution" either, as I haven't found one for myself.

    Around march 2023 I got so disappointed with my progress in drawing, that I decided to give up on drawing altogether. It turned out, I had pretty much organized my life so much around having enough time to practice drawing, that I found myself with an awful amount of empty time to fill. I chose to kill the time with gaming instead, but I don't have endless money to spend on new games, and I was looking for some kind of community exchange, so I went into one of those MMO games with a guild system. I ended up doing a lot of repetitive stupid chores to rank up my guild status, became esteemed guild officer after a short time, and then had a fall out with the guild leader and quit in disgust.

    Two things I learned: a) If you make something the focus of your life, you will end up doing repetitive chores anyways, because whatever you do, it doesn't have infinite variety, and b) the one time I had a discussion with a girl in the chat, that became a bit flirty, my natural way of flexing in an anonymous medium was to find an excuse to drop a few links to some of my favorite artworks, that I have done over time.

    So, if I want to impress someone, I naturally tend to do it by showing off the amount of time I spent on improving my drawings skills, which says something about where I get my self worth from. It seemed only logical to go back to THAT then to fill the god sized void in my life.

    What I do, is to try to build up enough enthusiasm for a certain project or idea, and that enthusiasm can last some amount of time, sometimes days, sometimes weeks, even up to several months. And, well, I have a multi-faceted personality, with a lot of diverging interests, that draw me hitherto and fro, but in the end, I don't have an infinite amount of facets either, so the stuff I am drawn to tends to gravitate around certain topics, and even repeats itself. And in the end some clusters of experience formed, that may not be sufficient to compete with the world elite, but that are certainly noticeable enough for people, who just have less experience in that specific skill.

    I try to keep up a minimum level of grind, just because the feeling "I have done it so often, I don't want to break the chain and stop doing it now" is a decent motivator in itself. And when I am not drawing, and I get in a situation, where I need something to direct my mind to, like, when I am thinking: "Okay, I am driving from a to b, and the last half hour I only spent getting angrier and angrier at person X, which doesn't help me at all, what can I think about instead", then I can go fishing in my memories for the moments of enthusiasm, that drew me over and over again to drawing, and sometimes something bites, and one of the old enthusiasms fires again and I get more days or weeks of focusing on drawing again.

    It probably isn't a time efficient way to start a drawing career, but it helps me balance myself away from getting too entangled in other people's problems, and the fact, that it is still always me, with my specific pile of memory and experience, that has always been fascinated with form and beauty and drawing, that gives the whole conundrum some consistency and some overall shape.

    I like this site, because I gives me a tool to keep the grind going, and I can occassionally have sort of conversations with people, who maybe have a similar outlook on the world. I don't know if this helps anyone, this is just the story of how and why I keep doing, what I do.


    Uhhh... so i should try to use practice to produce adrenaline? I usually do not think the grind can be entertaining on its own. if I don't see that doing it is giving me visible improvement I genuinely gets asyier to me and just stop, 'cos I serve a deep hatred for wasted time. When I look back and see how much time had passed I cannot feel anything else but disappointment, also recommanded videos about people showing how much they improved in a year with just practice looking like night and day compared to me really do not help.


    Hmm, let me start with the easier part. Watching videos of people showing how much they improved in a year has problems:

    Someone who puts up a video has the intention to tell a story. They will always chose what fits the story. That isn't even evil or deceptive, you can't pack your entire experience over a year in a video that is still at a digestable length. But when watching that video, the fact that it is edited can lead you to false conclusions. That person documented their experience over a time, and they are proud of it, and they celebrate, "Look at the cool thing I achieved!" That does not mean, that they exactly planned from the get go to exactly end up right there, or that their development path is the one and only possible way to go, or that, if they ended up with a different result, they wouldn't still have found reason to celebrate their development and make a video with the content "Look at the cool thing I achieved!"

    If you watch other people, be aware that you can only ever see their public side. That's like looking at everyone's Facebook page and wondering, why they are all happy and constantly do cool and interesting stuff. They don't, they just don't post about anything else. So if you compare yourself to them, you will always look bland and boring and stupid in comparison.

    The "cool thing" is that they developed. If we are in a depressive mood and willing to beat ourselves up, we can misread those videos and look at everything that we developed differently and bash it as "wrong" or "wasted time". But that is mostly us being unfair to our own progress and development. The time we spend training our fine motorics, the thousands and thousands of design decisions we constantly make over our practice time DO have effects. I don't know if you have kept some very old drawings of yourselves around, if you have, try to look at them, and remember, that if you have kept them for so long, those were probably drafts, that you felt extremely proud about, when you made them, so probably some of the lucky strikes, that occassionally happen. And still, you wouldn't draft them that way anymore, because you evolved. And if you try to channel your memories from that time, and try to look at what you draw now, with those eyes you had back then, you would have been amazed at what you now consistently can do.

    The grind part, well... I am at the moment not enthusiastic about my progress, or about my results right now. I set my goal to draw at least 30 minutes a day, and currently those 30 minutes can get awfully long. Drawing just to not break the chain is a bit stupid, yes, but it does keep me drawing one more day, and then one more day, and it will keep me drawing the day after that, and I know from experience, that my foul and toxic moods don't last forever, and I will find another wave of enthusiasm for what I do to ride for a while. I am not riding high now, I am just paddling along, but F ALL I won't stop paddling, because I been here already, and I know, that stopping now won't change who I am anyways, and over short or long I will be drawn back to drawing anyways, so I can just as well keep going and keep my eyes on adding +1 to the chain of days of uninterrupted practice.

    Something that occassionally works for me, when I am absolutely in the gutter is "meditative drawing". Big name, what I mean is, I feel too wasted to concentrate on anything, so I just hunker down on my bed, put the pencil on paper and watch my hand follow its own routines. I don't even try to draw pretty or achieve anything, to the contrary, I try to draw as ugly as possible, and whenever my head turns on and starts to develop a plan where the drawing is supposed to go, I sabotage myself by turning the page by 90 or 180 degrees. I just don't stop scribbling, because then I would have to come up with another idea of what to do, which feels too strenuous, and I keep at the same page, because standing up and getting a different page would also be strenuous.

    Strange thing, I spent a lot of time drawing very focused, and got huge stacks of finished drawings lying around everywhere, but the coolest pieces, those that I decided to put in a frame and hang up on my wall, almost inevitably started with these kind of self-hate scribblings. And it doesn't work for me, when I am in a good mood, because then I will only produce rather tame and boring stuff with that method, and I better do focused work instead.

    Someone who's videos kinda help a bit with that approach is Peter Draws. Not because some specifique technique he uses, although he does produce cool stuff, somewhere at the border of thoroughly abstract and amazingly surreal, but more because he comments his drawing in a pleasant voice, and my own inner narrator starts to sound a bit like him after watching his stuff.

    The idea is, if your jaw hurts after or during drawing, because you try so hard and feel like you constantly fail, you have to find a way to relax that jaw while drawing, or it will keep messing up your focus.

    I would recommed patience, if I wouldn't remember that I used to have none of it myself, and being told to be patient with myself never helped me either.

    Just, quitting practice is the wrong decision. Because you are who you are, and you will end up back here anyways. You are accumulating resources by doing it, and you will find them useful to have, when your mood shifts again, even if you don't see a stringent purpose in them right now.

    We are currently also at the end of January, which is the sh***est time of the year for depressions on the northern hemisphere, because the days are so short, so it is quite likely, that your mood won't be all that bad in a month or two.


    Actually I took many of the things I did before in high regard. If anything is what I do now that makes me think I am stagnating. I do not have many other way to explain this, but before, I believed these kind of videos, they gave me the idea that if they succeeded also I can (including that talent makes you a professional without ever working on it and therefore does not exist), i then found out i committed a mistake. I wanted to be like the people that inspired me and the only way i could have gotten proof was to understand at what level they were at my age, until the difference in skill was too much evident and so...

    Look, i don't want you to tell me how comparing myself to others isn't healthy and I already found that out by myself. I now know that I am not doing this for anyone else but me and maybe, I would get a little place under the sun while someone else might be in worse condition to begin their journey.

    I might try to just do it without thinking and see what happens, i don't know what to say if even this does not work. But at the end... thanks

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