For the last 6 months or so I have had great difficulty drawing anything. I sit down with a clean sheet of A4 paper, hold my pencil completely filled with lead, surround myself with reference materials, but nothing comes out. I keep thinking and thinking about what to draw or how to draw it, even though I have the complete scene or animal pictured in my head. After a while and a few tries, I just give up: it just doesn't want to come out..again. It has gotten so bad that over the last month I don't even want to try anymore, even though I desperately want too. Just the thought of making a drawing again, and fail, again, causes so much anxiety that I give up. "It's not worth it" I convince myself. Every time.
I didn't know what it was that I felt, until during a conversation my girlfriend brought up her pre-test anxiety. She told me that she is OK when it comes to test-day, but that the whole period before that is hell. Throughout that time, she fills her head with doubt and uncertainty. The way that she made it sound was akin to mentally building a 50 ft high brick wall that you force yourself to jump over with just your legs.
Her description, and most importantly, her emotions were too similar to mine to be a coincidence. Could it be that I suffer from "drawing anxiety"? A Google-search didn't turn up anything useful unfortunately. Otherwise, I could have read it, take whatever advice was offered, and applied it to my doubts. Instead, I have to explain it and deal with it myself.
Although I am not sure what the reason for my anxiety is, I think its a combination of having low self-esteem when it comes to my drawings and by being surrounded, and most importantly, confronted with the art-skills of the people and friends that I watch on DA. Even before I put my pencil on the clean sheet of A4 paper, I have mentally convinced myself that I am neither capable to draw what is in my head nor achieve the artistic quality of other members on DA.
So, there it is. I hope that I have successfully diagnosed the origins of my drawing anxiety, as well as provide an explanation on why I haven't "produced" much over the last few months. Its not that I don't want to, its rather that I can't. If someone has experienced this before, or is experiencing it now, please let me know. I can undoubtedly learn from your experience. Also, if you haven't and might have some tips on how I can overcome it, again, please let me know. I love drawing ever since I was a little kid and it has provided me with the best method to deal with everything I have experienced. Therefore, I would love to continue doing it, but at the moment I just don't know how.