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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Really rather terrifying

OK, OK, after swearing black and blue that I was never going to pick up a pencil again, I'm now desperate - DESPERATE, people! - to create stuff.

But I don't know what.

And I don't know what with.

Should I stick with pencil? Try watercolour or ink? See if I can learn oil or acrylic properly?

And maybe I'll be really crap at it now.

I haven't lifted a finger artwise since September 09. Maybe it's not like riding a bike. And I'll have to start from scratch and be really bad at it for ages.

I had a go just before. And it was really bad. Of course, I wasn't really trying all that hard. Not taking enough care, just slapping something down. Wound up all muddy around the face and messy where I didn't want it to be messy.

And I've been painting something for work for practice. Again, not particularly happy with the result, but I need to start somewhere. It just feels like I'm repeating myself. It's nothing new, or fresh, or different.

It's really fucking scary.

I'm not sure I even want to try.

But I'm so bloody creatively frustrated. I've been moping around the house all day, doing a quick sketch here and there and hating the way they look. Looking at Audrey Kawasaki's work and getting completely bummed out that I'll never be as good as that. Searching for inspiration and having no idea what to do with it if I find some.

Anyone else been in this boat? Anyone given up art only to find that it won't give you up?

If so, let me know how it turned out.

I'll be here umming and ahhing over whether to pick up that pencil or paintbrush or just surf the net some more.

xxx kate


Kaili said...

Hi Kate, I just posted about this very thing! Being in a creative rut, and how I'm going to combat it. If your interested you can read the creative challenge I've set for myself. Maybe it will help? Kaili

Anonymous said...

Been in the same boat! Ive given up art a couple time. After highschool and after uni. But i keep going back.... I Would be hit with a strong desire to do or make something but no idea what! ....what worked for me was to NOT do anything that i had done before and really tackle something new. So i went from realism to surrealism to strange macarbe fantasy to animals...
Really now is the best time to just Have fun with new mediums or even sit down with pictures from your fav artists and try and work out and imitate their technique so as to improve your own skill...

kate lightfoot said...

kaili - off to check out your post now.

aramas - it gives me no end of hope to hear you've had the same issue! you're right - something new is very likely the right way to go.

xxx kate

Cassandra said...

Okay, first: Step away from what you're doing and take a deep breath! Go for a little walk or something.

Secondly. This is totally normal. I mean, taking a break from art and worrying about the transition back into it. You are not crap at it now. Like any other talent, practice helps, but taking a break doesn't mean that you've forgotten how to do it or suddenly suck at it. Your skills are still there, they just need to be dusted off a bit. Keep drawing, and you'll be back to where you were in no time! I promise. I barely drew anything all of last year, and now I have shows again this year, and I'm getting back into the swing of things. It becomes less scary the more you do.

Thirdly, you really have to stop comparing yourself to other artists! I'm sorry if that sounds harsh, I don't mean to lecture you, and I am a stranger.. but really, don't do that to yourself. With your work and Audrey's, it's not a matter of "better." What you do is different, your styles are different, your mediums are different. You can't compare the two and try to place one higher than the other. What you do is unique. No one would be able to draw your girls as well as you do, just like no one would be able to paint Audrey's girls as well as she does.

Again, deep breaths. You're doing fine.<3

kate lightfoot said...

Thanks Cassandra - all good points.

I think Kaili has the top ten list of 'How to make yourself miserable as an artist' posted on her blog. I'm fairly sure Number 1 is 'Compare yourself to other artists'!

And thanks for responding - otherwise I never would have found your blog! Gorgeous work.

Maybe it's not the lack of art that's the problem, it's the lack of contact with other artists. I've really enjoyed finding some new blogs and new work to drool over. :)

xxx kate

Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree with Cassandra said about not comparing yourself to other artists....its the best way to make yourself miserable ... Looking for inspiration in other peoples work however is another story. If its what gets you inspired , gorge yourself! :)

bec winnel said...

Also, go and read Mark Ryan's site and read his Artist Statement - "Anima Mundi" - September 2001... you might of already, but I go back and read it ever now and again and I find it helps.

This is also a really good post... ... I like how she decided to focus on one thing and explore it.

My Mum once said to me... "If you are good at something, you have to share it with the world"..."You are good at art" she would say... I think this has helped me :) Is there anything you can think of that has helped/motivate/inspired you to create?

Maybe embrace your frustration... create, scribble, draw, doodle... get the frustration out until you start seeing what is under it... draw mud, draw poo... get it on paper!

Good luck honey!

PS. My word verification read 'wifed' haha... no, not funny?!!??

marcia furman said...

I was just thinking the other day... that I wanted to write to you and tell you that I missed your art. Get back to it! You have too much talent to waste!

kate lightfoot said...

Ha! Thanks Marcia - that made me laugh (and want to draw).

And Bec, as much as I respect your advice in all artistic endeavours, I am not, NOT, under any circumstances, drawing poo.



Cascade Lily said...

You've just got to go for it and stop self-editing. Let it speak to you - it'll tell you where to go (and didn't that sound all new-agey and so unlike me?!!)

sheila le corre said...

hi Kate,i follow your work since a long time, and let me tell you that's your one of my favorite!! i like your style, i adore, and i don't like the style of Audrey Kawasak, i really prefer yours! the technics are important, but the style is most important, i think!!because you can see artwork with very good technicals details, but not very good style! it's normal to have moment of distress, to feel bad...but the chance you have, is to have your very own style, and to know how to draw, to know how to make yours's a chance, you know, because me, i don't have made artschool, and it's an handicap for me, i don't know technics very much, and i don't found my style since a lot of years!! and my dream is to make drawing, to be an artist. I know that my drawing are not bad, but i don't know how to give them "a touch, a style". Let me tell you that you don't have to worry, because your art is wonderful!

sheila le corre said...

here's my blog,
you will understand what i explain to you, my style is not completey well, to my mind i have not found the style who will defined my drawing

panazens said...

I feel exactly the same...nooo...!!!

Sheila, The Dreamer said...

I think most artists have been in that boat. I know I have. The first and most important thing to remember is NEVER take it serious! Have fun. Did you ever notice kids drawing or coloring in.... The only thing that matters to them is having fun. They enjoy what they make because no one told them it's wrong.
Try a new medium or try something different with your prefered medium. For years I used pastels. I never could get the results I wanted and stopped for awhile. Then when I tried again years later I realized I wasn't getting the detail I wanted. I dug out my colored pencils and found a new love! I didn't look up to see how to use them I just did...I played! So when you get in a rut...PLAY! enjoy being silly with it and you may find something new and exciting!!! Good luck, I love your work by the way!!!!!