So I figured it was time for a journal update from me. For the few people that still actually watch me or that still participate in discussion here on DA, hope you'll enjoy this read and join the discussion!
Heads up – this will be quite long
If you've opened this journal because it was in your inbox but can't remember me or my art – I can't blame you. I've been fairly inactive for the past 2-3 years sadly. I've been on DeviantArt the entire time though, just appreciating art more than making it myself. So what's the reason behind it? Oh nothing in particular. Life and all <-- This sometimes seems to be the reason people become less and less active and stop making what used to make them happy. I think that's a really bad reason for stopping the one thing that you made you go.
I've kind of had in mind this journal would be like one of those inspirational ones for beating procrastination, artistic block and lack of motivation. I've been considering contributing to the subject for a really long time now but I've always postponed typing down my experience because the point of these journals should be to motivate, not to bum out! Now I finally know what to write.
ART BLOCK – how did YOU experience it?
I can't really remember when this perpetual block started for me and I can't really tell if it ended I'm pretty sure every one of you has ocassionally experienced an artblock (or a writer's block, or whatever artistic thing you might be doing ). But I realized there's much more to an art block than struggling to find inspiration and motivation for a while. This is how I experienced it.
If you're in a constant search for inspiration and motivation such as myself, you've surely come across a lot of inspirational writings and journals, especially from fellow artists, giving some basic advice on how to get out of a rut and how to stop your art block. Along the way you've surely learned that the only person stopping you is yourself, that the only person that can get you out of it is yourself and that the only person that can make things happen for you is – you guessed it - yourself. And then you try and try harder but it isn't working. So perhaps it's not just about being lazy. What is it then?
Maybe you've found yourself lost in what you were doing. Maybe it was time for you to try something different but you didn't know where to start? You didn't even know what you wanted to be doing in the first place. This becomes harder as you get older and if you're on a life-turning point where you actually have to choose what you'll be doing in life. It's never too late to start learning and doing what you love, but if you feel like you were already supposed to accomplish certain things and yet you're at the very beginning, you get scared and clueless even more. It's when the lists you've made to get through the day end up being unchecked and unfulfilled.
That could be because the list you wrote down in the first place was for the sakes of writing it; because you read somewhere that it was supposed to help. But what did it really do for you, especially if you didn't cross every thing on it? For someone like me who all of a sudden stopped enjoying what I was doing, yet still felt like doing art with every fiber of my being, it was terrifying to learn that these tips of writing lists and making plans didn't work. I even felt guilty when I picked up a pencil and started drawing because at the back of my mind something was telling me that I was wasting time and that I should get to proper work. By proper I mean job searching, doing uni work, cleaning the apartment, making some dinner so I don't eat instant noodles, spending quality time with my partner, having a social life, etc, etc. And then you realize you're not really doing art and it makes you depressed. Then you no longer feel like doing any of said chores or socializing so you end up wallowing in sadness and anxiety, feeling guilty for not knowing what you're supposed to do - so you end up doing nothing! Day in and day out, you've lost precious time. Planning this and that, feeling bad about both, ending up doing neither.
And recently my mother was visiting and told me a very important thing which made things click for me. It's what gave actual meaning to making lists and plans. I will try my best to explain even though it may have been obvious to you from the first time you read somewhere to make a list or a schedule for yourself Anyways.
She told me that she watched some videos (from a certain lady I cannot name; if you recognize what I write you're welcome to point her out and I'll add her name) where she explained how we end up in a rut of not knowing what to do and end up doing nothing because we always have a plan B. You have to set a plan A for yourself and not even think of relying on plan B. In our case the plan A is to persuade our dreams with art and work our asses off to make them happen. And plan B would be all the things that are stopping us from fulfilling plan A because we're relying on them: perhaps I won't be doing art in life, perhaps I'll find some regular doing-whatnot-job. Perhaps I should set aside my art and concentrate on finishing uni. Perhaps I shouldn't be doing art right now because there are more important things to do.
-Cross out the plan B and focus on plan A only. Everything else in life should be just another thing you're doing, NOT a backup plan.
That's how another inspirational tip clicked in place for me. That tip is ''you need to make free time because you'll never magically just have it''. I always knew this but not knowing what to do or how to do it didn't help in creating a schedule with arranging my time. Having plan A gave meaning to said schedule.
Another thing that made me lose my path was wanting to do a million of different artistic things, art styles and media. Which is discouraging right away because you can either be mediocre at a lot of things or be the master of one. I'm still figuring that one out, but the least I can say is start learning and mastering the one that you want to do the most. Out of all the things you want to do there is probably one that pops out a little bit and when you rest from learning it, try out the other ones you like too. Nothing too intelligent in that one, feel free to comment on how you're dealing with this
As I've said, the entire plan A and plan B story might not come as a revelation to you because you may have understood the point it's trying to get across all along . I didn't. I thought I was supposed to make the right decision, picking between two things and setting the other one aside, making it less important. Don't let that less important one be your art. I thought definitely choosing art will make me become a homeless bum because I'm currently in no position to set it as my priority. But guess what, even if you might not end up being a professional making a living out of it, still concentrate on it being your plan A; act as if it's THE most important thing. Feeling guilty about it will push it out of your life completely.
Here's also a really lovely read that will give the emotional confidence and boost on top of mine which was supposed to be more like.. Mental and practical but I'm no writer and it's hard to actually express what's been going on in my life artistically Anyways, from Jennifer aka Greenkey2, check it out: jrmilward.wordpress.com/2016/0…
So I'll share my variant of a schedule with you guys. It's not exactly refined, but it's an important baby step for someone who lost touch with art and wants to get back into it. I made a file for myself and named it ''Art Daily''. I wrote down each date of the month and on each day I have to write down what I did that day artistically. It doesn't matter if it was a 3-minute sketch or a 6-hour study marathon, it's important that you did SOMETHING. Keeping track and seeing you've actually been doing anything artisticaly keeps you motivated to keep on doing it and not feeling bad. If you happen to not do anything on a certain day, write with big letters ''FAIL''. That's right, I won't be sugar coating it. It's the final push I need and I want to see how many fails I've afforded myself at the end of the month and try not to let that happen again. You may need another technique because this one might bum you out even more if you see a lot of fails. But I think it's a slap in the face we might need to see things as they are and stop screwing around. And guess what, I've had the same amount of fails as I've had accomplishments this month. And they're equally encouraging – to see that I'm capable of not anxiously wondering around doing nothing and also to see that it still sometimes happens and it's ok, next day will be better.
So to celebrate my decision to stick to plan A, I even opened a facebook page. I also opened a personal account after swearing not to I was sure having one was a must to open a page but it turned out that it wasn't . Still some good came out of it – meeting fellow artists, talking and encouraging each other. The feature DeviantArt sadly lost some time ago. So if you're into that kind of thing you can add me:
And you can also like my art page where I'll be uploading WIPs, drawing timelapses, simplistic illustrations which probably won't be making their way onto here, etc:
And that would be all my friends. Wish me luck with my newly started artistic journey and I hope that in case you're feeling lost and confused as I am, this will be of some help.
Don't thank me for favs, watches and llamas. You're welcome