Hi! I'm a big fan and I have a strange ask if you don't mind answering it. I'm an artist myself; I'm making a portfolio for art school but lately it's been difficult for me to produce work. I feel intimidated to start sketchbooks in fear of messing up and digital art because I suck at it. Anything else I put too much thought into planning and getting it right the first try that I end up making nothing. Do you have any tips on how to overcome what I'm going through? Has it happened to you before?
Strangely, I have felt this numerous times. Right now especially. It’s kind of like art block, but I think its more about fear of ‘making mistakes’ and being in a rut of creativity.
As a kid, I used to draw RELENTLESSLY. All day, everyday, whenever I could, wherever I could: in class, in textbooks, in exercise books. It didn’t matter. I was always drawing from this constant stream of seemingly endless creativity and imagination. I loved it.
When I first picked up watercolour, I decided to get a sketchbook so I could start sketching pictures and practicing watercolour by painting things, not really putting much planning or thought into it. I would just sketch and practice freely in this sketchbook, because I wanted to document my progression, mistakes, successes, experiments – all of it!
Then when that one was finished, I started my next one, my ‘2016′ one. And with every sketchbook since, I have increasingly become more careful with my ‘sketches.’ These sketchbooks are becoming less of a sketchbook, and more like an artbook. It’s gotten to that point where I’m scared of messing up a sketch and it’s terrifying. I admit, it’s also because all of a sudden I feel this pressure to show not stuff-up, and hide my flaws. I even sometimes plan or think out what I’m going to draw, and I hate that, because it’s not my natural workflow. Sometimes, like you, I can’t get it right so I end up making nothing too, and that frustrates me so DAMN much!
To tackle it, recently I’ve decided to step back a bit, and start from scratch, to sketch like I used to as a kid. I bought a crappy little small sketchbook, and I’ve been doing just quick pencil sketches and trying to let my mind run free like it used to. I give myself a few hours to plug in, and just draw whatever in hopes I can get over my fear of ‘being perfect’ and of making mistakes. These are after all, meant to be sketches. My mind isn’t as wild as it used to, its legs are maybe a bit worn out from not exercising as much.
But, I think if you, and I, keep exercising our creative brains again and give ourselves the time to let them wander through pencil and paper, we can start filling up those sketchbooks again like we used to!