Stuck in a rut

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Abi 5 years ago.

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    So lately, I find myself really unmotivated and I feel like I haven't improved over at least the last 6 months. (is this art block?) I'm finding it hard to draw as much as I used to, and I'm just generally feeling super unproductive in terms of art. I really want to make use of the time that I have, but trying to make myself do stuff isn't really working. Whenever I try to draw or paint I feel like it just doesn't turn out, and I don't think it's getting any better and it's been months. Should I set up a practice schedule or something? How can I coerce myself into working? I'm just not really sure. If anyone has any ideas or advice, I'd appreciate it! Thanks!

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    Hi Abi~! I had the same problem last year and couldn't draw properly over 8 months... I still sometimes get the same feeling but I can tell you how I overcame it. It might not work for you but you can give it a try or I don't know come up with a similar solution that fits you.
    So I have an Instagram account where I'd been posting my art over 6 years now. My followers increased over time and I got comments/critiques from everyone. Literally everyone. I love getting them and I appreciate it, but I realized the ones I get from close friends/family affected me the most. Comments like; 'you should stop drawing characters and draw... more landscapes', or, 'why are you drawing guys all the time I think you should draw more females' and 'why do you always do the same thing, you should try other mediums'... were the ones that got into me. So I just stopped drawing instead of ignoring them. Plus I had some real-life issues, that stressed me out. I didn't realize that I was stressing so much over everything that I had stopped doing the one thing I love.
    I thought it was a short artblock at first but it continued for so long I was frustrated. I also thought I wasn't improving and anything I drew was so bad I didn't even have the energy to finish one piece. But when I looked back to my old art, I realized I actually improved so much more than I imagined.
    So I decided to go back to the start. I found myself an empty sketchbook. I set up a new account and started posting my sketches -not finished pieces- that I randomly did. I used references 98% of the time to make my work easier. And slowly -it's been 4-5 months now- I got over the block.
    I don't know how much this helps, but I hope you can get solve it~!!


    Hey, thanks so much for the input! You've spurred me to reflect over my life a bit, and I think I've been using a lot of energy stressing out over things that aren't really important. I'm going to try starting fresh, coupled with some other stuff, and hopefully it'll help me relax a little. Thanks!


    Hey Abi, I heard a anime artist (which I cant remember the name of :E) once describe why we're never going to be satisfied with our art and it really struck true. "If the eyes are level 10 the hand is level 5, if the eyes are level 15 the hand is level 10, but if we like what we draw the eyes have stopped improving". So maybe you've just been on a higher eye level and need to put down the time eh? :-)


    Hey Abi,

    Do you have a specific goal for what you want to improve? Or is your goal to just "get better"?

    Since there are hundreds of things you could work on improving or noticing in any given drawing, not have a really specific goal for what you want to be improving this time very often leads to your brain being overwhelmed and not focusing on/improving anything.

    Pick something really specific -- more expressive use of line weight. Being daring with color. Picking up on the subtle variations in different noses. Focus on that one thing for your daily practice for at least a week. Improve on that one thing. Continue onto a second week, or pick a new thing. But definitely don't try to "get better at drawing."


    Haha! That's definitely a less stressful way to look at it. Thanks!


    That's a really good point- thanks so much for the advice! I'll definitely put it into use, that's definitely a solid technique for improvement.

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