|Whatever it is, I don't ship it.|
And I think I should share it. Hopefully it’ll help someone out there with the same problem.
I've been in an art funk for awhile now where I feel like everything I draw turns out like garbage. It’s as though I can only see mistakes and nothing good. I know my art isn’t trash. I know it looks fine. As of a few months ago, I was super excited about how much I’d improved over the year. Now nothing looks right to me. So what happened?
Easy: I’m improving. If your drawings suddenly don’t look right to you and you think nothing is turning out right, that means you’re finally seeing mistakes you couldn’t before! The only way to get better is to first know what you’re doing wrong. Over time, your brain works out what’s wrong with your drawings, and you slowly correct those mistakes, often without even realizing what’s happening.
That doesn’t make the improving any easier. It’s a constant battle with my brain, arguing that it looks terrible/ it looks fine/ it looks terrible/ it looks fine/ ad nauseum. Often I find I need real words of encouragement during this time- but also honest critiques, if at all possible. After all, if I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, how can I improve?
There was a time in high school when I felt like this. I could only see mistakes in my art, and I thought it was garbage. However, at the time, I didn’t realize this meant I was improving… I honestly thought my art was trash. I stopped drawing (outside of art class) for a year/ year and a half-ish. That was miserable. It took a pep talk from an awesome friend who had gone through the same thing to get me back into it.
If drawing is your passion, I don’t want to see anyone give up like I did. It’s so important to understand that this is a part of improving (even though it sucks. It sucks a LOT). So what do you do when you hit this point?
You need to understand a few basic things:
1: Your art is probably far better than you think it is. You have to fight your own brain because it will tell you that your art is terrible. You’ve gotta start making it a habit to tell yourself that it isn't and that it's all just a matter of perspective.
2: You have to realize that seeing mistakes everywhere means that you’re improving- it’s just gonna take awhile for your brain and hands to catch up.
3: Take plenty of breaks. When you’ve been working on something for too long, coming back to it at a later time helps you realize that it’s not as bad as you thought it was, and you’ll find you can probably pinpoint mistakes easier as well.
4: I also find that it's beyond helpful to look at my old artwork at this time. Sometimes it feels like you haven’t improved at all- but then you look back and realize that WOAH, you’ve come a lot farther than you realized! Sometimes I do redraws of my old artwork that I liked. That’s usually a great confidence booster.
5: This affects artists of ALL skill levels! Yes, even professionals.
This image sums up everything perfectly:
In fact, this entire series is absolutely wonderful:
In the end, you just have to know that this is a normal part of improving your artwork. It sucks, but you’ll come out better for it when it’s over. Cheers and good luck! (: