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Old 09-30-2012, 11:01 PM   #1
hanzozuken
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Default Kind of a weird question related to drawing...

So I have a random question that goes for everyone here as I want insight from as many perspectives as possible on the subject. The question is "Is it important to draw for yourself? As you all are undoubtedly aware, I do massive amounts of pinup fanart work. Currently, I sell my prints of fanart at 2 different comic book shops and online as well. Considering that I've broadened my reach, I gotten numerous requests for future prints and am currently backlogged for commissions with what appears to be no end in sight. Trust me I am not complaining at this predicament, in fact I am quite happy with it. But lately, when I get home from my retail job, I go straight to my drawing desk or computer and start working on the new artwork until I'm exhausted and then I sleep. This has been going on for about the past 3-4 months. I have no social life anymore because this has been my routine, trying to keep up with the demand. Here is where my question comes into play. I haven't drawn for the simple pleasure of drawing in a long time. Not to say I don't enjoy it but I haven't drawn without any pressure in awhile, not been able to experiment with different mediums or styles or techniques, or work on my comic project. I mean am I being a crybaby for wanting time to draw for myself or should I just change my mentality about it and think that it will eventually happen. Does anyone else feel this way?
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:30 PM   #2
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It sounds like you are experiencing stress, or perhaps less intricate...boredom. Or perhaps a combination of it.

Most likely the other drawing pros of the site can give a better answer, but I could imagine that this would happen when putting your drawing time into a tight schedule and only working on things for other people.

Perhaps you should try putting in half an hour or something where you just pump out some loose sketches at the beginning of each drawing sessions, to clear your head, loosen up and get those initial drawing urges out of the way?
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:38 PM   #3
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Yes, I've felt that way quite a bit. I've been scarce 'round these parts namely due to me doing art for indie games pretty regularly. I was working on 4 only a few weeks ago. Thank goodness 2 of them have been completed and now I'm just juggling the two along with a work schedule and full college schedule.

Time gets tight and flies by really fast, then before you know it, you haven't actually speedpainted regularly in quite awhile. I really miss it. I really want to get back to it. Like with anything, though, you have to make the time for it. You have to be very deliberate. It's hard. At least it's very hard for me. I take on more than I can chew, I think, and work nonstop to the point of not knowing how to relax or take a moment for myself to just think. I do doodle during class, though, and that's kind of refreshing in its own right.

So yeah, I hear ya. Make some time to do something, even if it's very small. If it helps you relax, it's worth it.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:54 AM   #4
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You're not being a cry baby at all <_____> Give yourself some needed rest at the end of the day.

I feel I have to keep doing work for myself, or I run the risk of burning out. I put a very deliberate cap on the amount of work I take at any given time, and make sure I work regular work hours (8 hour days) to avoid spreading myself too thin so that I can have some time to myself for personal work at the end of the day.

It's difficult as a freelance artist, especially if you work from home, to set yourself standard hours that you can turn on and off with. It's hard to turn off work at the end of the day when home is your office. But you owe it to yourself as a professional to do exactly that. For that reason, I purchased myself an office space down town, which I commute to every day at 8, and leave in the afternoon before dinner. I get the entire ride down to get my mind geared up for work, and the entire ride back to wind down from work. When I'm at home, that's my "me" time. What you do with that "me" time is entirely up to you. Except work. No work.

Even if getting an office outside the house is not a possibility, I'd suggest getting a hat, or a sweater, or something that's like--your "work" item. When you put it on, it's all business--but when you take it off, that's it, day is over, work is done for the day. Set yourself standard work hours and stick to them. It really matters, you, your productivity, and your art will be better for it :]

EDIT: I totally missed the part where you said "come home from my retail job" haha! But the point stands <___> set yourself a straight time at then end of the day when you can put the tablet/pencil down and enjoy some time for yourself. If that means time to drawi for yourself, or play viddy games, or enjoy the company of other human beings, or what ever.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
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When it comes to drawing, i take it as a hobby and if i start drawing things for other people'S ideas that don't interest me, it becomes a job and i'll get sick of it. Its partly why i never took art at school, purely because it didn't teach me what i wanted to learn and simply what was on the curriculum which bored me.

Draw what you like and you should have the motivation to stick to it to the end and also have a sense of accomplishment. One of the main reasons why i draw is the satisfaction of doing whatever the hell i want and people praising me for it. You draw something you interested in well and you feel satisfaction, people complement you for it and you feel pride in your work.

Except this isn't the case for me because i'm crap and i have much to learn.
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Old 10-01-2012, 11:56 PM   #6
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Set a schedule for yourself. You're saying you're drawing until you're exausted.

STOP DOING THAT

Draw for three or four hours after your retail job, as an example. The rest of the evening is yours! If you MUST draw on the weekend, only put in eight hours on one day, then take the rest of that day and evening off! Never work on one of the two days if you can avoid it. You need some me time. The drawings will still be there, ya know?

As far as working on your own comic, you work on that as part of the schedule. Comic Tuesdays are the day you work for you, and not anyone else, for example. Maybe Saturdays, the day you work on art for a day.

Remember, all this work you're cranking out for other people can be managed just like everything else. Trust me, if people want a piece done by you, they will wait. You're not being a crybaby, you're just overworking yourself. Take a break, or you'll suffer burnout, and you'll never get your comic done.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser18
It sounds like you are experiencing stress, or perhaps less intricate...boredom. Or perhaps a combination of it.
Perhaps you should try putting in half an hour or something where you just pump out some loose sketches at the beginning of each drawing sessions, to clear your head, loosen up and get those initial drawing urges out of the way?
I wouldn't say stress but moreso boredom. Usually when I do fanart characters, it's for characters I like so I feel more jazzed doing the piece. If you saw my sketchbook recently, Hawkman was a request piece. I don't care for the character but I figure there is an audience out there for the character so I do it hoping that someone will see it and want to see what else I can do.
As far as the sketching process at the beginning of a drawing session, I do actually do that but on pieces that are on the backburner, I loosen up sketching and refining them more as a way of warming up. But at the end of the day those are sketched again for future print ideas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wigz
Yes, I've felt that way quite a bit. I've been scarce 'round these parts namely due to me doing art for indie games pretty regularly. I was working on 4 only a few weeks ago. Thank goodness 2 of them have been completed and now I'm just juggling the two along with a work schedule and full college schedule.
Question I have for you then since you do work in industry, obviously you are not working on characters that you have an affection for right away so does it take away your urge to draw or does it diminish? Or is the simple fact that you are getting paid to draw supercede any notion that you have of it "not being fun"?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manamaraya
Even if getting an office outside the house is not a possibility, I'd suggest getting a hat, or a sweater, or something that's like--your "work" item. When you put it on, it's all business--but when you take it off, that's it, day is over, work is done for the day. Set yourself standard work hours and stick to them. It really matters, you, your productivity, and your art will be better for it :]
Yeah getting a separate office space is out of the question right now. But as far as your advice, I actually have done so without know. I have a hat that I almost always wear when I'm in front of my drawing desk or computer and when I take it off that is usually when I'm done drawing. But thanks because I will now refer to it as my work hat!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnway
Draw what you like and you should have the motivation to stick to it to the end and also have a sense of accomplishment. One of the main reasons why i draw is the satisfaction of doing whatever the hell i want and people praising me for it. You draw something you interested in well and you feel satisfaction, people complement you for it and you feel pride in your work.
To a certain extent I am doing that. I like drawing in comic book style and a large part of my requests are for my comic style. People do praise my work but I actually don't draw for that reason. Primarily the reason I draw is because I love to and I want someone to recognize that work and offer me a job doing that all day regardless of what I might have to draw. It beats working retail and dealing with idiotic people all day. Plus it allows me to relax and tune out the world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Az
Set a schedule for yourself. You're saying you're drawing until you're exausted.

STOP DOING THAT

Draw for three or four hours after your retail job, as an example. The rest of the evening is yours! If you MUST draw on the weekend, only put in eight hours on one day, then take the rest of that day and evening off! Never work on one of the two days if you can avoid it. You need some me time. The drawings will still be there, ya know?

As far as working on your own comic, you work on that as part of the schedule. Comic Tuesdays are the day you work for you, and not anyone else, for example. Maybe Saturdays, the day you work on art for a day.

Remember, all this work you're cranking out for other people can be managed just like everything else. Trust me, if people want a piece done by you, they will wait. You're not being a crybaby, you're just overworking yourself. Take a break, or you'll suffer burnout, and you'll never get your comic done.
Easier said than done. Here's the main gripe with the whole situation. As stated I work retail. I don't mind it, really I don't. I've worked retail all my life so I'm used to doing that. But I want to draw for a living as most artists do. The problem that comes into play is that I don't make my own schedule. My schedule is ever rotating so I don't have set days off nor a set hour schedule. It's normally sporadic and chaotic. I only recently told them that I don't want to open which means that I would have to wake up at 5:30am to get to work. I am an insomniac, always have been. And before people start saying take sleeping pills, I have. But to no effect and when they do work I am not myself. Normally I am loud and joking at work but when I take pills I am a different person and people see that. But that all aside, I have taken me time usually an hour before I try to sleep. The only reason why I am pushing myself so hard is because I want to improve to the point that I can show my portfolio off and hopefully get hired someplace. I personally feel my art is not where it needs to be and as such that's why I'm drawing feverishly. As you yourself said before in my sketchbook, I should do realism pieces more and actually that has been an itch i want to scratch but it does take me awhile to do a piece like that because of my meticulous nature and if I would go down that road I feel that I would not get as many pieces out that would sell at comic stores and online. But to be honest I never thought of the idea of setting a single day aside for my comic project and just ignore the other projects for that time. I will have to do that. Thanks to all for the insight and if someone else has advice feel free to tell me or thoughts.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanzozuken
The only reason why I am pushing myself so hard is because I want to improve to the point that I can show my portfolio off and hopefully get hired someplace. I personally feel my art is not where it needs to be and as such that's why I'm drawing feverishly.
I really admire you, as an artist, and this quote right here is what resonates the most with me.
I should consider myself lucky enough to not have the kind of workload that you have, and I guess the grass is always greener on the other side, because I would like to be able to get commissions and such like you do. But even so, what Professor said is true: you need to make time for you.
I know how retail life is (I've done it, my wife is currently doing it, and I think a lot of the people here have, too), and I know it's hard to set a fixed drawing/working/relaxing schedule. In that case, I say take it as it comes to you. For example, you get scheduled for 9 to 1 on Monday. When you get home after work, work on your commissioned pieces for a couple hours (let's say 3-4 hours. You should be done at 6ish), then take the rest of the day to do whatever the hell you want, without pressures.
Your pencil work is amazing, and your comic style is great. If people are praising you for it, you're halfway there. Keep doing what you're doing, and don't kill yourself trying to please others. Echoing what Professor said, if they really want a piece by you, they will wait. If not, **** 'em.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:29 PM   #9
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I can definitely relate.

For a while now, but the last 5 or 6 months particularly, I've felt this a lot. I do a ton of coloring for comics, but that's the point where I started doing some work for Zenescope and had to start doing an extra 12 or so pages every couple of weeks pretty regularly. That's all on top of working a day job about 32 hours/4 days a week. Then, we had a big project at work, and I was coming in 40 hours/5 days a week. I was easily working 60-70 hour weeks during this time. It's only just now sort of slowed down and I've gotten back to my regular work schedule, but it's still tough.

My situation is different from yours since I'm doing coloring in addition to my day job, so I almost never draw at all. I enjoy coloring a lot, but there are also other things I'd like to do, but I don't feel like I have the time.

Also, I moved the New Jersey when I went to the Kubert school, and have stayed up here since graduating. All the people I knew were from the school and have moved away. I'm not a very outgoing person normally, and I am the only employee at my day job, so I don't really have the opportunity to meet new people. I literally go to work, come home, work, then sleep. All the things I do for fun, which I don't have much time for, are solitary activities so yeah...

Like you, I think it's awesome that I'm getting as much work as I am, but it feels like I've had to sacrifice everything else in my life to feel even moderately successful at what I'm doing.
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Old 10-06-2012, 11:18 AM   #10
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I guess it all comes down to enjoying anything you do draw. If you don't enjoy churning out those fanart drawings, then you have to find a way to enjoy it again. Try something new, and maybe take a break from the commissioned work for a bit, or like some people already mentioned, make a schedule for yourself to limit your stress. Take a hour per day to do your own thing at least, and enjoy the process of creating again. If you want a portfolio that's worthy, then that's your aim. What should your portfolio contain? What skills do you need? Work towards your goals to prevent feeling like your on standstill. Obviously one can never improve quick enough, but by tackling the things we dislike (leaving your comfortzones) you'll improve the fastest and it will bring you results you have never seen before.
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