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Thread: Loosening up and the secret of enjoyment

  1. #21
    101 Dalmations Member The_shaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    That's just it. I am a hobbyist, and suddenly this doesn't cut it. Instead...



    Just to clarify, we (or at least I) aren't looking for a quick fix. It's more of a vent and discuss topic. But Bardic is right: why can I have fun with video games and sports without ever worrying about getting better, yet with art I must consciously try to improve to maintain the enjoyment level. I just want to sit and have fun drawing manga damn it, not sit for a half-hour trying to get the first shape right!
    I've been trying to figure out the right way to approach this, first think I want you to do is ask yourself why are you doing this for in the first place, and who are you doing this for? I draw because I have this insatiable hunger to create; whether it is a new world, creature, or figure. I will even go as far to say that I have a god complex when it comes to this issue, and art is the way I chose to deal with it. Another reason I do this is because I want to show both the light and dark. The beauty and ugly of the world as I see it, and the person I do all this for is me. This is why I have yet to let all the insults, and attacks I have faced in the past detour me from my goals.

    Next ask yourself where do you want to be with this? I want to be known for the strange I want to put in my work, for the insanity I want to try to depict in it. Is it there now, no because all I'm doing now is trying to get my skills up with basics, but when I am at a level where I feel at least a little satisfied in my ability to render, than their will be a major change in both what, and how I draw. While this may not make sense to many who read it, it makes since to me, and I am the only person it needs to make sense to.

    Moving on with what I am saying, what I am piecing together really is both you and bardic are losing enjoyment in your work for a reason you really don't understand (bare with me I know that is obvious). This could easily be signs that art is not a world you are meant to be in as the creator, now I am not trying to discourage you from drawing, like I said as a hobbyist majority of the stuff sonny or I study and use isn't as required as much for you as it would be for us. Now to repeat something my instructor once told me; "You practice to improve, but by common sense there will always be a little improvement when you practice. Something a lot of people don’t understand is what to practice though.” Or something like that, but the point is you can sit there and draw and you will improve. On the other hand you sit there and draw, and in the drawings you apply things like gesture shapes, and thumbnails breaking down what you are already practicing making it simpler to understand.


    Ultimately I am getting you want the enjoyment of a fully rendered high level piece without the effort of the excess work, and I am afraid it just doesn’t work like that. Even for professionals that work at such places as Disney, or work on mangas they go through these steps. Comic book artists and cartoon animators along with manga artist go through the process of thumbnails to set up composition.

    Also at bard, I lost my will to ever teach anyone a long time ago.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by The_shaman View Post
    Ultimately I am getting you want the enjoyment of a fully rendered high level piece without the effort of the excess work, and I am afraid it just doesn’t work like that. Even for professionals that work at such places as Disney, or work on mangas they go through these steps. Comic book artists and cartoon animators along with manga artist go through the process of thumbnails to set up composition.

    Also at bard, I lost my will to ever teach anyone a long time ago.
    I think you're misinterpreting what has been said if you believe that what we (or at least I) are looking for a way to shortcut the whole drawing process and get to the final piece with no effort or work, to think there is a way is Naive, but more importantly, it's not whats being talked about here. I'll admit I don't use Thumbnails as much as i could, then again, i still have issues just using them, and have done/attempted maybe 1-2 actual full pieces (read: not doodles/sketches to work on anatomy/what-have-you).

    Also, when did I (i'm assuming me alone since you seem to be addressing me directly) ask you teach me anything?
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  3. #23
    Fenn
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    Moving on with what I am saying, what I am piecing together really is both you and bardic are losing enjoyment in your work for a reason you really don't understand (bare with me I know that is obvious). This could easily be signs that art is not a world you are meant to be in as the creator, now I am not trying to discourage you from drawing, like I said as a hobbyist majority of the stuff sonny or I study and use isn't as required as much for you as it would be for us. Now to repeat something my instructor once told me; "You practice to improve, but by common sense there will always be a little improvement when you practice. Something a lot of people don’t understand is what to practice though.” Or something like that, but the point is you can sit there and draw and you will improve. On the other hand you sit there and draw, and in the drawings you apply things like gesture shapes, and thumbnails breaking down what you are already practicing making it simpler to understand.


    Ultimately I am getting you want the enjoyment of a fully rendered high level piece without the effort of the excess work, and I am afraid it just doesn’t work like that. Even for professionals that work at such places as Disney, or work on mangas they go through these steps. Comic book artists and cartoon animators along with manga artist go through the process of thumbnails to set up composition.
    Sigh...that's awefully accurate to me. Art never used to be about that, though, and that's what's so confusing for me.

  4. #24
    101 Dalmations Member Arashi500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn View Post
    I'm in a similar position to the OP so I'm going to respond.

    Everything you guys have said in reply is beautiful, but is it really all necessary? And if it is, why now? When I started drawing none of this mattered. I could just pick up a pencil and have a great time, completely ignorant to all that you posted above. I wish I could take my improved talent but reclaim the mindset I had when I began, when having fun drawing manga was so easy and worry-free.
    You were probably very young at the time and therefore had VERY low standards. When you start taking something more seriously, which you have done in that you have bothered to make progress from where you were, you will automaticaly raise your standards because you are now making an effort. Nostalgia could also have something to do with it.

  5. #25
    Senior Member nisaren's Avatar
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    This is an interesting topic you bring up. I'll admit that I've only skimmed over the posts so far, so if I say something that was covered already I apologize.

    So with that said, let me say that I can empathize with you. I often feel stress when attempting to draw and I think to myself that it should be more fun. Stress by definition is the body's reaction to external events or conditions that are different from one's internal expectations. In essence, you have an image in your mind and you want to put it on paper, but are not able. This leads to stress within and every artist experiences this constantly. I doubt that any artist possesses the ability to express exactly what he or she sees in their mind on paper. So every artist feels stress to a degree when drawing.

    Just a brief aside: Doodling is completely different from drawing. People normally doodle while thinking about something else, i.e. a lecture in class. Because of this you don't have that inherent stress because you have no expectations - no image in your mind. Oddly enough, it is said that doodling actually helps you concentrate and remember more while in class.

    So back to the issue at hand. How to make drawing fun, which will therefore motivate you to draw more and improve. I think you have to figure out what part of drawing or art is "fun" or "relaxing" for you. What made you decide to start drawing in the first place? Once you have figured out that ask yourself - What part of drawing do you absolutely despise?

    If you can figure out these maybe you can try to capitalize on the good while minimizing the parts that you don't like. For me the fun part of drawing is in the initial 5-10 minutes where the majority of creation takes place in a piece. After that, it's just grunt work trying to take that rough sketch to a polished finished piece. I only finish a small fraction of the pieces that I start and doing that is work, not fun. But I feel proud of myself for pushing through and finishing the piece, it's an accomplishment. And I will admit that there are moments of creativity during the finishing process.

    So I suppose that's my advice for you, figure out what you like about art and focus on that when you draw.

  6. #26
    I was going to let this topic die. By my accounts, it has by and large failed on most fronts; I likely came across as an A******, I'm still in much the same place as before on the issue. really at best i have a decent compendium of information when/if i ever get back to drawing.

    Quote Originally Posted by nisaren View Post
    So back to the issue at hand. How to make drawing fun, which will therefore motivate you to draw more and improve. I think you have to figure out what part of drawing or art is "fun" or "relaxing" for you. What made you decide to start drawing in the first place? Once you have figured out that ask yourself - What part of drawing do you absolutely despise?

    If you can figure out these maybe you can try to capitalize on the good while minimizing the parts that you don't like. For me the fun part of drawing is in the initial 5-10 minutes where the majority of creation takes place in a piece. After that, it's just grunt work trying to take that rough sketch to a polished finished piece. I only finish a small fraction of the pieces that I start and doing that is work, not fun. But I feel proud of myself for pushing through and finishing the piece, it's an accomplishment. And I will admit that there are moments of creativity during the finishing process.

    So I suppose that's my advice for you, figure out what you like about art and focus on that when you draw.
    But then that happened, i still wanted to leave well enough alone, take the advice in the bottom line and leave peacefully. But as i tried to do that, i started to realize/suspect something. How many times had I drifted into a, pardon me a hackneyed and clichéd phrase, almost zen like state polishing up a drawing. How much i had enjoyed pulling random lineart off the internet and filling in the colors. What i enjoyed was the mild stages of a drawing, the refining and fine tuning.

    Why bring this up though?i figured out what i enjoy move on and use that right. well there is an issue with that, though thats not the reason i'm posting but it bears saying anyways, i hate those initial 5-10 minutes because it's all too often the most annoying and frustrating part of the experience. As said this is a problem you can't reach the middle stages without those first few moments, but what i found more interesting is that this is almost the exact opposite of how i once was.

    I stated it briefly earlier, but one of the major reasons i started drawing is because of my attempts at writing, and how i could often see things in my head that i didn't have the vocabulary to describe. However, i could see it in my head and if i could get that image down it tended to help. Drawing was all about those first few moments as something showed up on that blank page.

    So why the change then, well it kind of feeds back into what i've been trying to say all along, and i'm willing to try once more. What happened is i learned to draw.

    If you'll allow me an anecdote, perhaps of the true turning point of a minor 'my life sucks and i'm sort of depressed which makes this frustration hard to swallow' issue into a full blown imploding in on myself crisis.

    about 3-4 years ago I dropped out of college in a fit of self destructive depression, failing to find a job, i tried to turn my life around and enrolled in a different school to study what i really wanted to learn game design. The program started with studying visual design, and one of the early class was taught (though from what i understand it wasn't meant to be) as a sort of intro art class. i half listened as i had 1-3 point perspective explained to me for the umpteenth time, listened intently as basic layout and composition were discussed. It was an unexpected class but in general it was enjoyable, However one time in class we were given a seemingly simple assignment; take an evergreen branch/leaf sample and draw it, around the same time another class had us doing thumbnails for a project. In both cases i failed. The leaf assignment is the more telling of the two as we had to draw this exceedingly complex but miniature object. the purpose was to help us in just drawing, gaining the skills to effectively draw thumbnails and such, to just take what was in front of you, or in your mind and jot it down. I never finished the assignment, the class went on break, and i didn't come back from it, i sat in the hallway just outside the classroom on the verge of breakdown and unable to continue the assignment.

    drawing what was infront of me had never been a problem before. copying drawings, pictures, drawing what i saw, I had done these before with no issue. So why then? honestly no clue, but whatever skill i had seems to have been lost in that incident or in it's fallout as i spent time obsessed with how to do gesture drawings thumbnails, anything of that quickly getting it down variety, each time met with failure. At this point in time trying and failing at those things has become nothing to think over; i try, i fail, i move on and try and find what i'm missing in the whole issue.

    Why have lost this skill, most likely a repercussion of that day and/or it's fallout, but why did that happen. Thinking on it, i always used guidelines as the first thing on the paper, I rarely if ever just drew anymore, perhaps it was just atrophy of the most basic skills learned. At the same time, i vaguely remember trying to come up with some manner of guidelines, a somewhat complex object i had never looked at or bothered to think about, breaking it down into the tiniest components as the clock ticked down and my grade somewhat riding on the execution, a stress induced breakdown is also a likely subject.

    More recently for some reason (atrophy due to lack of drawing because of stress no doubt) The guidelines, even on the things i know just don't seem to work much if at all anymore, I can't see human proportions in those stick figures etc. which makes the excursion of drawing as stressful as it is; when you can;t seem to just get ideas down on paper, and rigid systematic guidelines fail you, what's left?

    So where am i going with all this. Nowhere, but we have, if in a roundabout and wordy way been over the problem. How do you loosen up, stop worrying, and just draw, just sketch, no guidelines, nothing like that, just getting it down on paper. It's not something a direct answer (put pencil to paper and move it around) can do much for but it's my question, always has been, and still is. And i would desperately like an answer to it.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  7. #27
    Your Friendly Ban Hammer-er Rio's Avatar
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    TL;DR most of your post but the last paragraph. My answer:

    Maybe you should try something else like working on the abstract and impressionist art styles. Try just working with colors. Art is not all about forming something concrete that resembles something from the real world. There's cubism which deals with shapes, modern paintings like those that are just paint splashes.

    My advice - just pick up a pencil or crayon and just start drawing. Do swirls, dots, random lines or whatever drives you. Make multiple boxes, circles, and other shapes. Keep it simple. Don't do anything complicated like starting to draw humans, things, animals, and so on. If you're doing something in color - try putting several colors together. Keep your mind free of thought. Just go with the flow. If you have trouble concentrating or get distracted easily, go somewhere quiet. You may not loosen up right away but give it some time and you'll eventually get there.

    Try it out and let me know if it worked for you.

  8. #28
    Fenn
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    Music

    Try listening to music. And I don't just mean put in headphones and click shuffle on your iPod while drawing. Sit back, get confortable, and turn on some music. Preferably instrumental music (It's less grounding and more imagination-sparking than music with human vocals). I can give you plenty of suggestions if you need.

    Wait and just keep listening for minutes. Eventually, images will start to form. Then, while still listening, once you feel that desire to draw again (the little "tickle" as I like to call it), take up the pencil and go for it. Just go.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Rio View Post
    TL;DR most of your post but the last paragraph. My answer:

    My advice - just pick up a pencil or crayon and just start drawing. Do swirls, dots, random lines or whatever drives you. Make multiple boxes, circles, and other shapes. Keep it simple. Don't do anything complicated like starting to draw humans, things, animals, and so on. If you're doing something in color - try putting several colors together. Keep your mind free of thought. Just go with the flow. If you have trouble concentrating or get distracted easily, go somewhere quiet. You may not loosen up right away but give it some time and you'll eventually get there.

    Try it out and let me know if it worked for you.
    I'll admit I haven't had much quite time recently (long story short, I HATE CHILDREN) but i have tried this idea and it seems like it sort of works. basically, the logic seems sound (well assuming you're suggesting this in the way it seems you are, though i can't think of another way you could suggest it) and indeed i am more capable of it than i would have though ( half expected to stare at the blank paper for 15-20 minutes and give up), but the big problem stems from the fact that sticking wholly and exclusively to basic shapes and what not is, well in a word boring. as i found myself freehand connecting a random series of dots for the 4th or 5th time and just not caring i stepped back, looked at the paper, and tossed it. it doesn't seem like their'd be a way of spicing this there's a way of spicing this thing up while keeping at the same activity, but the logic behind it seems sound and i'd love to give it more thorough attempts.

    As for your suggestion Fenn, to be honest your idea seems more inline with building inspiration and drive, and though i probably could do with more drive, inspiration is a pointless pursuit as i have a major backlog of things i want to draw and hardly need new ideas(heck there is a certain amount of stress stemming from the fact i've been sitting on some ideas for years with no progress and more ideas just seem like they'll make it worse) that said I'm still willing to try and would love some suggestions (especially in the form of something i can put into Last.fm and get some results with as my music collection is rather pathetic and i have no means to expand it)

    To anyone else who stumbles upon this the advice i seek is loosening up, and though in regards to drawing is most relevant to this board, writing would be great if not better, and just in general advice would be appreciated to.
    I have no problem with you spanking me. However, I have a huge problem with you not spanking me...

  10. #30
    Fenn
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    http://www.di.fm/

    All types of electronic music. And the lower bandwidths are free. For something fast pace try Drum and Bass, Trance, or Liquid DnB. There are some lyrics but many of the songs are just music.

    For slower music (usually better for drawing) there's chillout, ambient, and Space Music. These might help you to relax when you are drawing, just make sure you aren't TOO sleepy.

    I don't know whether you like electronic, classical, new age, etc. So I'll leave you with that.

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