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Case Study - SelfConsciousness by ArtistsHospital Case Study - SelfConsciousness by ArtistsHospital
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Patient Question:
I love what you did and it's the most helpful thing ever! But I have one problem -- see, I love drawing, but I CAN'T draw in front of anyone (not even my friends & family). I think its because of them criticizing me and some people tell me I'm wasting my time and that art will have nothing to do with my future. I was wondering if you have any tips on how I can get over this? Thank you! ^ ^


Staff Advice:
:iconaddjenius:
Hello! You asked how you could get over your fear of drawing in front of people.

Pretty tough question. I believe these may be a couple of good tips.. -Instead of hiding, maybe you could ask them. When you build up the courage to ask them, you may be ready. It's like when you stop running up the mountain and start to descend.

-You don't have to draw hardcore in front of people. You may just do some drawing exercises some artists recommend. Sorta like what this person on YouTube starts with.

Hope I helped. =) Drawing isn't something to hide!
:ambulance:

:iconlatro21:
Your fear of drawing in front of other people basically stems from a fear of criticism as well as an innate lack of confidence in your work.

Drawing in front of people doesn't have to be a scary thing. Really, its no different than anything else you do in life in front of others such as dancing, reading aloud, or just walking around outside. You shouldn't be afraid to receive criticism, because as an artist, you will ALWAYS encounter at least one person who will think a particular piece you did has something wrong with it, or just plain sucks.

There are basically two reasons that someone criticizes your art: either they are jealous, or are trying to help. Not everyone understands how personal a piece can become to the artist, so sometimes a critique isnt given in a very tactful manner. The jealous folks are just wanting to bring you down in anyway they can in order to justify the way they themselves feel when seeing the difference in skill level.

Basically, you can choose just not to care what others think, which will work for a while until you hit a plateau. Once that happens you will start to seek out others to have them comment on your work in order for you to improve. Having someone watch you work can be a fun thing though -- you are creating something and sharing the process with another individual.

If you still worry about having people criticize you as you work, you can always just ask they people not do it, and explain that really, unless you ask them if there is something wrong, you most likely know what is wrong before they do. It did after all come from your mind, and you can see mistakes just as well as they can.

Really though, the only thing that I think will change your discomfort of drawing in front of others is time, as well as confidence in your skill and artwork.

Anyone who thinks you are wasting your time needs to be ignored. They will never really see the art that is EVERYWHERE in life, that someone had to come up with and design everything from products, graphics and architecture to movie special effects, storyboards, and obviously, comics and cartoons.

It's impossible to be wasting your life doing something you love. You just have to have confidence in yourself.
:ambulance:

:iconaljas:
Well, it's hard to say why people criticize your work since I can't view it yet. It may be because, for example, you draw anime and your community - family and friends - is not familiar with it, and so they won´t readily accept your work. Does drawing in front of your family and friends mean that you 1) draw something and then show it, or 2) you really draw it out in front of them? If it's 2), find a quiet place. If it's 1), then likely the people around you have very rigid opinions about what is good art and what is just a doodle. Anime, if it doesn't have a precise and almost classic look, is taken as doodling.

Look at my art - my family often says that my male elves are ugly, skinny and always have the same face. And that I should draw real things, not elves and dragons... so sometimes I draw things for "them," and then they start to think that I am good artist and then I go back to drawing what I want to.

But self-critism is an appropriate virtue... If you "produce" too many similar works, it may be boring for them, so choose the best pieces to show... When I work, I make about four to five bad drawings, which I throw away, to one good piece (and that does not mean I will think highly of it half year later ;)). Then it is kind of fun when your friend wants a picture which you think is not a very good doodle...

Try to ask people what kind of art they prefer and try drawing something in that style. Just once -- it will probably be a good learning experience because you will have to try some new techniques. Basic skills in classic art are very helpful for drawing good anime. Maybe then they will be more accepting of your hobby.

I don´t know how old are you and finally it doesn´t matter because practicing art at every age is a noble thing. If you enjoy creating art and if you are content with it, it is never wasted time... Try to find a community with similar interests (DA is a good place ;)) as they can be very helpful in improving your art. You don't have to be what other people want you to be -- and that's doubly true with art!

And about spending your time -- It is your personal choice and if it does not affect your normal life, school or whatever... then it doesn't matter what other people say...

Keep on drawing - and put something here!
:ambulance:

:iconcaliforniaclipper:
I think that if you flipped through a couple books like "Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal" (Belleruth Naparstek) and "The Teenage Liberation Handbook" (Grace Llewellyn) you'll find that art is not just entertainment fodder. It can be food for the soul and healing for the mind. Several times I've been saved from the trash heap of my own negative thoughts by an inspiring anime or book. I recharge and re-inspire myself by enjoying beautiful drawings here on DA. Mental and spiritual health are just as important as physical health and often affect it drastically. People who are gifted artistically instead of, say, mechanically or mathematically have not received a "lesser" calling, just a less appreciated and often misunderstood one. You can probably think of a book, movie or TV show that's inspired you. Well, that's art at work.

1. Granted, art is probably not going to make you a lot of money. So what? Neither will skiing or playing hours of video games or driving hot rod cars. That doesn't seem to stop anybody!

2. But art will give you enjoyment and satisfaction; it'll train you to be more observant and thoughtful (since you have to think about what you observe in order to draw it well), and it will empower you to share beauty with others, especially people who are suffering too much to create it themselves. Those aspects of drawing can help you in any career.

3. Money isn't everything. Besides, some artists do make a decent living off of their skills. Movies, toons and TV shows all start with scripts, storyboards, and character design sketches -- even the really successful ones like Spider-Man and Batman Begins. Which job sounds more enjoyable -- animating a toon dude, or crunching numbers all day?

Mmm, as for the self-consciousness -- I'm not sure what tack to take here, but here's my two cents. I did used to be pretty self-conscious about drawing in front of other people, but it's worn off as I slowly realized the importance of art, both in general and to myself. (The fact that I've improved a lot doesn't hurt either.)

Maybe it'll help to just accept the fact that a LOT of your drawings (especially at first) are going to be practice pieces. In other words, they're not supposed to be perfect; they're what artists call "studies" or "gesture drawings." (For example, I save big stacks of scratch paper and make lots of ugly "messy sketches" from magazine photos -- then throw the whole stack away.) Maybe tell people you're just practicing and they don't need to critique right now, or ward them off with "It's not finished yet!" If their comments make you feel like not drawing anymore, you need to tune them out -- that kind of feedback will obviously not help you. Balanced critiques recognize good points as well as weak ones and give encouragement to keep trying.

Also, it might just be that your critics are a tad jealous. At least you're trying to draw. Are they? It's harder than it looks!

Two more suggestions:

1. Never compare your art with anyone else's, only to your old works. Concentrate on how far you've come as compared to yourself. Your work is unique and should not be lined up against that of other artists, as though something as personal as a handmade drawing can be reduced to a B+.

2. Post your work here on DA and ask for constructive feedback from the Hospital staff, if you're comfortable with that. Then you'll be getting informed critiques from fellow artists instead of ignorant bystanders. :aww:

Okay well *finally done ranting* I hope that helps and good luck with your drawing! :aww: Please post some of your works for us to enjoy. =)
:ambulance:

:iconartatlarj:
For anyone suffering a crisis of confidence in their art, or their choice of art as a career, or a lack of motivation, fear of criticism, etc., I recommend a book called "The Artists' Way" copyright 1992 Julia Cameron.

It is basically a self-help guide for the artist who has lost their way, succumbed to peer pressure or fear, suffers from artist's block, etc. It is also good for those who would become artists "if only...."

The book is organized as "A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self." Each chapter represents a weeks' worth of work in nurturing your inner artist.
Included are relevant quotes from artists, actors, philosopers, and others.
There are also daily/weekly exercises designed to hone skills, build confidence, introduce new ideas, and bring the individual artist out of their shell.

Each "week" or chapter deals with different issues, including how to deal with buzz-killers, people who actively discourage you, how to master the blank sheet of paper, how to avoid unnecessary distractions, and ways to free the joy of creativity even when you are your own worst critic and enemy.

Ms. Cameron has written several artist-books, all very favorably received, and draws (no pun intended) upon her own fears, doubts, experiences, and successes.

I got my copy at Barnes & Nobles, $15.95 and well worth it.

I just skimmed the surface here, but for those struggling with the whole "artist" complex of desire-versus-talent, fear of failure, art-versus-money, hobby-versus-career, and so forth, this book could be a real plus.

Never preachy, cliche-ridden, arcane, or condescending, if you are struggling with your art, your career as an artist, or how to even become an artist, definitely check it out.

There is also an audio tape called "The Artist's Way: Meeting Your Creative Myths and Monsters," as well as a book I haven't read called "The Vein of Gold," and yet another book published in the meantime.

Speaking strictly for myself, after reading "The Artist's Way," I have never looked back.
:ambulance:


Case Studies Index
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:iconkeikomidorino:
Keikomidorino Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2010
Oh gosh, me too. I want to become an animator, lately I've been sketching people from life that I see when I take the bus home, (and public gardens, too) then the worst thing is just as I'm getting into it, someone sits next to me and STARES as I sketch, and they start asking all kinds of questions, "What's your major?" "What do you want to be?" and the worst one ever, "Oh, can you please draw me?" It's really imtimidating being asked to draw on demand, and I just get so nervous when they're watching me because I'm deathly afriad they'll say, "That doesnt look like me!"
When I was high school I joined the newspaper because the advisor wanted a cartoonist. After taking a look at a few of my strips, he told me that my art style was too "feminine". Soon after this, the other kids didnt take me and my art seriously. I think this one of the reasons why I get scared when I draw in front of people...but it still doesnt stop me, if I want to become the best artist I can, I'm going to dra everywhere and every single day if it KILLS me.
Thanks for sharing this, it helped me know that it happens to everyone. :)
Reply
:icondecoraai:
DecoraAi Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2010
I have a problem this this as well. I do want to become a mangaka actually and plan on going abroad and try to be one. It will be hard, but my passion and desire to be one just really wants to. I've always wanted to live in another country too so yeah ^^

I love creating characters and manga, But sometimes, specially, lately I just feel that I'm afraid to try and say to myself ' Maybe I'm not cut out to be an artist because I cant draw a certain thing. Other people are ' But I guess drawing on and off does that to a person. I can't become a manga artist if I don't practice. Specially it's something I truly want to be.

Thankyou for this though! It helped me some x3
Reply
:iconzkzkan:
zkzkan Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
I do have a problem with...these kinda things too. People always come and look through my things and I get really nervous, because I'm afraid they might get critical and say nasty things. It started when a girl in my class said really bad stuff about everything I drew. o_O That was ages ago but it still makes me have a heartattack. (Not really, but still I get unstalbe @_@)
Anyways, this really did help me. Thank you! >3<
Reply
:iconartistshospital:
ArtistsHospital Featured By Owner May 27, 2009
:californiaclipper: You're welcome, it's great to know that it made a difference. =D
Reply
:iconhyoko-x3:
Hyoko-x3 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2009  Student Digital Artist
I have the same problem. I hate when I'm drawing and people come and just tell me about the bad things of my piece although I don't want to hear it. there are some people to whom I show my artwork because I want to know what they think about it and because I know they could help me and they dont want just to make me sad. But I hate when people who cant draw come to me and say how ugly it is. It isn't that I cant handle with critique, but for example in school I'm only drawing some sketches and I know they arent perfect but therefor they are sketches and they just should let me go >_<
Reply
:icondeadeneddreams:
DeadenedDreams Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2009
I HATE this. My problem is different, everyone wants to see what crap is hiding in my practice sketchbook. They think my practice is as good as the finished products that encase my binders, notebooks, walls, etc.

I have therefore begun to stash away my practice books.
Reply
:iconartistshospital:
ArtistsHospital Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009
:iconcaliforniaclipper:

lol! I think that's wise of you. =D
Reply
:icondeadeneddreams:
DeadenedDreams Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2009
Much easier than saying "look at this, look at that, and you can safely bet that's not my best work..."
Reply
:iconafro-dreads:
Afro-dreads Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009
I had the same problem in secondary school, and then when I didn't show anyone they thought I was a freak. XD
Reply
:icondeadeneddreams:
DeadenedDreams Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009
Yeah.
Reply
:iconshinji-shingetsu:
Shinji-Shingetsu Featured By Owner May 22, 2008
I, I had a scar of the sort...

Inkling me to stop,
But my dreams tell me storys.
I'm lucky enough to have a pencil to catch the idea before i forget..
This Case study has been a metaphorical Plaster' for me thanks
for all your hard work.
'Reminder, find a cool avatar..
'50x50 pixels what the hell!!

The main point of one of the doctors, Anime not being to everyones knowledge and written off as doodles.

Coined in the 1800's by Japanese Artist Hokusai-(Sensei) called the doodles in his sketch book 'Whimsical sketches' and 'lighthearted pictures' funny enough the same term is the root for the korean word for comics (Manhwa) and chinese word (Manhua)
You Guessed it,
Comic means Manga In japanese!!
Reply
:iconartatlarj:
ArtAtLarj Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2007
For anyone suffering a crisis of confidence in their art, or their choice of art as a career, or a lack of motivation, fear of criticism, etc., I recommend a book called "The Artists' Way" copyright 1992 Julia Cameron.

It is basically a self-help guide for the artist who has lost their way, succumbed to peer pressure or fear, suffers from artist's block, etc. It is also good for those who would become artists "if only...."

The book is organized as "A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self." Each chapter represents a weeks' worth of work in nurturing your inner artist.
Included are relevant quotes from artists, actors, philosopers, and others.
There are also daily/weekly exercises designed to hone skills, build confidence, introduce new ideas, and bring the individual artist out of their shell.

Each "week" or chapter deals with different issues, including how to deal with buzz-killers, people who actively discourage you, how to master the blank sheet of paper, how to avoid unnecessary distractions, and ways to free the joy of creativity even when you are your own worst critic and enemy.

Ms. Cameron has written several artist-books, all very favorably received, and draws (no pun intended) upon her own fears, doubts, experiences, and successes.

I got my copy at Barnes & Nobles, $15.95 and well worth it.

I just skimmed the surface here, but for those struggling with the whole "artist" complex of desire-versus-talent, fear of failure, art-versus-money, hobby-versus-career, and so forth, this book could be a real plus.

Never preachy, cliche-ridden, arcane, or condescending, if you are struggling with your art, your career as an artist, or how to even become an artist, definitely check it out.

There is also an audio tape called "The Artist's Way: Meeting Your Creative Myths and Monsters," as well as a book I haven't read called "The Vein of Gold," and yet another book published in the meantime.

Speaking strictly for myself, after reading "The Artist's Way," I have never looked back.
Reply
:iconartistshospital:
ArtistsHospital Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2007
:iconcaliforniaclipper:

Thank you so much for that info. I've updated this Case Study accordingly. :aww:
Reply
:iconiynai:
Iynai Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2007  Professional Filmographer
Hah! This is what I do! xD I get bothered whenever someone looks over my shoulder sometimes, and I tend to tense up and get nervous. I once had a teacher pop up behind me and say 'Nice work' but it scared me somewhat because I didn't know she had been looking. I do fear criticism though, that is something that I want to overcome. It's because I dislike being yelled at, and even if someone is pointing out my faults, it feels like they're yelling at me, and it makes me want to hide. Truly though, the only criticism I've ever gotten was from my friend who pointed out some constant mistakes I had been making, such as I was making my foreheads too short, and I shouldn't have hair covering the eyes.

I judge myself, both on my old work and other peoples, unfortunately. Though, I strive to surpass myself. I may look at others art and think 'One day yo... I will be that amazing,' or something, then when I look at my older art I think 'I've gone so far from the day I officially picked up my pencil.' Even work from last month, I compare from what I do now. Hah. I love this Case Study so much because it points my faults. xD Luff it.
Reply
:iconartistshospital:
ArtistsHospital Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2007
I get bothered when people look over my shoulder as well. I tense up and get all shaky, causing my lines to go everywhere. I fear criticism a bit as well. Mostly because its been happening all my life. No one ever points out my good qualities, or anything good about anything I do, they always point out my faults, my weaknesses.. It bothers me because it makes me feel like I cant do anything right. That is why when I give a critique, I ALWAYS point out some good qualities first, then point out things that could use some work, then some good things about the thing i think could be worked on.

I compare my old are too. I used to draw points or hands and feet when a started, and everything was straight lines, no curves. i actually draws hands and feet now. and i love making women very curvatious.

~:iconship-wreck:
Reply
:iconlady-lark:
lady-lark Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2007
wow! this is really inspiring, i thought i had practice defending my career choice, but you brought up things i had never even thought about. wow.
Reply
:iconmayshing:
mayshing Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2007  Professional Filmographer
like... wow.... Great job updating those things.
Reply
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