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General Chat => Creative Common => : Andy Lambert 15 September, 2018, 10:33:58 AM

: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 15 September, 2018, 10:33:58 AM
Forgive me if this topic has been raised elsewhere - I didn't check if it has.
I'm just looking to talk about something that's been bothering me, and if someone has the patience and time to share any advice, support or understanding of this topic, then I'll be extremely grateful.

In a nutshell, I've lost my passion for drawing and I want it back.
When I was younger, I used to draw all the time. While the popular kids played football during break times at school, I'd sit in the corridor sketching away with other kids gathering around to watch me. I drew the most crazy characters and creatures from my mind, and felt comics and illustration was my obvious career path. But when I hit my early 30s, I suffered a creative block that lasted a decade. I was going through depression, and some circumstances in my life knocked the confidence out of me.

I came back to drawing thanks to the monthly art competitions on this very forum, and people thankfully seemed to like what I did. I've never felt I was quite good enough for comics or book illustration, despite what people said to me. I've never felt like I got my art mojo fully returned to me.

This year, I finished a year at college and have knocked out a string of commissions for people so it's apparent people like what I do. However, I've stopped enjoying drawing and everything I do - even when it's just sketching for myself - is a joyless chore. Right now, I'm considering getting rid of all my art books and materials because I feel like accepting the idea that I should just stop trying.
But there's a part of me reluctant to give up - drawing was the best skill I had, and if I don't have that - what DO I have?

Apologies for rambling on, I just wanted to talk with fellow artists who have gone through - or are maybe going through - what I'm currently experiencing. I need to figure out if it's worth sticking with or should I accept the passion is gone and let it go.

Thanks for reading/listening.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Frank 15 September, 2018, 11:02:57 AM

Up until a couple of years ago, I'd drawn every day of my life. When I try to understand why I lost the desire to do so, the best I can come up with is that I'd begun to bore myself.

Both in terms of subject matter - how many times can you draw Judge Dredd? - and in terms of my technical improvement - I was no better than I was more than a decade earlier and full-time work meant I didn't have the free time necessary to progress. *

As someone who gave up, I'm not in a position to offer you advice on how to get out of your rut, but if stagnation is the problem then doing something different and challenging yourself seem like the obvious solutions. Insert cliched shark motion/life metaphor.


* I remember going round a friend's house as a kid and seeing the hot rod art his dad had done as a teenager hanging on the wall. I asked what his dad had drawn lately and was told he didn't draw anymore, which seemed insane to me, but as an adult I can see how a single dad working 12 hour shifts at a factory probably had more pressing demands on his time than cartooning.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 15 September, 2018, 11:08:42 AM
Hi Frank - thanks for your response.

Can I ask how you feel about giving up? Were you okay with it?

It's interesting that you say work and life gets in the way of drawing - I agree with that. But since drawing takes time, and commissions aren't guaranteed to be regular, a secondary job is usually needed but that it has a habit of taking over, which is what happened in my 20s.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Frank 15 September, 2018, 11:25:48 AM
Can I ask how you feel about giving up? Were you okay with it?

I don't feel any regret.

On the occasions when I find old work I've done, the prevailing emotion is contempt for its inadequacies. I felt the same looking back at old work while I was still drawing, but my response then was to reflect on how much better I'd become since, and that usually inspired me to draw something new to demonstrate my development.

That's gone completely. I suppose that idea of progress must have been part of what motivated me to draw in the first place.


: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 15 September, 2018, 11:34:56 AM
Interesting... thank you, Frank.
While our experiences are different from each other, it's kind of nice to know you don't have any regrets.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: The Legendary Shark 15 September, 2018, 12:41:09 PM

I give up writing all the time due to my own inadequacies - I've posted a few short stories on a thread here and received exactly zero comments of any kind, which is quite dispiriting. But then, at some random time, I'll get another idea for a Doings of Rufus Muldoon story or something and enjoy writing it.

I know it's not the same thing but it's similar. All I can say is that, in my case, the urge to write comes and goes and I can't seem to force it one way or the other. The best I can do is enjoy myself when the words finally come.

: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Leigh S 15 September, 2018, 12:56:18 PM
I suspect it is different for everyone

For me, I drew as a kid because I was praised for it at school, and praise was not particularly forthcoming elsewhere!  I've never tried (properly) to maximie what skill I have (buying proper paper and gear etc) and have contented myself to usually use printer paper and pencils from work to render most of my "masterpieces"!

My interest in drawing has similarly waned and waxed, but for me, it is often rekindled when I get excitd about some other project I am doing that requires some art - usually some board game related noodlings or vzgue desire to try and pin down what (for example) an enjoyable retrofuturistic Flash Gordon universe might look like on paper rather than just in my head.

If I didnt have those triggers, I probably woundlt draw half as much as I do!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: IndigoPrime 15 September, 2018, 01:43:17 PM
I have the same with some skills, whereas others (notably music creation) have never really left me. The only advice I would give is not to be too hasty about dispensing with the materials. By all means back them in a box and stick them in the loft. If you go a couple of years without the slightest regret about them, give them away; but if that doesn't happen, you can always drag them back out again.

Sometimes, perhaps what's really needed is just a break and a bit of reflection. Othertimes, it might just be that the is not 'you' any more. But you need time and space to figure out which.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: SIP 15 September, 2018, 08:41:28 PM
I can completely identify with this Andy and i'm going through exactly the same thing.

I've hardly drawn a thing in the last few years, in the previous decades I was drawing every single day. I always assumed, even in my thirties, that I would eventually end up in an artistic career.....but it just didn't happen. Life got in the way big time (as it tends to) , health and money issues, kids.....and then I realised in my early 40's that it was never actually going to happen. The opportunity was gone and for the first time ever I resigned myself to my day job. That thought knocked my desire to draw on its bum......and I haven't had much of a drawing urge since. When I do feel creative I tend to find other  outlets, like painting figures etc.

I found my mojo a little recently - I really enjoyed working on an entry for the Dredd competition. And i'm looking forward to giving the next competition a go too.

Perhaps we all just need a break from time to time.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Funt Solo 16 September, 2018, 06:46:18 AM
I always end up regretting throwing stuff away, even if I've come to terms with it at the time that I do it. 

In terms of creative output: I wrote the opening chapters of a book about twenty or so years ago and I've always thought I'd get around to finishing it one day.  So I still have those around, just in case I do find the time or the inclination one day.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steven Denton 16 September, 2018, 09:49:02 AM
I can identify with this.

I spent the last 6 years with a serious case of artist block. pretty much everything I was working on stalled, and although I still produced the odd illustration or script. The quality of my work dipped and I started to become frustrated with my lake of progress. I wondered for a long time if I really wanted to keep drawing or if I only did it out of habit and because I had let it define me. My whole life I had wanted to be a professional comics artist and in my mid 30's it became apparent that that was never going to happen. One of my primary motivators for producing work had been generating sample and proving I could produce professional quality art at a reasonable speed. Without those motivators I lost direction and motivation. Even the small press scene has changed and rather left me behind.

I haven't given up drawing but I have started to reassess why I draw and what I want to draw. I had a list of unfinished project and ideas that I have set as goals now. once I cracked my creative block I drew a strip for Zarjaz and one for Dogbreath and I've started one for Something Wicked, I have an unfinished Chopper story and I've embarked on a Rogue Trooper fanzine that's long been something I've wanted to do. After that I'll probably take stock again.

The only thing I learnt from my midlife drawing crisis is that at some point you have to decide if you are going to keep drawing to try and build a career (and draw what other want) of start drawing for yourself and only draw the things that interest and excite you. I chose a mix of the two because I'm an obtuse and indecisive twat. 
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 16 September, 2018, 10:49:27 AM
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences, folks - I really appreciate it, and it offers some comfort to know I'm not alone in feeling like this. I really hope you each rediscover that creative spark you once had.

I sat on a quiet beach for most of the day yesterday, with things going round and round in my head. I came to some conclusions such as - I may well be experiencing depression again, and if I'm not, I could be on the cusp again. I there's very little joy in my life at the moment.
A good part of that may be down to my circumstances... thanks to being made redundant some time ago, I'm currently in a crappy part time job that doesn't pay me enough, and I've moved to an area where I need public transport to get around so I can't always meet up with friends on a whim like I used to.
I've had to do a lot of commissions to keep my head above water, and with each commission, it feels more like a chore. I need to find a job that offers more hours and pay so that I'm not so reliant on commissions.

I've also realised that I should stop chasing a career as an artist. As much as I wanted it - I felt I should want it - I always felt pressure and anxiety to do the work well and compete with professionals. Accepting this leaves me with an inner battle - I feel less pressure and stress in thinking that I no longer have to draw the things other people want, and yet the thought of giving this up makes me feel like I'm wasting my best skill, and that I've failed.
Perhaps, if I found a better source of income, stopped pursuing art as a career, I might enjoy art again as a hobby...
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steven Denton 16 September, 2018, 11:12:54 AM
Colin MacNeil talked about art going from a paying hobby or passion to just a Job after America. In many ways it is just a job when you are working on commissions and not a very well paying job at that. Unless you are at the top of the field or insanely fast it tends to work out below minimum wage in my experiance.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 16 September, 2018, 11:18:20 AM
Yeah, being realistic, I'm not going to be top of the field, but you never know - if people like what draw for myself, I could sell prints or something...
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steven Denton 16 September, 2018, 11:28:29 AM
Yes, also a4 sketch originals do well at comic shows for about £10/£20 each. Your work is really good, you just need to find the right people to sell it too. 
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 16 September, 2018, 12:06:03 PM
Thank you, Steven - I wish you all the best in your endeavours too.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: IndigoPrime 16 September, 2018, 01:31:38 PM
Perhaps, if I found a better source of income, stopped pursuing art as a career, I might enjoy art again as a hobby...
Another side of this might be to revisit how much you're charging for commissions. I've no idea on that score, but I know someone who does pet portraits, and said it was becoming a chore. Then I found out how much she was charging (about a quarter of what she should be, which put her efforts below minimum wage) and that suggested where part of the increasing resentment for the task was coming from.

Colin MacNeil talked about art going from a paying hobby or passion to just a Job after America.
I recall when I was games editor on a magazine getting in touch with one of my favourite writers from the old school. He thanked me for the offers of work but said that, no, he was happy that for the first time in his life that gaming was again a hobby rather than a job. He then warned me about the same. And so it's been since that point. I play games for work – very rarely for myself. I almost never finish any. I don't harbour any resentment towards gaming, but the relationship with something is changed forever when it becomes work. (The possible exception there is if you can make a very good living from something you live. For example, I can't imagine too many A-list musicians are unhappy about having to write an album every year and do some touring.)
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Fungus 16 September, 2018, 03:28:50 PM
Art’s my thing too. I noodle around and joined the local art group a year ago. Even exhibited some paintings last month in the group show, got a kick out of that... (none sold but the feedback was interesting/thrilling/irritating all at once).

In a wistful moment you can wonder if you missed your vocation. Art as a Job isn’t a reality for me. Which is fine. I may switch job very soon, even then I’m under no illusions about getting paid for art. Having done a couple of things for friends (not charged) I’ve a requested landscape that bores me - I can’t bring myself to care about it, how joyless is that?! Meanwhile I feel I’m letting someone down. Sheesh.

Which is to say, I love idiosynchratic art. When it’s done for the right reasons, and that shines through. Applies to comics as much as art. So I noodle, try out media, enjoy the process as much as I can.

Sorry to waffle. Hope your current outlook changes Andy, your art here is a highlight for me and I’m guessing everyone else too. Maybe being an artist - in whatever way - ahead of being a frustrated one is the trick. Anyway, keep it up!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: GrudgeJohnDeed 16 September, 2018, 04:35:22 PM
I find the motivation to seriously draw scarce, for a variety of reasons. But I feel quite motivated to do pixel art even though the excitement of fast progress in my abilities is long behind me. I think a big part of that is I have over-arching goals of attempting to make videogames (my first love), and hell they need pixel art! I can do pixel art! So just from that point of view, maybe upping the ante and taking on a larger project that is a collision of art and a passion of yours - say comics -  is the way to go?

I also think that changing mediums for a while can refresh your passions, as you have the excitement of learning and improving again, and then some of those skills transfer back to your drawing.

Your art is really great by the way :)
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steve Green 16 September, 2018, 05:13:18 PM
I think the changing media view is pretty accurate.

I drew a fair bit as a kid and through college up to my early twenties - the lure of 3D and animation became more of a passion, and paid well.

So I'd not drawn much in 20 years but the appearance of the ipad pro got me back into scribbling a bit.

I wouldn't say one is more fun than the other for me, but sketching in procreate is a bit more relaxing for me, and not having to worry about lots of bits of paper and associated mess is a bonus.

That said, I'd no real aspiration to draw as a profession and my interests flit about to new topics, whether that's 3D, VR, translating 3D models into 3D printing, making films etc.

Fortunately the day job pays for that, as it's a pricey enterprise.

So maybe if it's possible to switch media or change tack it might keep things fresh.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: GrudgeJohnDeed 16 September, 2018, 05:45:55 PM
Yeah that sounds good, drawing is a useful supplementary skill for things like film making and 3d modelling too isn't it, being able to draw up storyboards and designs beforehand. So whilst concentrating on other mediums you might also find yourself motivated to engage the old drawing skills in a really useful way.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Rogue Judge 16 September, 2018, 11:08:57 PM
Andy, I'm a fan of your artwork (the last Christmas Advent was great!) and get real joy from it - I was looking forward to your official submission for the Dredd contest and you did not disappoint! Is the artist guilty of the yellow elbow pads you?

I draw occasionally and do enjoy it (its peaceful, productive, builds skills and I enjoy the music I listen to while doing it) - but for me, I need to draw for a purpose. My brother and an owner of a comic store occasionally ask me for a specific character commission (at no cost) and that gives me the purpose. Knowing someone will enjoy/appreciate it, and even display it, provides me with enough satisfaction to continue.

Like others have suggested, maybe doing commissions (having that purpose) and knowing that others enjoy and appreciate your art may be enough to bring you fulfillment and the joy to continue creating art.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: amines2058 17 September, 2018, 08:31:29 AM
Andy, you should not waste a talent like yours. You are a very skillful artist, whose work I enjoy and look forward to seeing. You recent self portrait with Dredd being a highlight for me (but all of your work is fab)!
Like others have said why not look at a new challenge, or diversifying to try and re-ignite that spark.
As you know for the past 12 months plus I have been drawing sketch cards for a few companies in the US.
The pay isn't great, but the challenge of working on such a a small area (2.5" x 3.5"), as well as the sense of pride from seeing your work found around the world by collectors is fantastic.
Knowing that you can create officially licensed work, (often approved by the actors themselves) for properties such as Star Wars, The Walking Dead, Stranger Things, Aliens etc is a great feeling.
If you did fancy diversifying, then I would be only to happy to pass on further info and chat elsewhere about this.
Also as mentioned above you could always try a local convention. You have an amazing portfolio, where you could easily select a number of prints to sell on. You may not always make a profit, but meeting and chatting to others with similar likes, who truly appreciate and enjoy your art (and if your lucky buy it) is good fun!
I did my 1st Con (more by luck than judgement) August 2017 and have done another 5 or 6 since. I now sell prints, original art, sketch cards, greeting cards and mugs all featuring my artwork.
You don't even need to do a convention you could always sell prints online via Etsy or similar and have an extra income
Again the above keep you busy and are a challenge but it is also something different.
I have a day job, but outside of this I create art as much as I can, as I now realise that it can help to provide for my family, but mainly because I love it, and I think this has come from diversifying constantly over the past few years. Feel free to drop me a message and chat if you want in other info?
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: TordelBack 17 September, 2018, 08:39:49 AM
Andy,  I lack a single molecule of creativity,  never mind artistic ability,  so I don't have any insight to offer: but I do want to say that I have always enjoyed your art,  and actively look forward to your entry in any comp or calendar that comes up.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Bolt-01 17 September, 2018, 09:02:40 AM
Andy- sorry to read you've hit this point. I've been involved in making comics in one form or another for most of my life. Up until I was mid twenties I harboured the illusion that my artistic skills were sufficient and with enough pages under my belt I'd be sure to find myself in the position of a highly sought after artist.

That didn't happen, obviously. However, I've managed to build my hobby into something that I feel has a genuine benefit to others. When I see someone go from the SP up to being a pro it feels like nothing else in the world. To know that I had a part in nurturing that talent is amazing.

The strips I've had from you feel like you are just getting started. Seriously.

There are quite a few folk here who I've published over the years and others who I wish were still creating but for their own reasons are not.

I can't offer you advice on getting through your current lull (Jovus, if you only knew how many times I've told Richmond I was thinking of knocking it on the head...) but I can tell you that your work is valued.

Take care.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 17 September, 2018, 11:01:08 AM
Wow, thank you so much, folks. I'm honestly very grateful for your advice, support and words of encouragement.
I'm actually wondering if there is indeed some way to keep the art alive and the only way I can do that is adjust my attitude about it. In order to do that, my current circumstances need to change... which admittedly, is easier said than done.
Since the depression I had before, I put on weight, and as a result my motivation, enthusiasm and confidence has dwindled greatly. I need to start eating better food and get more exercise in my life. I know this alone can improve one's state of mind immensely.
I need to find myself in a better job, which the idea of hunting terrifies me.... I absolutely suck at self promotion, and usually try to avoid any situation where I need to do this.
As for the art itself... well, I don't think I'll ever enjoy drawing people's pets or babies, but if I can find the enjoyment in drawing for comics, illustrations, etc, in the way I used to, then that would be great. If I can draw the things I'm interested in find people who like what I've drawn enough to buy prints, then so much the better.
amines2058, I'm genuinely envious of your passion for art - how you knock your stuff out on top of of being a family man with a day job. Once I've figured out what to ask, I'll certainly take you up on your offer.
I'll take on board the suggestions of trying out new media - I'm not exactly sure where to begin with that, but I'll find some way. I know my media usage is limited - another fear of mine is trying something new and unfamiliar. This applies to other aspects in my life, and even though I've been afraid of doing something new, only to find it's not that difficult and I am actually capable, that sense of fear still appears when presented with another challenge. You'd think I'd learn by now..!
I have a Wacom graphics tablet which I've never had a go at. I'd love to explore digital drawing and colouring - I'm often very envious of the art of Darren Stephens who masters colour and lighting so brilliantly.

When I was at Lawgiver earlier this year, I took my artwork along and it took me right to the end of the day before I could summon up the courage to show it to the professionals. I showed the new boys Dan Cornwall and Paul Williams as well as the master, John Higgins. All were very complimentary, and told me I had the skills to be a comics artist. I came away from that event riding on such a high - all I wanted to do when I got home was draw some Dredd or other stuff. Unfortunately, I had my final major project at college to finish, as well as a bunch of commissions for people and by the time I got those out of the way, that excitement was gone.
To be honest, the last drawing a genuinely enjoyed doing was my submission to the Pat Mills themed competition.

Bolt-1, I'm extremely grateful you've given me a chance at drawing comics and I certainly don't want to let you down in any way. I know I struggled drawing the recent Dredd strip - I'm aware I wanted it to be prog-worthy and was frustrated with myself when I knew it wasn't, but I have to remind myself that was only my second comic strip. I need to give myself a reality check and stop with the unrealistic expectations.
The recent strip I've been given should be a big improvement - lots of exciting imagery in that one!
I'm sure there's a comic drawing art class in London, I wish I was able to attend but it's a bit far to go for it.

Rogue Judge, thank you so much for the compliments - yes, that is indeed me in the yellow pads picture. It's non-too flattering, but it wasn't really meant to be. I can assure you I don't actually look like I'm local to Royston Vasey..!

Anyway, thank you again so much for your input - it's exactly what I was looking for when I posted this thread.
My head's still in a bit of confusion and uncertainty, but I think I'm feeling a little more positive.
I've got some pretty big changes to make in my life- all of which are daunting - but I'm sure they will make things better for me and they will only happen if I start taking steps in their direction.

Thank you :)
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 17 September, 2018, 11:03:39 AM
Wow, thank you so much, folks. I'm honestly very grateful for your advice, support and words of encouragement.
I'm actually wondering if there is indeed some way to keep the art alive and the only way I can do that is adjust my attitude about it. In order to do that, my current circumstances need to change... which admittedly, is easier said than done.
Since the depression I had before, I put on weight, and as a result my motivation, enthusiasm and confidence has dwindled greatly. I need to start eating better food and get more exercise in my life. I know this alone can improve one's state of mind immensely.
I need to find myself in a better job, which the idea of hunting terrifies me.... I absolutely suck at self promotion, and usually try to avoid any situation where I need to do this.
As for the art itself... well, I don't think I'll ever enjoy drawing people's pets or babies, but if I can find the enjoyment in drawing for comics, illustrations, etc, in the way I used to, then that would be great. If I can draw the things I'm interested in and find people who like what I've drawn enough to buy prints, then so much the better.
amines2058, I'm genuinely envious of your passion for art - how you knock your stuff out on top of of being a family man with a day job. Once I've figured out what to ask, I'll certainly take you up on your offer.
I'll take on board the suggestions of trying out new media - I'm not exactly sure where to begin with that, but I'll find some way. I know my media usage is limited - another fear of mine is trying something new and unfamiliar. This applies to other aspects in my life, and even though I've been afraid of doing something new, only to find it's not that difficult and I am actually capable, that sense of fear still appears when presented with another challenge. You'd think I'd learn by now..!
I have a Wacom graphics tablet which I've never had a go at. I'd love to explore digital drawing and colouring - I'm often very envious of the art of Darren Stephens who masters colour and lighting so brilliantly.

When I was at Lawgiver earlier this year, I took my artwork along and it took me right to the end of the day before I could summon up the courage to show it to the professionals. I showed the new boys Steve Austin, Dan Cornwall and Paul Williams as well as the master, John Higgins. All were very complimentary, and told me I had the skills to be a comics artist. I came away from that event riding on such a high - all I wanted to do when I got home was draw some Dredd or other stuff. Unfortunately, I had my final major project at college to finish, as well as a bunch of commissions for people and by the time I got those out of the way, that excitement was gone.
To be honest, the last drawing I genuinely enjoyed doing was my submission to the Pat Mills themed competition.

Bolt-1, I'm extremely grateful you've given me a chance at drawing comics and I certainly don't want to let you down in any way. I know I struggled drawing the recent Dredd strip - I'm aware I wanted it to be prog-worthy and was frustrated with myself when I knew it wasn't, but I have to remind myself that that was only my second comic strip. I need to give myself a reality check and stop with the unrealistic expectations.
The recent strip I've been given should be a big improvement - lots of exciting imagery in that one!
I'm sure there's a comics drawing art class in London, I wish I was able to attend but it's a bit far to go for it.

Rogue Judge, thank you so much for the compliments - yes, that is indeed me in the yellow pads picture. It's non-too flattering, but it wasn't really meant to be. I can assure you I don't actually look like I'm local to Royston Vasey..!

Anyway, thank you again so much for your input - it's exactly what I was looking for when I posted this thread.
My head's still in a bit of confusion and uncertainty, but I think I'm feeling a little more positive.
I've got some pretty big changes to make in my life- all of which are daunting - but I'm sure they will make things better for me and they will only happen if I start taking steps in their direction.

Thank you :)
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 17 September, 2018, 12:12:32 PM
Step 1: Taking a break from Facebook. It's handy for keeping in touch but it's such a distraction and time waster and I need focus right now. :)
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: sheridan 17 September, 2018, 02:00:38 PM
I always end up regretting throwing stuff away, even if I've come to terms with it at the time that I do it. 

In terms of creative output: I wrote the opening chapters of a book about twenty or so years ago and I've always thought I'd get around to finishing it one day.  So I still have those around, just in case I do find the time or the inclination one day.


Did you throw away those opening chapters?  No matter - have you heard of National Novel Writing Month (https://nanowrimo.org)?  People all around the world spend November writing a 50,000-word first draft of a novel (or autobiography, or cookery book, or whatever else they want to write).  The idea isn't to create great art on the first attempt, but to go from "I've always wanted to write a novel" to "I've written the first draft of a novel".
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: radiator 17 September, 2018, 06:19:21 PM
Totally identify with this, sadly.

In the last five years since I moved to the US I feel like I've undergone a slow but fundamental change in interests and outlook - I've discovered a passion for the outdoors; camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, just travel in general - and as that has grown, my interest in all things sci fi and comic books has dropped off a cliff, and I spend a lot more time and energy (and money!) on photography nowadays than drawing. I feel very disconnected from the whole geek world without really knowing why, and it makes me quite sad in a weird way - almost like I've betrayed my younger self or something?

When I do (occasionally) draw, the subject matter has totally changed - it's no longer robots and sci fi stuff and more stuff inspired by nature and travel. I've started to sell a few of my illustration prints in a local chain of shops which is cool, and could maybe go somewhere (but it does also come with a lot of anxiety/fear of rejection - "what if they don't sell?" etc).

In general I find that creativity is a blessing and a curse and brings out the worst in me in a lot of ways - I (like many others I suspect) go through phases of feeling supremely confident about my abilities and then periods of crippling self doubt. I tend to love what I'm working on while I'm doing it, then immediately hate it once I've finished - and I will overthink things to the point where I will quite often abandon projects half done after spending a huge amount of time on them (I currently probably have like a dozen things 'on the back burner, but who knows if I'll ever get round to finishing them?). I also increasingly experience feelings of competitiveness and jealousy when friends have success in creative endeavors, which is really unhealthy and a part of my personality that I hate.

While certain friends and family members are very encouraging and supportive, I get equally discouraged and demotivated when others show only the bare minimum of interest or enthusiasm for my work - it kinda feels like a kick in the teeth sometimes. The internet can also be a really daunting place - it's weirdly dispiriting to post something you've worked very hard on online to be met with almost total silence and/or indifference, and it can sometimes make you wonder what the point of it all is.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steve Green 17 September, 2018, 09:33:18 PM
I totally get that Radiator - although luckily I don't swing between the feelings talked about as much, I really hate the 'meh' response these days.

It's like enthusiasm, it can be infectious - so can apathy.

Working on the fan shorts - the enthusiasm from the fans fed off each other, and even when you were feeling down or things weren't going to plan, fan power would gee you up.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Sinx 18 September, 2018, 11:39:18 AM
Andy, as a newcomer to the forum I have seen the thread of your collected artwork and I'm very impressed. There's some really high quality work combined with a sense of humour - so don't chuck out all the materials just yet. I stopped drawing for several years and regret it a bit.

I completely understand the relationship most amateurs have with art. I say amateurs because I've no idea if getting into the privileged position of either being paid a lot or having legions of fans will make the relationship a truly positive one. Lucien Freud painted up to his death at 88, Kurt Cobain blew his brains out at 27. Money, fans, critical acclaim, everything you could hope to get rewarded for creativity - two different endings. Realistically, it's probably all reliant upon the individual.

I'm going to Leeds to submit pages to the Future Shock competition. I'm glad I set myself the task and completed it (I hate giving up), but at this moment I've probably lost all perspective on the quality of the finished work and just feel a bit deflated. It's all part of the process though and I accept it now.

Anyway, keep grinding - I know this doesn't sound like the most positive comment ever but sometimes you just gotta set a goal and work towards it.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Proudhuff 18 September, 2018, 12:45:47 PM
I totally get that Radiator - although luckily I don't swing between the feelings talked about as much, I really hate the 'meh' response these days.

It's like enthusiasm, it can be infectious - so can apathy.

Working on the fan shorts - the enthusiasm from the fans fed off each other, and even when you were feeling down or things weren't going to plan, fan power would gee you up.


This ^^^

I'd much prefer someone reacted in some way, anyway! rather than the deafening silence that has met any of my attempts to create strips.
I've recently considered getting back in the creative saddle but like Andy question the whole process, so I think it all comes down to why you do it and if you know that, you can move forward.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Bolt-01 18 September, 2018, 01:08:27 PM
Sinx- Please stop by the FQP table at TB this weekend. I'd like to see the sample pages, too. Same goes for any arty types at TB this weekend.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Sinx 18 September, 2018, 03:33:29 PM
Sinx- Please stop by the FQP table at TB this weekend. I'd like to see the sample pages, too. Same goes for any arty types at TB this weekend.
Definitely!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 23 September, 2018, 10:43:29 AM
Radiator, I'm sorry you no longer feel a passion for the geeky things in life, but I'm pleased to hear you've found a passion elsewhere - the subject matter may have changed, but if you can still feel that enthusiasm and interest, and use it for inspiration to be creative, then that's definitely a good thing.
Long may that continue!

Thanks for your comments, Since - and welcome to the forum! Best of luck with the Future Shock script.
You're absolutely right that situations can be different for each individual, and there's no right way or wrong way forward but the supportive input from others still remains a source of comfort to me.
I'm still feeling extremely resistant to drawing even though I've got images bubbling away in my head that I'd like to see on paper... perhaps I should start thinking about this year's forum Christmas calendar - I've always enjoyed that.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steven Denton 25 September, 2018, 03:06:21 PM
Feedback is an interesting motivator, like everyone else I enjoy praise, and I do post art for attention, I mean if I didn't want to draw attention to the art I wouldn't post it publicly so feedback, even if its just some one saying 'Nice Work!' is encouraging and important. I have had strips that took hundreds of hours of work disappear without comment and that can be dispiriting.

I'm pretty secure in my technical skills (reasonable artist, good colourist, and OK writer) but it's still important too me to know if people like what I do. 
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Woolly 25 September, 2018, 06:35:10 PM
It's no secret that I've been feeling this way for a few years now. I used to be all over the Art comps' a few years ago, then just ran out of steam I guess. I've never held any serious art ambitions, certainly never considered myself to be good enough to make any money from it either, but used to enjoy doing stuff for fun.
Guess I got tired of the idea of working for fun? I dunno..
I sometimes feel a bit of the old spark, but it never lasts long enough to get a drawing out.

Sorry mate, I don't think I have any advice for you!  :(

But I will say this: Just because you have a talent (and boy do you have talent!), doesn't mean you have to use it. It's your talent, it isn't going anywhere, there's nothing wrong with ignoring it for a while.
Give yourself a month off*. Do other things, get a bit of time back.
Then have a crack at a picture and see how you feel.


*But don't do what I did and give yourself 2+ years off - that's not a good plan!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 27 September, 2018, 03:49:46 PM
Yeah, feedback is massively important when you've spent a lot of time on some artwork - the weird thing is with me, no matter how many compliments I get for my work, I don't feel like they mean much - which is a terrible thing to say, but what I mean is because I don't hold much value or faith in my own artwork, I struggle to comprehend that others do. And yet I'd be gutted if I did a piece that no-one responded to at all... I think that goes for a lot of artists - we're a complicated bunch!

Woolly, I haven't seen much of your artwork - possibly because of the very topic we're discussing - but what I have seen as impressed me immensely! I loved your submission to the art competition for 2000ad's 40th anniversary, and I was particularly awed by your Dredd on the toilet, which I think was related to the Wells/Dilworth episode a while back. Such brilliant character drawing!
Regarding taking a break - I do want to do that, though I'm still doing some stuff at the moment because it provides me with some much needed funds - but my main concern in taking a break stems from the last time I took a break, it lasted a decade. I only came back to drawing thanks to the forum competitions, but it does feel like I'm losing it again.
I guess all I can really do is take each day as it comes...
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: TordelBack 27 September, 2018, 04:52:31 PM
Hopefully being runner-up out of 300+ entries in the Dredd Comp offers some external validation, Andy!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 27 September, 2018, 05:06:30 PM
Oh, is that common knowledge now? I wasn't allowed to say anything...
Yeah, very much surprised by that!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: TordelBack 27 September, 2018, 05:25:32 PM
Well it was on Bleeding Cool (https://www.bleedingcool.com/2018/09/25/mark-montague-dredd-2000ad-opens-submissions/) two days ago so I reckon the secrecy ship has sailed...
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: The Legendary Shark 27 September, 2018, 05:50:25 PM
Wow - exceptionally well done, Andy! Fantastic news.

: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 27 September, 2018, 07:38:11 PM
Thank you muchly..! 😀
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: GrudgeJohnDeed 28 September, 2018, 10:44:35 AM
Yeah congrats mate! The level of competition was pretty darn high.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 30 September, 2018, 02:09:13 PM
Thank you, Grudge - it was an extremely talented and tough competition so I'm surprised and delighted I did as well as I did. 😊
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Steven Denton 01 October, 2018, 09:38:57 AM
Congratulations Andy!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 01 October, 2018, 09:57:45 AM
Many thanks, Steven 😊
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: IndigoPrime 01 October, 2018, 10:29:18 AM
I'm glad that one got some acknowledgement. The winner's probably more star scan material, but the yellow yellow pads pic was probably my favourite of all of them.
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 04 October, 2018, 01:11:08 PM
Thank you, Indigo prime, I'm very honoured. I knew it was never going to win but I thought it was a reasonably good idea and it was different enough from the more action/classic Dredd pose submissions.
Still didn't expect to be a runner up though...! 😁
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Fungus 04 October, 2018, 01:32:10 PM
Congrats Andy, belatedly. The idea itself made it a contender and the execution was up to your usual high standard. Different is definitely good!
: Re: Why Don't I Enjoy Art Any More?
: Andy Lambert 04 October, 2018, 01:37:55 PM
Many thanks, Fungus! 😀