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Jun. 14th, 2007

There are nights when you spend the entire night drawing, and it's nothing but frustration, and you get to the end of the evening and become convinced that you can't draw. (Not to mention the nagging feeling that even if you manage to overcome the problems and make it as good as you are capable of making it... that still actually won't be all that good.)

I hate nights like that.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
telepresence
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
I have seen your drawings, and must conclude that you can draw, and quite well.
eregyrn
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:21 am (UTC)
:P

See, the thing is, I don't know how it works for other artists. But the problem is not knowing that you may have drawn things that might have been good in the *past*. The problem is the fear that it could all suddenly go *POOF* and you would never be able to draw well ever again. And if that's so, then why couldn't it be tonight?
telepresence
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC)
"All of a sudden, her drawing hand exploded! Leaving only a wretched stump! Damnedest thing I ever saw."
eregyrn
Jun. 15th, 2007 03:46 pm (UTC)
You *laugh*...
okojosan
Jun. 15th, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)
Yeah, I hate that too. It's weird, I think my art was better when I was back in school than now (not that I've been drawing all that much lately- need to rectify that!)

I sort of wish I could recapture the art motivation when I had when I was young, when I thought what I was drawing was good even if it wasn't. Now I'm paralyzed by fear before I even begin.

But I've always found your art wonderful! I always paged through the Triptychs and looked for your art first. :D
eregyrn
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:17 pm (UTC)
I don't think your art was better then, than now. :) I think you're right that what feels the most different is the ease with which you drew *then*, as compared to the anxiety now.

I get that too, sometimes. I mean, I know I'm a much more experienced artist now than I was 10 years ago. I know that there's things I can do now that I couldn't do as well back then. But that doesn't change the periods of frustration now. Or the fear that goes along with... being more ambitious now, I guess.

In some ways, I think that drawing a *lot* helps. It loosens you up. But then, not entirely. Because I've been drawing a *lot* the past 6 months, and I must be pretty loose! But I still get nights like that, where it feels like nothing's working and AAIIGGH!

For me, what's important to my motivation is interacting with others and having things to draw *for*. Which is why I'm constantly belonging to fangroups to produce art for. That's what gets me off my butt and actually drawing. The communication, the exchange of ideas, the exchange of art, and the expectations of others and their reactions. I took like 4 or 5 years "off" from fangroups like that... and I didn't draw *anything* except for heraldry that I drew... for a group, for the SCA (i.e. working *for* others, again). I guess I just don't draw *for myself*, ever. Huh.
betacandy
Jun. 15th, 2007 06:16 am (UTC)
You just described many a night I have working on my novel. :)
eregyrn
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I suspect that this is pretty common to artists of any kind. ;-) Although, I don't often feel this way about writing. Even on days when I've been frustrated with something I'm working on, or when I feel blocked -- I don't know, I guess I always have a feeling that eventually, the words *will* flow again. Because for me, words always flow. (Not always *fictional* ones, unfortunately. But I can sure sit down and bang out 3000 words of commentary very easily!)

But there are times staring at a piece of paper and trying to draw where the idea of being able to get what's in my head onto the paper almost seems *alien*.
betacandy
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
It seems to me drawing and writing use different parts of my brain. Don't know if that's true for everyone, but while I think they're roughly similar creative pursuits, there are some stark differences between them.

I usually, however, do not approach drawing with the belief I can get what's in my head onto paper (experience demonstrates I can't, LOL), so I probably can't relate to the challenge you give yourself with the expectation you CAN do it.
jenlev
Jun. 15th, 2007 10:33 am (UTC)
you can so draw. i'm just sayin'. :::hugs::::
eregyrn
Jun. 15th, 2007 03:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks. But. You know. *hugs*
jenlev
Jun. 15th, 2007 10:05 pm (UTC)
yes, i know. i hope you have some time this weekend to draw some more and have it be a good experience.
raqs
Jun. 15th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
i, of course, feel the same way about writing. often.

tim powers told me something that really helped, though. he said "your good work will still be good, even if everything you ever write again is crap. you don't pull the good work down. it stays where it is." that relaxed me a lot.

so even if you never draw again well - unlikely - your past work IS STILL GOOD and proves that you have DONE GOOD WORK.
eregyrn
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:09 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Well, I guess I have to listen to Tim Powers! But, yeah, this is less of a, "I've never done anything all that good!" feeling, and more of a, "god, how did I ever do that and what if I can't ever do it again?" Having a body of work to look back on is a comfort, but doesn't ease the anxiety of not being able to produce more, I guess. For me.

I don't know how it is for you as a writer. When I write, I tend to have an overall idea, that of course I want to convey effectively. But the overall idea is a broad outline, and the anxiety is in finding the words.

What's differently-frustrating about drawing is that what I have in my head is a *finished piece* that I can *see*, and it's a matter of getting it out onto the page. Which is always a process of compromise... it never looks as good on the page.

If I never managed to write a story again... I could still *tell* the story ideas that I have in my head. I could get them out, communicate them. It would never be *as* effective as showing them through conventional fiction-writing. But it's *a* form of storytelling.

But there's no other way of getting the finished pictures I have in my head *out*, to show them to others, except to draw them.
my_tallest
Jun. 15th, 2007 04:59 pm (UTC)
Occassionally it helps to have friends come in and tell you that you suck, so you'll get back in a mood of defending your art. Well, that's what Karl tells us he's doing when he rains on said parade.

Honestly, just bring another person in. Whatever Tim Powers says, you need a beholder's eye to tell you where the beauty is.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )