Getting even more desperate. Unable to even study right now. What do I do?

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Archaic Meander 12 hours ago.

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    I've made two previous threads regarding a spatial reasoning issue I've been having, and am now at the point where it's impeding me so much that I can't find it in me to practice / study. I did these practices daily for a year, but almost nothing changed where I needed to most, and now it can takes weeks to do simple pieces because I'm just so frustrated with being unable to actually see what I'm doing.

    I've asked here and a number of other places and people here have been lovely, but I still don't have an answer, and I'm pretty much at my breaking point. Now what?

    Some reminders / important points from those previous threads:
    1. I am not a new or beginner artist. I have an art education and years of experience. Statements like "it takes time" or "practice more", or telling me to try a different subject / medium because people are too difficult, are well-intended but ultimately pretty hurtful.
    2. Repetitive practice simply hasn't worked, and has instead reinforced bad habits / barely improved over a year.
    3. I have already tried Draw A Box, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, many, many practices from here (figure/gesture, portrait, and still life), and a variety of YouTube videos.

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    Honestly, I don't know what else I could say. Please ask Kim or Sanne. Maybe they'll know what to do with your spatial reasoning problem.

    P.S. Can you please show us some samples of your first sketches, that would demonstrate your sense of spatial reasoning that you're talking about?

    Let's hope you feel all better like never before. Cheers!🥂😘😘😘


    Aww, thanks. I'm hesitant to share examples because people tend to just critique them instead of focusing on the question I asked (it's been a consistent problem; I'll say "hey, I'm having trouble with the length of the legs, I know they're too long but they become too short when I fix them, and they don't look right no matter what I do" and share examples, and people will reply with "well they're too long here, so draw them shorter"), but there were some in my very first thread I believe (they may be a bit hard to find, though).


    To be honest I don't know if I will be of help, but I'll try. I do not completely understand what you can and can't see and how your brain translates it to your hands. I don't know what you want to accomplish. Do you want to find your own style or do you want to draw a photolike image? For my answer it does not really matter, but it could be that I'm not helpfull at all.

    Last week I saw an excerpt of a bbc documentary about Sargy Mann. He is blind and he paints. Before he became blind he was a landscape painter. Now he paints people and reinvented his way of painting. He makes large paintings so he can use his wife as reference for people. Something happened and he kept painting but in a different way.

    We all know how Picasso changed his way of painting throughout the years. For him it was a choice to change his style and he found a new one.

    If I read your threads I see an artist who wants to accomplish something. You are willing to practice till you drop and you do so. Have you ever stopped practicing and looked at your drawings and maybe even shared them with friends or other artists and asked them what they liked about your drawings? It could be that your new way of drawing and painting has it's own charm like Sargy Mann, or you find a new style like Picasso. By looking at it like an outsider or asking outsiders you could see beauty in what you do. At the moment I follow many artists on instagram and I've always loved painters in the past. They all have/had their unique style. I love the dreamyness of Monet or the streaks in the works of Van Gogh.

    So my advice would be: Look at your drawings and paintings from a new perspective and own it. Learn to love it and make it your own style. Practice your style and be your new you.


    Sorry, this isn't really what I'm looking for. The previous threads not only have answers to your questions, but do state quite clearly that I'm looking for practical advice rather than mindset / motivational advice, and while this is sweet, it's just not what I need (and honestly, I've had a few people answer my threads like this; it's a bit tiring as I feel like I'm not being understood). As mentioned in those threads, I have a clear goal, and this issue is getting in the way of my acheiving it.


    Yes, we understand, Icouldntthinkofaname, but we gotta go to bed now. Good night.


    Sorry, what are you talking about?? I was responding to the other person.


    I might be late, but what exactly do you want to improve? If you are struggling with proportions, focus only on that, until you will be satisfied, don't try to improve everything at once. Set smaller goals to you bigger goal. And your mindset is not something just spiritual, if you don't believe that you are gonna make it, your brain will do everything in its power to stop you from making useless efforts. It's straight up logical


    I really don't want to be rude and appreciate the attempt, and I want to be clear about that. I am very frustrated and I promise it's not personal, the attempt really is appreciated.

    But your advice was what I was doing pretty much until this post. I have that spatial issue I mentioned that makes my path to improvement not quite the same as people who don't experience this problem's, and just focusing on improving those specific things hasn't helped - it's what got me here in the first place. In my other threads I'm now looking for exercises to train spatial reasoning / depth perception specifically as these other, more specific problems tie back to that.

    My other threads go a lot more in-depth, but if you don't want to read pages and pages (which tbf I wouldn't either): it's very specifically faces (feature placement, symmetry, and head structure specifically) and proportions (specifically sizing and feeling less "flat" - I find myself making heads and legs too large or too small, or struggling to figure out how an arm or leg should bend even with photo references and deliberate practice / study, since my issue isn't just inexperience or not knowing the "correct" thing). I have an illustration degree that I'm a few years out from, and while I studied before, I spent the last year or so going especially hard on studies (daily practice, very much focusing on my specific goals - there's more detail about what I've tried already in those threads), with few results - there's some general improvement, but still not where I'm actually trying to improve, and the flaws I'm trying to iron out are still present.

    I acknowledge that my mindset has flaws, but I also have a very real problem that advice like "practice more / focus on improvement / just try harder" isn't helpful for; it makes me feel like my problem still isn't being understood.


    I don't want to be rude, but I have been very clear about my frustrations and what responses just aren't helpful. This is unhelpful and frankly just ignores a lot of what I've said - I've made all of my points as clear as I possibly can and feel that you haven't really read or understood them.

    If I was "reducing myself to a diagnosis", I would not be looking for help solving the problem. Those dozens of answers were either things I'd tried already over lengthy periods of time, or things that weren't relevant or that I'd asked people to not do, which includes things like the exact advice you've offered here.

    I tried, at length, to solve the problem myself before asking for help. That issue that you're so fixated on me "reducing myself to" is one that has a direct effect on my art and my daily life, and is one I recently discovered. I am not making excuses, but looking for accommodations, and reaching out in hopes that other people have overcome their similar issues, as mentioned in my initial post.


    What type of help are you looking for? Who can know, whether their issues are similar enough to yours to be helpful? Me, and a lot of people, who so far answered you, had and still have problems with solving spatial problems in their drawing, but I can't come up with an answer, that hasn't been given to you in one of those two lengthy threads already. Some of those sources and answers kind of helped me a bit forward, but in the end I had to adapt them to my means, toying around with them, make them fit me. Finding my own way to practice is pretty much what identifies me as an artist, and I assume that can be extended to a general rule about all artists.

    The topic of your initial post in this thread was frustration, that impedes your ability to spend time practicing at all. I at least know that issue, and what worked for me, was to take a break. Not a total break from practicing, but a break from fixating on the very specific source of the frustration. Just practicing something else for a time, until I could go back to my initial study without being overwhelmed by frustration, fear of frustration and self loathing.

    I had times in my life, when I felt desperate, and went looking for help, and I collected a number of diagnosis from actual certified professionals. It made me felt seen, and the therapies they prescribed help me grow personally in a number of ways, usually in organizing my daily and social life. None of those ways included becoming a more successful artist, as medical studies usually aren't done by artists and do not focus on solving artists' problems. Organizing my daily life better did free up additional resources to spend on art, but that was the epitome of what it did.

    Being an artist to me means feeling the desire and ambition to become better as an artist. What I learned from therapists is, that from a clinical perspective, that ambition and desire isn't exactly healthy, for a clinical professional it looks rather like a typical narcissistic trait, grandiosity. The therapeutic advice was to become more humble and to find more satisfaction in mediocrity, instead of beating myself up for not achieving goals beyond my current means.

    Given the choice, I rather decided to quit the therapy than my ambitions, and to get used to dealing with the inevitable pain, that following this obsession will continuously produce. That is why my reaction to putting your diagnosis front and centre in your threat was so antagonistic. The doctors can help you with a lot of tasks in your life, but not with your art.

    Also, by its very nature, any professional diagnosis has to be general enough to fit into the current classification manual of diseases. Neither you, nor me, have, as an individual, not as part of a class of patients, ever been the subject of rigorous scientific study. And no one but ourselves will ever have the rigor to study our individual means to search for the boundaries of our possibilities.

    You and me, we both have the option to identify either as patients in need of healing and salvation, who use their art as cheap sedative and way to relax, or (XOR) as artists, who, like countless other artists before us, obsess about expressing our individuality and all the traits, that differentiate us.

    But following our obsession can not heal us, and focusing on healing won't further the goals of our obsession. These are separate goals, separate identities, that can not be reduced onto each other.


    You are still misunderstanding or misinterpreting me and what I have clarified, explained, and asked for throughout my thread. I'm unsure if I can explain any further, but I really don't feel like what you're saying is relevant or helpful, and have, again, over and over, provided further context and explanation for what I want, what I've tried, and what isn't helpful. I've even repeated those things in my previous reply to you, and you're continuing to ignore them.

    I would be happy to clarify further, but you're still doing things that I've repeatedly stated are neither wanted, productive, or helpful. I've offered the explanations that you claim are missing here, and am not sure if offering them again has much point.

    Again, everything you're saying is a fundamental misunderstanding of both myself and the things I'm talking about. I've repeatedly stated that the kind of thing you're doing here makes me uncomfortable, and is, again, unwanted.


    OK, excuse me for misreading you. Maybe I can't help you, and should not clumsily try.. I will stop bothering you, and wish you all the best on your art journey.


    You will either like this or not, but your response will at least give you a starting place. From the sounds of it you are building blockages within your mind and your systems. Are you aware of meditation? Try it, sit in a calm and relaxing way, close your eyes and ask yourself what is stopping you from achieving this goal.

    I've done this a lot myself, you would be surprised at the answer. Most of the time it doesn't even involve drawing, art, or learning at all. Most people don't realize this, but the answers to most of their questions are within themselves.

    Like I said you'll know where to begin with your response to this post. If it was helpful, try what I suggested and go from there. The key is to not force anything. Just like Art, this is something that comes from the spirit. You don't have to believe in anything or buy into anything, just ask yourself. Your gut response will be answer. If what I have to say, upsets you more than being helpful you might have more work ahead of you then you think and that is okay. Let me give you an example.

    I had a problem with drawing too. I never seemed to get any better, despite how much a drew. I just could get anything to click. Proportions seemed to be my issue. No matter what I did. I did what I suggested and realized it wasn't proportions I was struggling with it was accepting myself. Through childhood trauma within my life I couldn't accept myself and subconsciously realized if I got better at drawing I would post stuff online and that might draw attention to myself. That scared me. I worked at this, understanding and bringing awareness to the issue. My drawing improved, so much within a couple of weeks I was shocked.

    Why am I posting this? I don't know, probably another subconscious blockage within my system I'm worming through. Maybe I see myself in your posts, doesn't really matter. I hope it helps, if not just ignore what I said and try something different. It is not like what anyone else has told you has seemed to help. Good luck. Just remember we crest our own blockages whether it is in our minds or energy systems.


    Please read my posts. I'm sorry if I sound harsh - this has happened multiple times now and while the format of this particular post is a bit more vent-y, even with that context, I'm seeking practical advice.

    I cannot stress enough, once again, for everyone - I have a vision problem. This affects my art. It is very much a real, physical problem that I have. Most practices do not account for the possibility of a vision problem. I am looking for art practices that can help account for my vision (or quite possibly neurovisual) problem (though vision exercises would also possibly be welcome). I have been to two optometrists and am currently trying to find a specialist who may be able to better narrow down / treat this problem. A doctor can't really help me with art, so I'm asking for art help in the meantime.

    I know this was well-intended, but I really need people to stop with the self-help / accept things / spiritual / mindset / etc stuff - it's actually very frustrating and uncomfortable, and I've asked multiple times that people not do this. Again, I have a vision problem that is in fact real, that I am looking for help with in terms of art. I am not leaning on my problems as excuses to not improve. I literally can't see what I'm doing for certain parts of the process.

    Again - and I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record - this isn't an attitude / mindset thing. I have a vision issue.

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