confusedsoul at 9:59AM, Oct. 29, 2007
Getting past the thoughts that stop you drawing.
Ever had one of those days where every picture you draw looks like a toddler drew it, and then vomited on it? I have, and its normally not because of the picture quality, but how you view it. Here are a few tips on improving the way you look at your work.
1) Self Deprecation
You probably have found a comic at least once where the creator has put something like “Wow I really suck at colouring/drawing/fight scenes etc (put a LOL in there if you want). Self deprecating remarks are fine normally, sometimes they can actually be amusing rather than annoying, but the trouble lies in getting in to a rut thinking like this. If you feel that the picture or page should be scrutinised that's fine, just make sure you actually intend to do something about it. Say you drew someone being punched, but the fist came out badly. Rather than doing the whole ”man that's sucky. That's the suckiest suck think in sucksville. With suckers." Think, okay, that could do with some work, I'll practise drawing hands.
2)French Artist Syndrome
This is where you draw something and automatically destroy it because you think it's rubbish (like a french artist, slashing at his paintings…). Don't do this, it wastes paper and doesn't help you develop. If it really seems that bad, leave it for a while and come back to it later in case you change your mind. Try and look at the parts of the picture which have come out well, and work out which areas to improve on. After doing that, then you can happily get rid of the picture if you hate it that much.
3)“I haven't improved at all!”
Everybody improves at different rates. Some people improve slowly over several years, others only take a few weeks (curse them!). If you think you haven't improved, take a look back at some of your old work to see how far you've developed. Unless you destroyed all your old work, you silly people.
4)From another perspective.
Ever draw something and can't put you're finger on why something seems off about it, even though you've been fixing it for ages? It's easy to get caught up in the details of an image, so stand back. Zoom out. Put some distance between it and you (just don't high tail it away, yellow-belly.) Chances are that seeing the image as a whole will give you a fresh look on the problem.
5) Give it a break already, jeez.
Honestly, sometimes something like art block can't be shaken off as quickly as it happens and you will have days when you just aren't feeling right when it comes to drawing. It happens, sometimes for a while, and one of the worst things is trying to force a picture out when you've got symptoms of the above points because it's not going to come out the way you want it to which is only going to stress you out more. Repetition can really kill creativity, so ask yourself “Is it really that important to draw something today?” Do something else instead until you feel you have your flair back and even then don't push it too hard. Creative burn out is one of the worst buzz kills around.
Most importantly, drawing should be fun! If you find yourself getting frustrated, draw something different or take a break from drawing altogether.