How to stop feeling stuck when learning/doing art?

3:59 AM, Thursday April 15th 2021

I have been doing art for a while now, and have found perspective my strength. When I was a little while into drawing heads, I had a panic. That panic said: "Oh my god, you have absolutely no idea of the fundamentals!" This became a discouraging thing as I will have to re-learn how to draw heads, even though I was good at it. For a couple of months, I committed myself to perspective drawing but had no defined path, I then found DRAW A BOX. I came to DRAW A BOX with open arms because I was getting overwhelmed with drawing perspective and the artistic process. I am also a student of which has no source of income. I already felt good with perspective though, as I could draw complex objects. Now, I am completely confused and questioning my intentions. I planned my "education" with "when to learn this" and "when to learn that." But that now feels empty, since I want to get good at all of these things before I move onto things I like. I hope someone will answer, as I have been struggling with this problem for a while.

5 users agree
6:23 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021
edited at 6:24 PM, Apr 15th 2021

This reminds me of a Japanese teacher on Youtube's mantra. Say what you can say, not what you want to say. This means that you can only communicate at the level you speak in Japanese, not with how you communicate in your native language. You have to get comfortable with that fact.

Same with drawing. You can only draw to the level that your current skill level allows, not what you imagine in your head. Once you accept this you stop worrying and fantasising and get on with the work. This make progress much easier because you reduce resistance and expectation.

Not sure if this helps, but it is what I thought of.

edited at 6:24 PM, Apr 15th 2021
6:42 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021

This is great advice, I'll put a note on my desk with this mantra.

1:10 PM, Friday April 16th 2021

Credits go to George Trombley for that. A great, if idiosyncratic, Japanese teacher on Youtube.

1 users agree
4:51 AM, Thursday April 15th 2021

Remember that drawing isn't a race. You can try jam packing your schedule with all sorts of things, but you'll get burnt out if you do too much too fast. Not every aspect is going to take the same amount of time to hammer into your brain. I sure learned that the hard way.

Structure is a good thing. I have a Word document that details my goals for art and the things I want to learn. However, I don't have a set schedule of when I should learn those things. What I do is give each exercise my complete focus when I can, making sure to do it to the best of my ability. When I am finished with said task, I move on to the next, again, when I can.

Of course, just because I finished doing an exercise doesn't mean I'm a master at it. I might warm up by retrying to do parts of the exercise again, or apply my knowledge to something I'm doing outside of study. Keep doing this for years and you're gonna learn a lot. I think this is the best approach to learning art.

Take a look at what you want to accomplish and start somewhere. For Drawabox, Lesson 0 is where you start. Go from there, and in the advancing lessons take each exercise as it comes, doing your best with each one. Make sure to get feedback from people as you complete the lessons.

Just keep moving forward with your learning, regardless of the outcome. Hopefully you found this helpful.

1:23 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021

I don't have a date for anything though, it is that I swore to myself that if I could invent it, even on extreme angles and setups, then I could move on. My feeling is not based upon the idea that I am falling behind, it is the fact that I have practiced essentials rather thoroughly, but I am stuck for some reason. Now, maybe this is a preconcieved notion of myself that isn't healthy but for the last year, I haven't been making as much progress (Even though I am far from finished learning) from doing art like in 2020. I have done DRAW A BOX for a little bit now and am up to lesson 6 I feel I have not progressed because I am unsure of what to do next, even though I am going through and learning the lessons.

3:56 AM, Saturday April 17th 2021

If you are unsure of what to study next, then I suppose the best course of action is to pick one thing from a pool of concepts you want to learn, and give your attention to that.

Here's a hypothetical situation: say, for example you want to study several anatomy concepts. You choose one from a pool, a study of leg bones. That is what you will be focused on for the time being.

0 users agree
3:17 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021


I think you could find useful to watch this video from a former student. It's titled "Why I Quit Draw a Box".

Probably you feel empty because you are not spending enough time with you art, drawing just for the sake of it. Lesson 0 has new content about the concept of Drawing for Fun that you could find helpful.

Good luck!

8:48 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021

I make time for drawing for fun, that isn't the problem. The problem is figuring out how to progress during a standstill.

9:21 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021
edited at 9:21 PM, Apr 15th 2021

I think the problem is here, when you say: "I want to get good at all of these things before I move onto things I like". Why can't you start studying the things you like right now?

You were drawing the heads with satisfaction and you dropped the subject to go deep into perspective, do I get it right? You need just some perspective to draw the head in dynamic positions, and you can practice both at the same time.

It feels like you are a bit on a perfectionist path, which is exhausting.

edited at 9:21 PM, Apr 15th 2021
10:37 PM, Thursday April 15th 2021

the only reason why I want to get the boring stuff out of the way, is so I don't have to expand so greatly later in my artistic career and so I don't lose juju. I aslo struggled with doing what I like, even though I like creating and this comes less from knowing what to do and more about knowing how to do. I might be a perfectionist, or a masochist, because I find making progress from the boring things better than just doing something I like.

I used to draw as a child and perfectionism ruined me back then. Now it has settled and I have decided to take it more seriously (learning wise.)

What has made me really angry is that I have tried so many things and I still feel lost. I can't say it is perfectionism, because I haven't struggled with the urge to be perfect. My urge is to succeed and it frustrates me to not find progress.

Also, before I actually liked drawing heads, I spent day and night doing the loomis method before I actually enjoyed it. I practiced the loomis method because my fear is that I would not be able to do what I want in the future. I had a lot of time, considering this was before Covid and my schoolboard wasn't making me do an advanced math course in just 4 weeks like now.

Now, if you see differently then I am glad, since my opinion is just one.

12:13 AM, Saturday April 17th 2021


1:12 AM, Saturday April 17th 2021

I do, lol.

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