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What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

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default What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Dududu on 13/05/13, 01:53 am

HELLO, I don't have any art to show but I have an art related question I'm sure we can all relate to.

What do you do when you are being burdened by the monster that is art block?


My issue;
Personally it's not exactly art block as it is more of a feeling of disconnection with what I draw and so the figures come out looking kind of stale and dull.

And after seeing some of the characters in my "Your preferred heroine" topic I noticed people seem to have a pretty close connection with their characters and think of them as being very important.

I used to feel that way about the people I came up with, but somewhere along the line they all died and so did my feelings and ability to feel for them.
SO WHAT IS YOUR SECRET? How have you kept that connection with your art?

And if you find yourself stuck, what do you do?

I'll just show some of my art and you'll understand what I mean; [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It's not an issue of her anatomy being out of whack or whatever, I'm aware my abilities aren't completely up to scratch, it's just that she's so boring and I hate her for no reason.

OHYEAH she's naked because that's generally how I start my sketches... I'm not a pervert- well... WELL I AM, but that's not the reason it's just easier to draw this way for me. Clothes are last thing to sketch before line art - then I can test out lots of different style without erasing work when I hate what I've drawn.

ANY ADVICE IS APPRECIATED, OR JUST COMPLAIN HERE WITH ME! IT'S ALL GOOD!

Sorry if this is just an eyesore of a topic!


Last edited by Dududu on 13/05/13, 06:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by KawaiiMess on 13/05/13, 08:32 am

Go on a walk. Cook. Do something to take your mind off trying to force out something, and go doodle something else. Then, study some basics and roll back into it again.
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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Camembert on 13/05/13, 12:24 pm

In my situation I get stuck because I wasn't able to put on paper (or PS) everything that I wanted to, and it usually happens because I draw on impulse then get sick of drawing quickly. For me, listening to music that is relevant to the theme I'm trying to
portray or looking at other people's work really helps... In other
words, I search for inspiration. From the beginning I like to look at art more than draw it.

The more solid the image is in my mind, the more I like it. Having a
picture I'm not sure about is okay, but it's like trying to like
somebody you don't know at all.

When it comes to connecting with your own character, there are two important things for me;
1. Drawing something/someone that I will like. It may mean you have to draw crazy unreal or even just some Mary Sue like characters, but for me drawing something that interests me then going into a fantasy world creating a very vague personality that will make me like them a little more helps.
2. Not getting lazy with colour, accessories, clothing, expressions, poses. I think that the character becomes much better in one's mind with colour, the accessories we want to see on them, with clothes we wouldn't buy. A good pose will always add character or at last make them look cooler and one's expression is like an advertisement of their character. The feeling of a good finished product will always make the character more likable.

In saying all this, I don't like drawing my own characters, much less creating them (I don't have the requisite depth, hahaha). I like to draw fan art more often, and I find that I connect with a picture/landscape more than the character themselves... It sure is tricky...
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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Dududu on 13/05/13, 06:52 pm

Camembert wrote:In my situation I get stuck because I wasn't able to put on paper (or PS) everything that I wanted to, and it usually happens because I draw on impulse then get sick of drawing quickly. For me, listening to music that is relevant to the theme I'm trying to
portray or looking at other people's work really helps... In other
words, I search for inspiration. From the beginning I like to look at art more than draw it.

The more solid the image is in my mind, the more I like it. Having a
picture I'm not sure about is okay, but it's like trying to like
somebody you don't know at all.

When it comes to connecting with your own character, there are two important things for me;
1. Drawing something/someone that I will like. It may mean you have to draw crazy unreal or even just some Mary Sue like characters, but for me drawing something that interests me then going into a fantasy world creating a very vague personality that will make me like them a little more helps.
2. Not getting lazy with colour, accessories, clothing, expressions, poses. I think that the character becomes much better in one's mind with colour, the accessories we want to see on them, with clothes we wouldn't buy. A good pose will always add character or at last make them look cooler and one's expression is like an advertisement of their character. The feeling of a good finished product will always make the character more likable.

In saying all this, I don't like drawing my own characters, much less creating them (I don't have the requisite depth, hahaha). I like to draw fan art more often, and I find that I connect with a picture/landscape more than the character themselves... It sure is tricky...

Thank you so much for such your input!

What you said about liking your character really kind of hit me, because I think it's something I've been lacking. I keep trying to force these characters out that I hope will be appealing to others (Which is extra dumb since I don't really know anyone to share them with in the first place!), I used to always rant at one of my friends about always drawing what you love to reduce stress and it seems I needed to hear it myself.

Worrying about unoriginality and Mary-sues is so time consuming and BLEH, I think I might just go and draw all the things I like in one character and see what happens, just for the hell of it.

I've never really been that into fan art (I do love fan art though, I have folders dedicated to all sorts of things... But I hardly draw anything myself derp) , I used to be a huge OC crazed roleplayer and so that's why I'm a little extra unnerved that I can't stick with anything at the moment. I really just need to chillax a bit jeez.

What you said really helped and made me think about what I am doing in my brain when I am trying to draw. THANKS A BUNCH, IT MEANS A LOT TO ME.

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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Dududu on 13/05/13, 06:57 pm

KawaiiMess wrote:Go on a walk. Cook. Do something to take your mind off trying to force out something, and go doodle something else. Then, study some basics and roll back into it again.

I hate it when answers are simple but you have such a good point, siiigghh. Forcing yourself to draw is never fun, you'd think after all these years I'd know that enough by now!

Seems clear I really just have to find something to calm my brain down when I get it worked up over these tedious things, but at the same time I have to try and not like, go for a walk and then decide to avoid it for good. AURGH I have such bad habits.

BUT YES! Thank you a lot for your advice.




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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Camembert on 13/05/13, 08:49 pm

Dududu wrote:Thank you so much for such your input!

What you said about liking your character really kind of hit me, because I think it's something I've been lacking. I keep trying to force these characters out that I hope will be appealing to others (Which is extra dumb since I don't really know anyone to share them with in the first place!), I used to always rant at one of my friends about always drawing what you love to reduce stress and it seems I needed to hear it myself.

Worrying about unoriginality and Mary-sues is so time consuming and BLEH, I think I might just go and draw all the things I like in one character and see what happens, just for the hell of it.

I've never really been that into fan art (I do love fan art though, I have folders dedicated to all sorts of things... But I hardly draw anything myself derp) , I used to be a huge OC crazed roleplayer and so that's why I'm a little extra unnerved that I can't stick with anything at the moment. I really just need to chillax a bit jeez.

What you said really helped and made me think about what I am doing in my brain when I am trying to draw. THANKS A BUNCH, IT MEANS A LOT TO ME.

Happy I helped with something...

Drawing is fun because you can put to paper whatever you want, and a lot of the time people don't find the secret story behind a picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but it's practically a different thousand from person to person. Art is all about interpretation after all... So I just draw everything without hesitation (though the quality suffers, hahaha).

Either way, good luck with your art! Though from what I saw in the piece you linked us to, you won't need it! : D
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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Loki666 on 13/05/13, 09:17 pm

When I have art block, I usually daydream. I think about the characters that I want to draw, put them in different situation and watch how they would react. That or I go watch some anime or read manga and do the same thing: somehow insert the character into the story line and see how they would react. Sometimes, that brings out new characters and it makes them feel alive to me ^w^

As for connecting with the characters you draw.... I find it important to make sure they feel alive in your mind before drawing them, like they could just pop out of your mind and live in the real world with you kinda feeling or like an imaginary friend :3. Of course, what Camembert said is important, but even if I draw everything I like in a character, they don't feel complete if they don't feel alive in my mind. Also, asking myself questions like"What situation are they in? What would their reaction be? If it was just posing for a picture, what pose would they want to be in?" and then answering them while I'm in the shoes of my character that I want to draw really helps me connect with what I draw :3 I guess to sum up everything that I said..... "Think like how your character would think, and then draw."

I hope you understood this crazyness that is called my mind xD
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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Dududu on 14/05/13, 01:38 am

Loki666 wrote:When I have art block, I usually daydream. I think about the characters that I want to draw, put them in different situation and watch how they would react. That or I go watch some anime or read manga and do the same thing: somehow insert the character into the story line and see how they would react. Sometimes, that brings out new characters and it makes them feel alive to me ^w^

As for connecting with the characters you draw.... I find it important to make sure they feel alive in your mind before drawing them, like they could just pop out of your mind and live in the real world with you kinda feeling or like an imaginary friend :3. Of course, what Camembert said is important, but even if I draw everything I like in a character, they don't feel complete if they don't feel alive in my mind. Also, asking myself questions like"What situation are they in? What would their reaction be? If it was just posing for a picture, what pose would they want to be in?" and then answering them while I'm in the shoes of my character that I want to draw really helps me connect with what I draw :3 I guess to sum up everything that I said..... "Think like how your character would think, and then draw."

I hope you understood this crazyness that is called my mind xD

I think what I need to do is just, like, absorb your brain. COME HERE, DON'T WORRY, IT WONT HURT.

What you just described is pretty much exactly how I used to go about well, life really. If I wasn't drawing my characters I was thinking about them and their lives. I need to get connected to that kind of thinking again, LEND ME YOUR ABILITIES. NYERGH, Just let me.. bite your brain a little bit.

I might go and look at some of my oldoldoldoldold characters and see if they set off any sparks.

I might go to bed early and try and daydream a story up. Or maybe I'll watch a movie or start a new anime see if that helps like you said.

Thank you for sharing your crazy daydream brain. It made me happy to hear about how you think about your characters and whatnot.

THANK YOU! MY HEART IS FULL OF HAPPIES.

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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Dududu on 14/05/13, 02:01 am

I JUST GOTTA SAY I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.

I feel more inspired already.

Like this;

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Post by Loki666 on 14/05/13, 08:37 am

Dududu wrote:

I think what I need to do is just, like, absorb your brain. COME HERE, DON'T WORRY, IT WONT HURT.

What you just described is pretty much exactly how I used to go about well, life really. If I wasn't drawing my characters I was thinking about them and their lives. I need to get connected to that kind of thinking again, LEND ME YOUR ABILITIES. NYERGH, Just let me.. bite your brain a little bit.

I might go and look at some of my oldoldoldoldold characters and see if they set off any sparks.

I might go to bed early and try and daydream a story up. Or maybe I'll watch a movie or start a new anime see if that helps like you said.

Thank you for sharing your crazy daydream brain. It made me happy to hear about how you think about your characters and whatnot.

THANK YOU! MY HEART IS FULL OF HAPPIES.
NO! MY BRAIN!!<(¬.¬<) I'm not sharing any part of it with you. My smartness and crazyness contaminated this brain, so you can't have any. Also, I would always be super bored without it D: But you can always make a copy of my brain [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

I think you can get back that ability. It's just like creating imaginary friends [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Once you start thinking about them and that you get used to it, it just happens naturally (at least, that's my case >w<)

どういたしまして。 [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
I hope that daydreaming or watching anime helps you :3
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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by billies on 15/05/13, 12:54 am

Hmmm I don't often get into artblock because I force myself to draw everyday- and if something comes out bad I just write it off as practice and think I will do a better job tomorrow.
But there are definitely times when I feel like I'm blocked.
As for making up characters, I usually make up a story first for them and use that story as a basis for what they will look like. If I don't make a story first, then I think about physical traits that could look interesting together and do a lot of test-sketches.

Ways I get myself to draw when I don't feel like it:
1. Keep an inspiration folder
Whenever I see an image I like, I dump it in a folder on my computer. If I'm feeling unmotivated/uninspired, I go through this folder and go "WOAH I WANNA DRAW LIKE THIS" and it helps me get ideas.

2. Experiment and doodle
Sometimes I try out a new tool or technique to draw because trying out new things excite me. You can get a lot of happy accidents while trying out traditional mediums or a photoshop brush you never used before. Also the experiment mindset gets rid of perfectionist pressure.

Character Design Tips:
1. Think about back-story
Doesn't have to be complicated, even a one-line plot will do- but the more history you make for a character the more attached you'll be to that character. Think about his/her motives, likes, dislikes, hobbies, environment, etc. It helps a lot if you create other characters that interact with him/her.

2. Attention to detail
Since you can get as imaginative as you want with characters, there are so many things you can do to make an interesting character.
Think about all the different ways you can draw that character's eyes, hands, body shape, etc. Then think about the way they're dressed and accessories they can have. Try out different color schemes.
Back-story can play a big part in how they look- maybe they have a scar or a sentimental object they keep with them all the time because of something that happened to them in their past.
An inspiration folder is a great for character design- I have one for fashion and it helps me think of clothes for a character. You can look at the ways other people draw bodies and it can give you great ideas!


Creating characters can be super enjoyable. It's your chance to mash up a bunch of things you find interesting into a person you make up, and then you have power over how their life plays out! /cue evil laughter/
Have fun with it k!
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default Re: What do you do when you're stuck in artblock?

Post by Dududu on 15/05/13, 04:43 pm

billies wrote:Hmmm I don't often get into artblock because I force myself to draw everyday- and if something comes out bad I just write it off as practice and think I will do a better job tomorrow.
But there are definitely times when I feel like I'm blocked.
As for making up characters, I usually make up a story first for them and use that story as a basis for what they will look like. If I don't make a story first, then I think about physical traits that could look interesting together and do a lot of test-sketches.

Ways I get myself to draw when I don't feel like it:
1. Keep an inspiration folder
Whenever I see an image I like, I dump it in a folder on my computer. If I'm feeling unmotivated/uninspired, I go through this folder and go "WOAH I WANNA DRAW LIKE THIS" and it helps me get ideas.

2. Experiment and doodle
Sometimes I try out a new tool or technique to draw because trying out new things excite me. You can get a lot of happy accidents while trying out traditional mediums or a photoshop brush you never used before. Also the experiment mindset gets rid of perfectionist pressure.

Character Design Tips:
1. Think about back-story
Doesn't have to be complicated, even a one-line plot will do- but the more history you make for a character the more attached you'll be to that character. Think about his/her motives, likes, dislikes, hobbies, environment, etc. It helps a lot if you create other characters that interact with him/her.

2. Attention to detail
Since you can get as imaginative as you want with characters, there are so many things you can do to make an interesting character.
Think about all the different ways you can draw that character's eyes, hands, body shape, etc. Then think about the way they're dressed and accessories they can have. Try out different color schemes.
Back-story can play a big part in how they look- maybe they have a scar or a sentimental object they keep with them all the time because of something that happened to them in their past.
An inspiration folder is a great for character design- I have one for fashion and it helps me think of clothes for a character. You can look at the ways other people draw bodies and it can give you great ideas!


Creating characters can be super enjoyable. It's your chance to mash up a bunch of things you find interesting into a person you make up, and then you have power over how their life plays out! /cue evil laughter/
Have fun with it k!

I totally have an inspiration folder!

WELL, it might as well be, it started off as a 'People' folder; I like photos of people. But then I just added pretty photos and now it's mostly made up of pictures of budgies and Sigourney Weaver. But looking through it now it has given me ideas; EURGH, seriously if I'm going to make these folders I need to actually use them. COME ON BRAIN, get with it.

I love messing around with different media when I draw off the computer, but you know I've never really experimented much on it. It's sometimes hard to remember that within the graphic art medium there's more then just drawing using a tablet and an art program.

GAH! STORIES, the bane of my life. But I really agree that once I have a story in mind a character is a lot easier... it's just getting the stories as well. i really am hopeless. I JUST HAVE TO TRY HARDER REALLY SIIGHH.

Detail is always difficult, because I tend to leave it untill last to add it. Like I said I start with the naked character before adding even clothes, but maybe some details to the initial sketch would help ground my interest.

CREATING CHARACTERS, it was once my favourite pass time, and I aim to have it be again. I am taking everyone's advice very seriously and ENGRAVING IT SOMEWHERE IN MY SKULL so that if I ever find myself floating around aimlessly in my sad little subconscious I will notice it and get back to it.

THANKS FOR THE DETAILED INFO! It's awesome people are taking the time to write so much about what they do. YOU PEOPLE, HOW DID YOU GET SO HELPFUL? AND KIND? AND ALL THE THINGS?

ENDLESS PRAISE

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