how to draw for fun?!

12:50 PM, Monday February 3rd 2020

Hi, nice to meet you, I am the Platonic example of the kind of student Uncomfortable talks about in Lesson 0 who, every time they come up with an idea or a concept, tells themselves "I'll do that when I'm ready, I'm not good enough yet".

So now I'm supposed to spend 50% of my drawing time drawing for fun, and I... don't remember how to do that? I've been sitting here for an hour trying to come up with something to draw that I could manage without having to look up tutorials and stuff and turning it into practice by accident, and I'm drawing a blank.

(There's also the problem that if I were the type of person who could go "well I can already tell this isn't going to turn out anything like I hoped, but at least I'll have done a thing!" I'd... well, I'd probably spend a lot less time with my therapist...)

So, people, do you have any advice for me? What do YOU do when you want to get back to that sense of playfulness?

5 users agree
1:28 PM, Monday February 3rd 2020

Hey doom, when I am feeling stuck or having trouble drawing I like to start putting down blobs for things like space ships or what have you (a really light marker helps with this) and seeing what pops out at me. Another cool technique I like to do is take an everyday object and turn it into something else, as popularized by spacegoose! I have had other students find success with drawing for fun by starting with automatic drawing as explained in this proko video.

Obviously I'm more of a hard surface and vehicle kind of artist, so I will be looking forward to others' opinions and techniques when it comes to drawing things like characters and animals! I hope this offers some direction and if you have any questions, let me know!

4:55 AM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

From the perspective of someone more into organics and in a similar vein, I like mushing different animals together, messing with their proportions and making some truly horrific monstrosities. I tend to do them from imagination but there's nothing stopping you looking up a reference and seeing how you can join a goat to a duck. Sometimes while drawing an animal, I might see a line that I messed up that looks kind of like something else and I'll run with it and the drawing becomes something else entirely to what I intended and often really weird, but that's okay because in the moment it made sense to me!

1:23 PM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

Thanks a lot! Definitely going to try that spacegoose thing =)

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11:50 PM, Monday February 3rd 2020

I think that the struggle you experience may stem in part from the idea that your time is precious. That if you do not produce a pleasing result in the time used you have somehow "wasted" that time. Something to keep in mind is that your time is only wasted if it's spent doing something you don't actually care about. I'm speaking in very broad terms here. But I hope you catch my meaning. You are learning to draw because I want to draw "better" you can already draw so try to worry less about your result and think more about how good it is to spend your time doing something you enjoy. If you enjoy it, it's not a waste. Results don't matter in this case. How you spend your time does.

Which sounds like a better use of your time? Agonizing over what to draw for fun or just drawing because it was fun. One is a waste of your time. The other is a valuable step towards good mental health and perspective.

Chagning your mindset takes time though. So let me offer something practical while you grapple with the demons of perfectionism.

Draw things you are good at. By that I mean draw things that you are confident in and have enjoyed drawing in the past. Doodles of roses, that weird S thing everyone does in school, any sort of doodle that you recall having once given you joy. Because it doesn't have to be good, it doesn't have to be shared, it just has to exist and be enjoyable.

Lower your expectations too. I personally took to drawing and painting rocks for fun. I would argue I'm pretty good at drawing rocks now. But I wasn't before. However, to me, in my own mind, rocks didn't have a "right or wrong" way to look. Any way I tried to draw it I could claim was successful because rocks are kind of a disaster. So I drew a lot of rocks and some to me are truly awful. I don't share those awful rocks. I share the good rocks. But I drew a lot of rocks.

Fun is never a waste of time. Fun doesn't not require and pleasing result. Fun is an act not a product. Try to remember that.

2:28 AM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

wow that's beautiful

1:29 PM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

-grins- You know, I've heard people say that about rocks before! That you can get absolutely everything wrong and it'll still look like a rock, but if you're drawing a human face, getting the proportions just a LITTLE bit off is going to make it look like an alien...

Also thanks for the advice, and I fear you may be right about the time thing! I'm in my 30s and took up drawing quite late, so I do often feel like I have to "catch up" because there are so many people out there who are half my age and so much better... and it's way too easy to forget that the reason they're better is because they ENJOY drawing, so they practice a lot without it feeling like a chore.

3:29 AM, Wednesday February 5th 2020

I'm in a similar boat. I got back into art seriously around 22, I think. I felt the gap in a big way when looking at the work of younger people, people my own age, basically anyone who was privileged to have the extra time to invest in their skill.

It isn't a fun feeling. The reality is that this isn't a competition. It's a community.

Everyone starts in a different place and under different circumstances. You can never fairly compare your progress to someone else's. It takes effort to stop the comparison but it is a necessary skill to learn for our own mental health.

2:10 PM, Wednesday February 5th 2020

I personally have come to realize one thing: Other people don't matter.

My art is for myself. It is purely a selfish whim to satisfy my own curiosity, my own deepest desires, to not depend on someone else vision to realize my own ideas.

It is my path to take, my effort/time to spend. It is a hobby, you don't feel bad when playing a sport for fun because you're not ask good as the professional players.

There's zero consequence to what comes from my art. I can fail in the most spectacular way possible and no one will even realize it. My life will go on exactly the same whether I succeed or fail. But I will NOT allow myself to stop. I will NOT allow 10~20 years to go by again without doing any art. My future self will not forgive me for making that same mistake again.

3 users agree
3:21 PM, Monday February 3rd 2020

Close your eyes and draw exactly what you want to draw in your mind. Completely ignore what comes out on the paper, results are completely irrelevant as it's explained on the Lesson 0 text.

You can check out some of my "for fun" drawings on #well-that-went-poorly channel on discord. Hopefully I can make a daily habit out of it.

3:50 PM, Monday February 3rd 2020

This such a great idea with the daily post on the channel since is all about drawing and posting and not get your ego struck or care for the end piece, I will try from today to take up that challenge. Thank you!

1:24 PM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

If I can get things moving, I'll definitely post some of my stuff to the channel, too!

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4:07 PM, Monday February 3rd 2020

So the thing that I always tell people on the Discord is that "drawing for fun" really means "drawing for the SAKE of drawing". A non-art example is if you're wanting to approach the topic of World War II. You'll interact with it differently if you have to take a test on it (doing the thing for learning's sake) than if you just want to watch some documentaries on it (doing the thing for the sake of it).

It's not that you're not allowed to practice during your "for fun" time, just that the end goal should be to make a drawing, not necessarily to make a "good" drawing. Alternatively, something that might be very difficult but is worth a shot, is do your best to make the crappiest drawing possible. I sometimes draw weird shitty goats when I'm stuck. They're purposefully bad, so I don't need to get in my head about how they're not good. They're good because they're bad.

1:31 PM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

Really good point, thanks =) This helped a lot, I was able to get off my butt this morning and draw some houses and stuff. Partly based in the lessons I've done, stuff like finding the center of a rectangle in perspective and so on... but not done for the sake of lessons, just because I wanted to draw a house. It worked!

1:11 AM, Wednesday February 5th 2020

Wooo!! Super happy for you!

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4:12 AM, Tuesday February 4th 2020
edited at 4:14 AM, Feb 4th 2020

I do this "Make Drawing Fun Again" an Online Skillshare Class by Hayden Aube - Illustrator & Designer

it's pretty good for people who have no experience how to draw so you can have fun with this class regardless of your skill level.

it will teach you to accept failure as a part of the learning process, teaches you to enjoy learning instead of the result, and gives you simple exercises to just have some fun :)

edited at 4:14 AM, Feb 4th 2020
1 users agree
9:00 AM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

Absolute beginner here. Here's how I approached it.

For me, I divided my artsy brain into two: 1. to learn the basic, tedious, technical part of drawing.

  1. to draw whatever i feel like to.

First part, i intend to sit down and chew the slow, consciousness moment of taking up the lessons. This is hard, but very important.

I take a sit in front of my computer, pen on paper, and follow the lesson as good as possible. Can't concentrate anymore? just take a break and go back later.

I do this every afternoon.

Two, I draw whatever i like to draw. For example, i took 8 minutes challenge every morning to draw anything, whatsoever i want. Here, i just mindlessly let the tip of my pen flows on the paper. It's fun, plus it's kinda therapeutic.

This method has been cycling for over a week, and works for me. Sometimes yes i got bored too. But then, I just go doing something else.

Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Forget it and just take a break. Distract yourself with something else.

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5:52 PM, Tuesday February 4th 2020

I still struggle with this too. I've had success drawing for a set amount of time (15-30 min) without worrying too much about the outcome. It can be anything - boxes, lines, blobs, geometric patterns, little cartoons, animals. Even if you aren't drawing things at the skill level you want to be at, draw anyway. Doing this practice every day helped me discover the things I enjoy drawing more than others. For me, that's animals and birds. Currently fixated on racoons, owls and ravens. Drawing geometric patterns is kind of meditative, so I do that on days when my brain is fried from work.

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