|Piece with the most favorites: Mainly because of a daily deviation on 3/4/13.|
Over the past month or so, I’ve had a plethora of great responses to a forum post I started here on DeviantArt. While I frequent the forums there quite a bit, there was a reoccurring theme among a variety of artists saying that they had “given up” on drawing or painting for a long time. This was rather intriguing to me since the thought of not creating to me, is like not breathing. It’s such a foreign idea that I felt a thread where people could share their experiences would be useful for all of us. Turns out I was right. I found that many artists had contributing “third party” factors which either made drawing/painting impossible, physically strenuous, or even a bad experience with a teacher. Their stories have really helped me understand the plight of many creative people from around the world, and empathize with the problems they have faced in the creative process.
So, today I'd like to share some of their stories with you, and give my thoughts regarding their tales of woe. This topic was originally titled "Why did you stop drawing/creating? Why did you re-start?" and you can find the thread over on the General Art Forum here on dA: forum.deviantart.com/art/gener…
Many artists including J-Dasse kaixax555 OneMarkedMonster and MADMANHales have stopped in the past because of responsibilities to another job, school, and/or family.
While VithoDrego had an amazing realization while looking at another artist’s work… “He can do this, so why can’t I?” simple and yet very inspiring indeed.
I started drawing again when some online friends who didn't draw /at all/ picked up "Drawing on the right side of the brain" and started showing off their cool pictures, and I remembered how much I'd loved drawing, and once I started drawing, I just /knew/ this was where I wanted to be…”
This was one of the first responses and it really took me off guard. I was impressed though that the poster returned to their creative roots through the encouragement of their support system. I was inspired to know that for them creativity wasn’t specifically about one type of art, but about many.
KLoganArt taked about her lack of confidence…something all of us artists go through from time to time:
“I had stopped for a really long time because I felt I wasn't good enough and was never going to be good enough. There was a lot of self doubt and anger. After losing three people I really loved within four years of each other, I came to a realization that life is far too short, and I really loved creating, and that it didn't matter if I could draw super realistically. I have my own style, and that should be and is enough. I think losing that many people kind of woke me up and forced me to want to enjoy creating again. A huge self confidence boost was a random whim where I took some of my stuff to a really small local gallery, and they wanted to display and try to sell some of my pieces.”
In short though, self doubt is a rather nasty bug that can affect all creative people. One idea that has help me along this past year is the idea that none of us are “good enough” if we don’t specify “good enough for what?”
Other artists like R4Online and izznoland talked about lack of inspiration, which in the past year I’ve realized is just an excuse to circumvent the creative process. This isn’t to say that lack of inspiration is a bad excuse, but it shouldn’t be (and probably isn’t) the only factor limiting the process. After all inspirations are everywhere, you just need to know where to look.
Additionally motivation is a big factor if you’re concerned more about pleasing the crowd with your art. Or really looking for the feedback you need and when you need it. This can be a road block especially for artists EnelyaWolfwood and Sachi-pon
FionaCreates talked about my main fear that kept me from attending an art school. The idea that it would drain my “creative energy.”
“When I graduated University I had what felt like the last of the creative energy squeezed out of me, we had been forced to work long hours for so many months without much break it felt like I would never create again. I decided to take a well deserved drawing break, instead of stressing myself out about ‘ugh why can't I draw!’" …
…”I needed that break to relearn why I went to school to become an artist (which I now work as ) and the worst thing I could have done was force myself to do stuff I didn't want to do when I didn't even get a grade at the end of it.”
Finally one artist in particular shared an extended story that made me realize just how easily one’s creativity can be destroyed thanks to bad teachers and a poor educational model. Grishhak from Germany talked about how in her schooling art lessons are obligatory and have a VERY high quality expectation from their students. The program at her school did not invest the proper amount financially to have quality materials for their students, making it much harder to produce an adequate result. Additionally the student’s artwork was ranked side by side from “best” to “worse” which is a huge creativity and motivation killer. The one statement though which really threw me for a loop was:
“I decided to stop drawing once my teacher caught me doodling on my paper while he was explaining the next assignment and he wrote my parents about my ‘bad behavior’ which was ‘drawing during art class’. I stopped. I stopped overnight.”
Wait, what!? Since when is being creative during art class a problem? With where I’m from if a kid was drawing during art class the teacher would make sure that kid was paying attention, but ALWAYS encourage them to draw on their own. She went on to describe how she was moved to music as her main pursuit in school, which lead to a rediscovering of her passion for drawing and painting, as the lack of restrictions help her rediscover her abilities.
As artists we all have the things in our life that motivate us and hold us back, but if I’ve learned anything from these stories of love for the process, loss of a friend or relative, or even lack of an artistic support system,…it’s that the online art community on DeviantArt, in real life, or wherever else you find your community, is essential to keeping both yourself and other creative people working on their projects and happily creating something new!
Born, raised, and currently residing in the Pittsburgh, PA area I started painting when I was 10 and haven't looked back since. I'm now an emerging artist in the public market as a new member of the Pittsburgh Society of Artists. Although, my primary audience exists through Youtube.|
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