Symptoms Check List by ArtistsHospital Symptoms Check List by ArtistsHospital
:bulletgreen: 1. ART BLOCKS- "I want to draw but nothing comes to my mind!"

Possible causes:
a. Too stressful: A mind that is over-stressed by environment, expectations and family is more prone to this problem.

b. Low self-esteem: Low self-esteem and high self-expectations can cause art blocks, because the person will be too busy self-beating rather than focusing on improving.

c. Lack of exploration: When you stay in your own pond too long, it will dry up.

d. Too relaxed: When you are away too long, you find it hard to get back into that motion you used to have while you create.

Possible Healing:
i. Find out what is truly stressing you at the moment in life, try to resolve the problem if you can, if the situation is beyond your control, try to find materials, activities, or consoling that can help ease your stress.

ii. Try to look at the world and yourself with "half-full" view of life.. we always have rooms for improvement. See what your strength is, because that is just as true as your mistakes.

iii. Try some art that is completely different from your own, or just stop thinking about creating for a while and search for interesting subjects that are completely not related to your work instead. To find inspiration.

iv. Try to take a look back at your own work, read/view them over again, and critique yourself, or do a few sketches/drafts that are in relation to the old work to get yourself going.

v. Try a completely new medium (suggested by ~AccidentalMasochism ) If you're a painter, try to get your hands on some clay. If you do small drawings, put up some butcher paper/newsprint and go at it with paint. It takes away the idea that it has to be perfect, because you don't know what you're doing at all. Screw up on purpose. Experiment. I was given some chalk pastels and my same old drawings totally took on a life of their own.

vi. Put down the sketchbook and look at some art history. Go to the library and chill out with an oversized book with good color images. Look into an artist or movement you don't really know about. (suggested by ~AccidentalMasochism )

vii. When you feel you suck, you aren't getting anywhere, or maybe even for help on art blocks or creativity, going through all your old drawings seems to help me. You begin to realize your own improvements and begin to appreciate yourself from a 3rd person standpoint. This only works if you've saved up your art over the years, but I find it very helpful. (suggested by ~ShadowKiwi)

:bulletgreen: 2. EMPTYNESS: "I have been staring at the blank page and don't know what to do... my mind is just.... blank."

Possible causes:
a. Fear: Fear of failure can cause the blockage of ideas coming into your mind.
b. Too concentrated: When your mind is too concentrated and focused on "trying to create something good" you will loose the focus on the creative process itself, and the lack of "fun" is a killer to creativity.

Possible Healing:
i. Relax yourself, do something you like to do, don't force ideas to come, then you will have them.
ii. PLAY: Play with whatever you have, and you can come up something new easily with simple drawing games.

:bulletgreen: 3. BORINGNESS: "My art just looks boring, the background is always blank, my character is always in the center, I can only draw the same pose. Not many people comment on my art, maybe I suck."

Possible Causes:
a. Lack of training: You will need to self-improve on the knowledge of element and principle of designs, knowing those knowledge will help you to get out of the boringness your work has.
b. Lack of Experimentation: You haven't explored enough and learned what you can from artists who are very different from you. You are more stuck with your current level and practice rather than exploring into different possibilities.

Possible Healing: Train yourself in the understanding of art principles and elements, practice according to practical goals you know you can achieve, but they should still be challenging. Go out and see artists that are totally different, dig the art you don't look at.

:bulletgreen: 4. LACK OF INSPIRATION: "I have so many ideas, but none of them seem to be any good."

Possible cause:
a. Your mind is stressed, similar to art blocks, but this is particularly due to high-expectations of self.
b. Other pressure: Pressure to perform and do well will stress the mind too much to create.
c. Over and Over: You are doing the same thing, using similar solutions to the problems, the variety is little, soon you may run out of ideas.

Possible healing: Try to rest your mind, do things that make you enjoy yourself, and go outside to explore new environment, new art.

:bulletgreen: 5. THE "I suck" syndrome: "I can never do what they did. I suck." "This is wrong... that is wrong... my picture suck, I know I suck!"

Possible Causes:
a. Affects from others: when others give you bad comments and you took it for real and believe in it, while others could have just been uneducated or uncaring to give constructive comments to help you to get better.

b. Seeking Comfort: You could be the most skillful artist and not realize your own strength because you seek comfort in saying "I suck" or "I did this and that badly..." and have others say "No you don't you did great!" to feel better about yourself. With this problem, you are less likely to improve because if others give you criticism, you have developed no capacity to take it into account, you can simply brush it over by the word " I know I suck anyway." or "Oh yeah? then how well do you do?"

c. Seeking self-improvement: You'd say "I suck" to make yourself get better, but that's not the best way to get yourself better. Think about what you are doing to yourself, you are whipping yourself to go forward. When you make it, you are also quite wounded in the process. Then you can't develop to your full potential.

Possible healing:
i. Learn about art terms, and use them to critique your own work before you put it out, and understand others may or may not be educated enough to help you, you have to help yourself.

ii. Stop seeking comfort in saying "I suck" seek comfort in saying: "I am good enough and I can get better." And find out what you can get better in.

iii. See your own strength, and your own weakness. Develop your strength to the fullest, and improve on your weakness.

:bulletgreen: 6. JEALOUSY syndrome: "She is not so great, she still got the hands wrong, the anatomy is wrong too." "Damn, how did this person got so popular? S/he doesn't deserve it."

Possible Causes:
a. You see yourself less than others, instead of appreciate other's strength and learn to increase your own, you will seek to tear others down or beat down others, that's when jealousy become destructive and harmful.

b. Discrimination: You see popular people who aren't as skillful in your own perfection, but they gain so much more attention than those who actually work hard due to the popular trend, it's easy then to become jealous. Although most of us won't admit it, and rather bash the others.

Possible Healing:
i. Knowing Jealousy is merely an emotion, it can do both good and bad depending what you do with it.

ii. People>> Connection >> Self: understand this world is really not just about individual effort, popularity is gained through the audience's favor, and the artist's effort. Skill alone does not determine popularity, but skill and effort is required to gain popularity.

iii. Everyone's got a different background, different start, different development: This world is NOT fair in our own terms, but it's because of that, this world has variety. We all start from different stage, different time, different goals, and different families. That influences our skill level and development.

iv. Let Jealousy work for you: Jealousy can make you improve if you decided to catch up to the one you are jealous at, as long as you focus on gaining strength instead of tearing down, you will get better in the race.

:bulletgreen: 7. BURNT OUT syndrome: "I have ideas.... but I just don't want to draw... but yet I want to draw, but I am too tired.... ARGGG!!!" "I have got no time for myself!!!"

Possible Causes:
a. Got too involved in things that distract you from your most important goals.
b. Made promises that you shouldn't.
c. Can't say NO to people.

Possible Healing:
i. Sit down, leave what you are doing until your mind can be calm, then think about what is the most important, list them down and do them in order. It's a discipline that can help you in the future.

ii. If you can't make it, don't promise it; know your own limit, and apologize for failed promise that you can't keep.

iii. Learn to say NO for your own good, everyone needs to set a boundary. If your life keeps you busy, then don't take art trades, or requests etc.

iv. Rest- For some, resting is hard, but resting is a state of mind where you are calm and can think logically over things, you are not rushing to complete anything because you know you won't die even if you don't do it.
Resting is also enjoying life, give up striving, and just appreciate art as art, and appreciate doing art.
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SneakySneasel Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oof I have burnt out syndrome real hard right now.
LordMonica Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2018
Zdroyd Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2016
I just refound this in my favs. So helpful, thanks!
brighteyezdesignz Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2016  Student General Artist
For me, drawing was always my escape from my crappy real life. I'd draw to focus my stressed out mind on something positive. I filled up sketchbooks as fast as lightning, and took them everywhere. Teachers thought I wasn't listening because I was too busy doodling! lol. But after my real life got better, I find I don't have the time for it anymore. When I have had the time, it feels amazing to get back into it, and is great to relieve stress even still. However, somewhere along the line, even though I want to be a full-time artist, I just haven't put in the effort to draw daily or improve. I draw when I feel like it, because that's when the results are best, but I always end up doodling the same things. I think, for me, drawing became something I never had to think about, so when I have to think about it, I don't do it. I draw on autopilot nowadays. 

If any of that makes sense. lol. I'll work on trying to incorporate new ideas and techniques into my stress relief art. Obviously, I'd love to be drawing daily and improve. I think a job as a freelance artist has been the best career fit I've found, I just need to keep at it and make it more of a priority. I didn't really fit into any of the bits here, but this article still helped somehow! Thanks for that! ^_^
blueDice69net Featured By Owner Edited Jun 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I have syndrom 5. with the Cause  b. and c. Tantrum Emoticon 
JHMirda Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015
I've been suffering from this for quite a while. And I can't seem to draw anymore.
palowsky Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I have been through a lot of this as of late. I'm just gonna rest as a start. Thank you for this. 
Flyingpensil Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Student General Artist
thank you!
Voorhees657 Featured By Owner May 27, 2014  Student General Artist
Im such a self beater :/
Hoten5 Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
lol, i am such a jealous person.... i have thought those exact things before, only to realize that i am just letting my jealousy get the better of me
TakahioChinta Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
so... I'm an artist then? cause this feels like reading about myself(most of it atleast)
JeremyB796 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2013

The stress in my household makes me not want to draw...I used to fill up a 1 subject notebook in less than a month...
now I'm here with this sketchbook and can only push myself to draw at school where I don't have to deal with it...

hmm..."i suck" syndrome...I do this but in a joking way...more like "oh, this is no good. I could of definitely have done better."

I also don't ever...I have to get up early because my pets will destroy everything I own and rip up the walls if their not watched...
Luka87 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank You so much for this!
ZoeHildebrand-R Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
I'm glad I found this, thank you!
Takeio Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I found this to be very relatable, I am still trying to recover from a 3 year art block that has only begun to show signs of lifting.

I know why I went into an art block but I wont get into the details, but I will say that the people around you and how close you are to them can greatly affect ones feeling of inspiration, and when one loses that person(s), they can almost literally lose all inspiration despite how many 'ideas' come to mind.

In short...I didn't catch it in time and it set me into a spiral that I have to dig my way out of.

That being said, thank you for making this, it has motivated me to continue fighting my way out of this damn thing.
mearlyNear Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I am depressed but at least I understand what I'm going through now.
potterjacksonsharp Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh my gosh, thank you so much Artist's Hospital! This was VERY helpful. I've been experiencing 1, 3, 4 and 5 lately but know I know that those things naturally happen to artists and I'm not the only one.^^; Thanks! :handshake:
Rainer13 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is VERY Helpful, thanks for writing this, Artist's Hospital!
OctoGear Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Student General Artist
whenever i have problems i read these case studies, and i have done for years now.
but i don't know what's wrong with me no more, i don't feel appreciated by fellow deviants and my friends and family.
i just wanted to make them proud. i don't really feel any purpose to draw anymore, i have thought in mind "i want people to like my works" and it seems like that i have forgotten what i, myself like to draw.
my father keeps telling me that i still draw these "teenage period" things, and i wan't to make him awe. I'm so possessed of wanting to show what I'm capable of, when i was younger i just drew because i loved it, i drew only for myself :I and I'm drowning in ideas now, but i cant get them out properly, i just want to create, but my brain has gone in a lock, and I'm SOOO very confused right now. I don't know what to do, i cant lift a pencil without getting depressed, i feel like I'm loosing grip of my long dream, becoming an artist.
OctoGear Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Student General Artist
im just forcing things out, and i doesn't feel right not at all.
YuzukiP Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
I'm freaking out SHIT i have various of this problems...

i will try to fix them.... them HELL YEAH!!!
unicornomics Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012   General Artist
I'm angry because I feel ignored,which category is that?
Josh-Kuro Featured By Owner May 29, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I came here just to take a look, and it ended up that I had Burnt out. Guess accepting is the first step to cure xD
Seriously that helped a bunch! I thank you guys ;D
CheekyKittyAD Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I definitley have 'Burnt out syndrome' xD
Mangahorsegrl787 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011
Thank you so much! See I am writing this story and I have a huge writers block, and this helped alot!
Miscomunication Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
god this shows I am seriously tired and stressed DX
Crapcarp Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have the "I suck" syndrome coupled with an un-mentioned laziness syndrome.

Or is it laziness? I'm not sure.

What I do know for sure is that I constantly bash myself to get better. Thinking that if I give myself any kind of gradititude, I'll get up myself and never improve. I suppose I do it out of frustration and desparation, I honestly don't know how to improve. It's not just in my artisitic skill, but in myself as a whole.

I have this amazing potential, the tiniest fraction of it can be see in my gallery. Will any of you see the rest of it? I sure hope so, 'cause it's all I've got now. There is something that blocks it, and I know exactly what it is. It's my low self-esteem. And it positions itself in the worst place possible, upon my motivation. Things have happened in my life which put a lot of heavy baggage upon it. So, my motivation was weighed upon, which in turn has prevented me from doing things that I've really wanted to do. Thus, as I continue to lay around, more of my low self-esteem builds up, which further prevents me from doing anything. The viscious cycle continues and spirals ever lower. So I guess it's not laziness, it just seems that way to others, and so those others point it out, and I start believing in it.

I'm lazy, I'm incompetent, I'm just a worthless piece of shit. I will never be able to amount to anything worth something, and I will die this way, completely unfulfilled.

The only thing that keeps me from ending it all here and now is that I know buried under all that shit is something powerful. I have this unshakable faith that it will come out one day, and then the flood will come. I stay in this world hoping for that flood to wash over me and my parched motivation. I will never give up on that day.

I apologize to anyone here who read this and didn't want to read a big pity-party, but I just have to reach out here. I'm not looking for attention, I'm just looking for the help I need.
Phil314 Featured By Owner May 29, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I have at least one of these problems every day haha
Thanks for the advice
freezknkoy Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2011
i am almost crying when i am reading it... reAlly helpful.

thanks for the share.
Mambba Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2011
Same !.. And i became feared and stressed too, because i recognized me in so many points ..
Trilkus Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was very helpful for me, I hope to overcome my symptoms with this, thank you. :)
Akefiakat228 Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
this definitely helped me find my weak points. Thanks! :D
gin-hoshi Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful :faint:
gin-hoshi Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
and here too in my blog: [link]
gin-hoshi Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
i used it here: [link] it fit my deviation perfectly
saske1946 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much!!!
it really helped me a lot :D
Blue-Bird24 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2010  Student General Artist
ArtistsHostpital, you
I'm glad I found this. I really needed this. :) thanks
Shea-Hime Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
This is really helpful and insightful....Thanks so much!
Quasartist2 Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. Just.... Wow. I've got so many of these same problems, and now I have some answers. Thanks a lot, ArtistsHospital.
LadyKuraiArt Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Ah.. I know the problems 2,3,5,6 and 7...
DecoraAi Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2010
Wow..I suffer from most of the things on here..v.v

It really affects and even if I try to draw something..I just hate it..happens everytime...
AuroraWhite Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow...this...really helps :) thanks...
taioshi Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2009
Whohoo...thank you very much, I know this article for long now, but it always helps me whenever I read it. :D
Kieke-boe Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009
Thank you for making this. It's nice to know I'm not the only one =P (I suffer from all of them in cycles *eye roll* lol) One thing I notice with myself is that sometimes my brain just sort of... 'clicks into place'? I don't know.. but suddenly my hand actually starts doing what I want it to do, and my drawings become much less... mechanical and forced. There's a really big difference always. I also notice that it never happens when I try to make it happen (joy)... The only thing that sometimes helps is just small shapes until something comes out... (kind of like thumbnailing)
ArtistsHospital Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009
:nod: Some people call that "the zone." It's a lot easier to get into it after practicing. Blind contour drawings can help nudge you in that direction. [link]

I tend to get into it late at night. :XD:
Kieke-boe Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2009
Thank you!! :hug: I'll definitely have to try those =D (and I'm glad I'm not the only person who has that lol)
Raenm Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I find that poor diet and bad sleeping habits can be blamed as a cause for loss of creativity.

Sleeping more than 8 hours a night and eating plenty of fruit and vegies as well as cutting down on junk food really help.
ArtistsHospital Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009

I think you're on to something there. :XD: Staying up late may be fun sometimes, but you pay for it the next day...
Raenm Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I find that the problem is with having not enough sleep for a week on end or more makes you suffer.

It is also scientifically proven that women need more sleep than men as getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night increases the risk of heart disease.

I personally found that a prolonged period of uncreativity (that coincided with a junk food binge that lasted a few weeks), switching onto fruit and vegies with no junk whatsoever cured it.
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