The Artistic Struggle

Life

Being an artistic person, you always run into some struggles. Mostly they end up being related to motivation or self confidence. I’ve been thinking about the struggles of the artistic types recently, especially after working on some recent commissions. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re not good enough, or that everyone is better than you.

There are so many artists out there and everyone has their own style. Looking at everyone’s creations,  it’s easy to feel like yours pale in comparison to what everyone else is creating. As an artist myself, I am always striving to better myself, but I also can loose motivation sometimes. I think the best way to keep going when you loose motivation is to force yourself to create. You might everything that you force yourself to do, but I think it leads you to come up with new ideas and then your motivation starts all over again!

For example, when I loose motivation, I take up my sketchbook and just force myself to scribble. It doesn’t really matter what I scribble, as long as I’m drawing something. It gets ideas out onto paper and jump starts my brain a little bit! I’ve always loved working traditionally, although in recent years I’ve gotten more into digital art as well. I still can’t help but prefer starting all my projects on paper though.

circa 2007

circa 2009
circa 2014
My style has changed over the years, and I have gotten more confident. I thought I was the best ever in 2007, but now I cringe looking back at what I drew back then. It’s funny how that works out. Anyways, I wanted to share some tips on how to beat those art blocks and art blues!
1. Never stop drawing
2. Work on what you aren’t good at 
aka, I’m bad at hands, so I try to practice drawing hands a lot!
3. Don’t be afraid to use reference photos
if you don’t have reference photos for the pose you want, take some yourself! It really helps to understand how the human body works to get proportions right!
4. Don’t get down on yourself
Even artists that you admire have off days, everyone draws things that they aren’t proud of. They just don’t share those pieces with you because even famous artists struggle sometimes!
5. Don’t compare yourself to others too much
Everyone has their own style and art is in the eye of beholder. Just because one person doesn’t like what you made, doesn’t mean someone else won’t find it beautiful.
6. Experiment with different media
7. Have fun with it!

Art is fun! Creating is exciting! 

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • This is such a great post. I often get down on my artwork but then I look at how I've improved over the years and it honestly is the biggest confidence boost. And your tips are great! Perfect 🙂

  • This applies to writing, too! I feel like I'll get into these ruts of thinking that I'm not good enough and the only thing that does is stop me from writing, which is the worst thing to do in that situation!! Thanks for the motivation!

    P.S. Even 2007 you was pretty awesome at drawing.

  • I love your drawings so much! I agree that you should always work on what you aren't good at <3 <3

  • Kay

    Not sketching is my biggest downfall. I always tend to only work on finished pieces, and not just let loose and sketch. I lose confidence sometimes when I start sketching and I need to learn to just look past that! Just taking time to sketch is one of my biggest goals of 2015!

  • We all struggle with our creative sides at some point. Definitely inevitable! I like the tip about working on what you aren't good at. In terms of writing, I struggle with dialogue sometimes, so that's something I should work on more. Great post!
    ~Sara

  • It is nice to look back and see how far you've come over the years! It's nice to know progress happens, no matter how slowly it seems!

  • That's exciting! Photography classes are a lot of fun, I bet you took some awesome photos! I think it's really important to not get down on yourself or compare yourself to others too harshly! It's one thing to admire someone for their work, and another thing to berate yourself because "You aren't that good."

  • I agree! I actually just recently re-read a fan fiction I wrote back in middle school and I was almost in tears over how crazy and all over the place my writing was. I have improved so much since then!! And thank you! I didn't want to share anything prior to that because it was way too embarrassing haha!

  • Thank you! 🙂

  • I bought a small sketchbook that tucks into all my purses that i carry with me, so if I'm stuck somewhere with some free time, I can force myself to sketch something to just practice! So far it's working pretty well! 🙂

  • I recently spent a night sketching hands, while I got frustrated with it, I felt better when I had a page full of them! haha! It is good to work on the things that we need to improve on!