Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

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Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Alitogata » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:43 am

Have you ever thought, that your sketches are not that good? ( comparing them with other peoples' sketches)
Have you ever felt that other people sketch better than you do, that you are not that skilled enough, that you make very little progress on drawing and sketching, that you haven't find your personal artistic style yet, etc etc etc.. ???

Because these are some of the thoughts I do sometimes, and I feel disappointed and get angry with myself for not trying enough.. Have you ever feel this way and how do you deal with the feel of being inadequate? ( if you ever felt this way of course).
:(
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby mdmattin » Sat Aug 23, 2014 4:13 pm

Yes, I have felt that way, along with many other mind games that distracted me from doing what I really wanted to do, namely, draw! This affected me much more when I was younger - I had to work through a lot of that stuff to get to a point where I just do it for the love of it, not caring too much how it compares with other people's work. There is no doubt that other people sketch better than I do, but that's a good thing - I get to learn from them! I do sometimes wish I was better or was progressing faster, but at this point in my life I'm realistic about my strengths and weaknesses and willing to just keep on plugging along and improving incrementally.
One's personal style is just something that evolves and changes with time - it's something you discover/create though the process of observing, feeling, learning, and expressing.
That said, that feeling of dissatisfaction never goes away - I still feel a kind of anguish when I see something beautiful and know it is beyond my ability to capture it in a sketch - but that's a good thing too - it keeps us motivated to work and learn.
So, I would say, you are on the right track, and in good company with many other artists, even the great ones. They are banging their heads against their own walls!
Don't let those feelings discourage you, but just keep at it and take every opportunity to learn and observe.
Matthew
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby RajeshS » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:13 pm

Hi - interesting question!

I do not - for two reasons I think:

I personally don't know any other sketcher yet. I have online friends and better artists like you and others here - but in my personal space I don't get to meet anyone

On the internet - yes I see tons of better artists. But what can I do about it. I always tell people - and not about just art - just about anything - sports, work related etc - that you most likely will always meet a person who is better than you!

Even the great Roger Federer, for example, faces competition - so who am I not to!

The only solution I guess is to always look at if we are improving. And consequently learn from others than get into the trap of feeling insecure

Just my thought

Please note that I am just an amateur and a hobbyist - so maybe I views are limited

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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Andre Jute » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:11 pm

I take the view that anyone who hasn't failed yet, and doesn't fail regularly, isn't trying hard enough. But that isn't cause for self-pity and insecurity. It is cause for rejoicing, because you can learn from failure, and anyway it is a sign that you're stretching yourself. Beyond that, though I smile and nod politely, I don't really care what people think of what I do. It is writing the book, painting the view, producing the play, because I want it, that matters, not what anyone else thinks. It is an attitude that has served me well in all the arts I've practiced, and in business.

There's something else. Success as an artist depends not so much on talent, though it helps to have a little, but on a consistent, persistent, persevering long-term regime of hard work. If you work fourteen hours a day, seven days a week, you don't have time for destructive self-pity, which is the plentiful by-product of giving in to feelings of insecurity.
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Elva » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:48 am

I've been drawing and painting for many years ... I think the vast majority of artists feel inadequate at one time or another and some seem to always feel inadequate. It is such a pity when we let those thoughts get in our way. I really like what Andre wrote:
I take the view that anyone who hasn't failed yet, and doesn't fail regularly, isn't trying hard enough. But that isn't cause for self-pity and insecurity. It is cause for rejoicing, because you can learn from failure, and anyway it is a sign that you're stretching yourself.


I used to think I should try to make every drawing I did be a success. I grew so much faster when I learned to allow myself to fall flat on my face. If one doesn't stretch a little (and make mistakes) one stays too safe. So when you are feeling insecure about what you are doing remember to sit back and take pride that you are trying, that you are growing, even when you are stumbling along the way. Sometimes I sketch on really crappy paper (the backs of envelopes, etc.) because it allows me extra freedom. I'm exploring. I'm not worrying about the end result; instead I'm just enjoying the process.

And when you look at other people's sketches and compare yours to theirs remember they usually are showing you their best. My sketchbook is full of failed sketches. I often draw a line through them and try not to dwell on what a klutz I can be. Instead I take joy in the ones that work, ...... and those are the ones I post. And in recent years I even enjoy some of the klutzy ones because they still bring back memories of the moment (most of my sketches are field sketches trying to capture things I see in nature).

As a side note, I find it interesting that Rajesh has grown so much even though his contact with other artists has been an internet process. For me I'm mostly self taught, but I did attend a few workshops. Mostly I looked at examples of what I admired and struggled on. I had some contact with other artists but I am seldom around any that are doing what interests me. The evening I discovered nature art on the internet was such an eyeopener for me. Suddenly I found myself actually communicating with kindred spirits.
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby RajeshS » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:53 am

Hi Alitogata - sorry had to leave my message incomplete without having said all that was on my mind! I have a 6 yr old daughter - who literally is attached to me on weekends and when I am at home :)

I wanted to say - that when I see your drawing, your paint and color skills and I visited your blog to see the range of subjects you deal with ---- just imagine how much humbled a person like me can feel!

But in the very short time I got to see your work - two things stuck to my mind:

1. The perspective you got on that hand pump - you know that 3rd vanishing point looking down -and-
2. The wine cellar's light on the ceiling - and how it illuminated everything

Those two images are imprinted on my brain - and I guess that is what has happened to me ever since I joined this forum - that opened me to sketching

Everywhere I looked - I found artists - like you - several notches and some even on different orbits - than where I was

Yet - when I look at my own art - I look to see if I could bring to it what I learnt from all of them rather than looking at all the errors in it

So the two points I listed - are the ones I will one day try to bring in my work... someday !

In fact it will - if anything - make me more secure :) :) I would have improved if I can do those two things :)

Just one more thing: Aside from the pure art talent - there is another form of "insecurity" I could easily fall prey to. And that is knowledge about art in general. You look at the likes of Rebecca, Andre, Matthew.. to name a few. I just feel like a kindergarten kid!!

I feel unaware of every word they say. I should be putting my head into the sand like an ostrich and hiding myself :) Yet I show up on the forum! Because I just have to admit and live with it

rajesh

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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Alitogata » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:20 pm

I want to thank you for your immediate and sincere responses. I think that is not easy for artistic people to open up and talk about their feelings.
I don't have either any connection with local artists' communities. I'm sure there are other people sketching here but I don't know where I can meet them, as there are no local sites, forums, blogs etc. to gather local artists. So urban sketching, watercolor paintings etc is currently a lonely and very personal way of expression, and feelings of inadequacy and any kind of insecurities are things that I have no one to share or talk about.

Is not a coincidence that artists used to gather in groups in the past. Most influential artistic movements didn't come up from loner artists but from artistic groups.

I suppose that most artists have similar feelings, I say this to myself when I feel this way, but then these feelings overwhelm me and I fall in a state of artistic depression. You know.. Loads of questions to my self.
What am I doing here?
There are better and more accomplished artists than me.
Have I said something of importance with this painting or I just copy cut what other's have already said better?
Is there any meaning on all these?
Do I express my self or just repeat influences?
Should I go to my bed, fall under covers and stay there all day perhaps?? :lol:

I know and I keep repeat to my self that for sure the works of art that I admire and their high level I want to achieve, are in most of cases the best of works that each artist has to share. But then my mind tells me that is a really hard way to achieve other people's best and keep on be my own artistic self. In other words what "eats" me is the question on what is my own creative expression and how can I achieve other people's technical milestones and still be myself.. ( If I didn't write it well and this is not comprehensible I apologize in advance... :oops: ). And then I feel inadequate like the transmission between what I think and what I do has some kind of insertions.

Anyway.. I don't know if this is relevant to the discussion, but for me the need of expression is something that either you have it inside you or you don't. And if you have it inside you, you either have to find a way to get it out effectively, clearly and timely ( ?) or you die, there is no middle ground in this.(I don't know if you feel this way too.. ) I think that this is the definition of word art ( or artistry) . There are no artists.. there are only desperately expressive persons.

I paint and sketch every day, and this friend of mine who insisted to upload my works online in order to meet other people and get a feedback was very right.. I'm thankful if anything to him, for giving me the chance to meet nice people like you and be member of this so mature ( this is the right word) artistic community.

Thank you all for your support .. :)

P.S .. there are more sketches to upload and I want your feedback because some of them where quite tricky... but this week was the peak of holidays and no one is here and the there is no scanner to scan them and my camera is dead. Everybody left city..empty roads, closed stores, nobody is here.. Is really quite now..
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby johunter » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:16 pm

Well, I am really as much of a beginner as you can be but yes I have these feelings all the time, and if I let them they stop me from making any sort of art. As I've grown older I appreciate the need for practice and constructive but not overly harsh criticism of my own work. If I compare myself to my favourite artists I have to remember the time it's taken for them to get where they are (years or decades). I think if you can stand back and look at your work as objectively as you can you will see your own personal "signature" to your art, even if you are heavily influenced by other sources. Once you can start identifying things that identify your art as yours you can use that as a way of growing and nurturing it. I think it's there in all our art, but sometimes we just don't notice it.
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby RajeshS » Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:12 pm

Well said Joe well said!

You put it most compactly - what I wanted to say!

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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Janmew » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:27 pm

I look at the art that is displayed here on this forum alone and I am always in awe. I constantly wish I could sketch like some of the people on here .... you included, Alitogata. And Rajesh! And the New Zealand Sketcher :) I wish I could do that style of art because it is SO beautiful and you are all SO good at it, in my opinion. But I can't. My own style is completely different than most of what is on here and I have learned that that is what I do and how I do it, and I must just enjoy viewing what you all do rather than bemoan the fact that I can't sketch that way. But that doesn't mean I'm not my own worst critic, but I judge my art against my art. When I say I made a very bad drawing it's because I've judged it against what I've produced in the past. I don't compare to anyone else and say mine is bad because yours is so good. If one of mine is "bad" it's because others of mine are much better than it. Of course art is not stagnant either. We all progress and change and grow. How I draw now compared to how I drew before will always be different, perhaps not dramatically so, but different. I also know my limitations ... I know what I "can't do". And again, those limitations are based on my own skillset, not on a comparison of my art to someone else's art. But I do regularly challenge those limitations by trying to do those things I know I can't do. And now and then I surprise myself. My recent progress with the water and seafoam is a prime example of that. Another is the fact that I know perfectly well that I cannot draw human faces, yet I continue to try and I have in my portfolio a facial drawing that is one of my absolute favourites among all my art. (perhaps that was a fluke? LOL)

So what I'm really saying is I admire and envy other artists who can do styles that I cannot, but I don't compare or judge myself against their art, only against myself. I am completely self taught. I have never taken any lessons. I do have it in my genes, I come from an artistic family, but when I decided to paint, and then when I decided to draw, I picked up my tools and did what felt natural to me to do, not what anyone showed me how to do. Since then I have done some research here and there, picked up pointers along the way, kept what works for me and discarded what doesn't. Like Rajesh, I am not a member of any group locally so I have no contact with other artists in my real world, only here on the internet.

And as for this ....

Anyway.. I don't know if this is relevant to the discussion, but for me the need of expression is something that either you have it inside you or you don't. And if you have it inside you, you either have to find a way to get it out effectively, clearly and timely ( ?) or you die, there is no middle ground in this.(I don't know if you feel this way too.. ) I think that this is the definition of word art ( or artistry) . There are no artists.. there are only desperately expressive persons.


I totally agree! I am a writer, a poet, and artist. I wrote poetry for years before I picked up my pencil to draw. As a poet I always said "I write because I have to write. Because I will explode if I don't". My poetic muse took a permanent vacation and I was stuck in limbo for a while with no vehicle of expression (it wasn't a nice time!) until I picked up my pencils that had been dormant for 20 years I was then able to express again, creatively, artistically, just in a different form. Many of the poets I met along the way talked about having this same need to write, need to express, and I think it is something that is true for all avenues of the arts. I think those of us with artistic souls are all the same like that. :D
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby RajeshS » Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:36 pm

Thanks Janmew - I am so honored you say that! This is first time I'm hearing someone say she/he wishes he could sketch like me!!

On the other hand - I personally do compare my art with others - I personally feel it is okay - so long as I attempt to learn from it and improve

If you did feel that my sketches are good - then actually there are elements of Russ there, some of Matthew (the overstatements, multiple lines) and many others I saw on the web and books

I don't think I am original - its a mix of so many impressions on my mind of what I have seen

So I guess thats how I got where I am - learning from others and incorporating it

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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Elva » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:50 am

I don't think I am original - its a mix of so many impressions on my mind of what I have seen


Hi Rajesh .... I'm going to take exception to that statement!. You are definitely original.

Unless an artist has lived in a plain cell all their life they have been influenced by other's work.

I think an artist is 'original' when they have a style that others recognize as theirs. You definitely have that. When I look at your work I see a special charm ... I know right away it is your work. It take awhile for an artist to develop their own style. You've put the work in and the results are lovely.
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby mpainter » Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:31 am

My current workflow.
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Andre Jute » Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:06 am

Exactly. I've been an artist all my life and haven't seen any other viable plan. Insecurity is a waste of energy. The thin-skinned should stay out of the arts. But the good news is that if for the first twenty years or so you don't bother with what people think, you actually stand a chance of developing an individual style and amounting to something lasting.
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Re: Artistic insecurities ( ??? )

Postby Alitogata » Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Have you ever thought that art shows the character of each individual? Something like the thing that they say about driving.
Do you think i.e that someone who is abstractive in his life will be same abstractive in his paintings, or a cornerist ( as Andre says) if in his/her life sticks with the details?
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