ai-risa asked: I've been letting things that I want to ask you about pile up as my current art block grows longer, so here goes! You always seem to post relatively consistently but, do you ever get blocked? I haven't been able to draw anything for weeks :/ Also, a lot of the time, I'll draw something and think it looks great, but then later I'll look at it again and be completely mortified by it (sometimes after a year, but sometimes just a week or so later) does that ever happen to you?
well…there are certainly days where nothing seems to be coming out right for me, but i can’t really afford to just take “art block” days off, so…when that happens, i just keep doing warmup doodles until i’m able to produce something serviceable. i think that drawing on a very regular basis helps a lot, because it becomes something more normal and natural, and you expect to have some throwaway doodles…when you only draw rarely, i think there’s more self-imposed pressure to create something good every time.
i used to get more serious art blocks in the past because i was worrying too much about what other people would think of my work; the unrealistic need to create something “perfect” was crippling me creatively. even with my sketchbooks, i worried that since people around me liked flipping through them, they needed to be full of mini masterpieces and not quick ideas. it wasn’t until i started drawing some stuff just for myself — things purely for fun, just for the sake of scribbling something onto paper, that i had no intent of showing to anyone — that i was able to start easing myself out of those blocks and draw more interesting things. at some point i also had to realize that you can’t please everyone, so don’t stress out trying to! additionally, every artist has to start somewhere, and learn and improve with every piece they create; no one starts out drawing perfectly and it would be ridiculous for someone else to expect that of you. a lot of long-running manga, especially from younger artists, are a good example of this: you can often compare issue 1 to issue 20 or whatever and notice an amazing improvement in the art, as the artist improved as they went along. but if they had been too afraid to start the manga entirely because they weren’t “good enough,” then the whole thing wouldn’t exist and the artist wouldn’t have been able to hone their skills via experience…and in the long run no one cares that the art in issue 1 wasn’t super amazing top notch anyway.
and also, yes, i hate old work of mine ALL THE TIME, haha. there may not be a single image i’ve made that i can look at and and say i’m 100% proud of it; i can point flaws out in everything, especially my more detailed/complex pieces (which i tend to hate before i’m even finished with them.) i have to remind myself to find things i’m proud of in each picture, though, and not just focus on the inevitable mistakes — which relates to my manga example above. in the end, no one will probably care that a foot was 1mm out of place here, or an arm was a little bit too short there (and anyone that honestly cares that much probably needs a new hobby.) it’s good to be your own worst critic and always find room for improvement, but you can’t let it cripple you either, you know? mistakes are inevitable; just be sure to learn from them and it’s all good.
so in short, i think confidence has a lot to do with art blocks — that’s just my own experiences though, i can’t speak for everyone. the one other thing that hinders my ability to focus sometimes is my environment; if my workspace is cluttered, it’s very difficult for me to be productive. so about once a week, i clean my desk, and at least once per month i clean my entire office up. i’m not a neat freak exactly (the rest of my house is often embarassingly untidy) but there’s a definite link between clutter and depression, and feeling good about my desk being clean makes me more eager to sit down and get some work done!
i hope this is a little useful to you and that you’re able to overcome your art block very soon! good luck!!