Well, let’s hope I can encourage you all and give advice on dealing with artist blocks in this entry. Keep in mind throughout this that it’s only my personal thoughts on matters. I’m in no way challenging anyone’s views or insulting anyone’s beliefs. Thanks in advance for reading.

I’m not sure how to tackle it this time, so I’ll just put common ‘complaints’ I here around the place and some advice on how to deal with it, Treijim-style *coughgetonwiththeblastedentrycough* >_>

Why aren’t people leaving good comments on my work?
I hear this a lot, and when I do, I simply say ‘nobody here on dA knows you’. Why does that matter, though? Why can’t people stumble upon a piece of your art, know your current level of experience, know your past art, know what you like and don’t like to hear, and leave a vast comment that makes you feel bubbly and inspired inside when you read it? Why? Well… I think I just explained it there. dA is a community. You make acquaintances and friends with fellow artists, and hopefully help each other out.

Like I just said, if someone doesn’t know you and your art, how on earth are they to leave a comment that etches a smile that could power a light bulb on your face? In my area, I greatly look forward to comments from people who have watched me for a long time, and notice my improvements, and comment on it. It lets me know people recognise my art, which is something every artist wants to here.

Okay… How do I go about this?
This isn’t a journal on making friends in general, but basically, if you don’t give any, you don’t get any. Look around for like-minded people probably around your current level of skill who can relate to you. Some of the more skilled artists are willing to make friends with very new members to a degree, but it’s not often.

Let’s say you found an artist like you who has a gallery that you find closely resembles yours (not suggesting that they’re an art thief, of course). What do you do next? Well, watching people always helps, but of course you can’t expect anyone to watch you back, or even notice. Leave comments on their page. To get comments, give comments. Tell them what you like about their work. Tell them you enjoy the fact that your galleries are similar and would like to share ideas (though this may offend some). Befriend them, in other words. That being said, pleeeeease do not expect much to come from this.

I befriend people all the time… Nothing is happening!!!!
That could be a few things. Perhaps you are coming on too strong. Perhaps too desperate. Perhaps too conceited. I don’t know. Honestly, I have no idea who I’m talking to right now… However, there are a few main things I do here on dA. For one, I draw what I love no matter who responds with what. After all, if I’m not proud of my own work to begin with, I may as well not draw! Secondly, I try to be nice to people. When people positively analyse my work, I thank them. I spend time now and then in chats and talk to people. Chatters notice nice people and people will often look at your gallery if you seem like an interesting person. Thirdly, I do not expect anything! If your expectations are too high or unrealistic, you’re only going to end up disappointed. I never expect anybody to comment on or fav my work, or to watch me, or to leave a comment on my page, because I do my art for me above all. Lower your expectations. Give it time. You can’t say nothing is happening when you don’t know when it’s supposed to happen.

Enough about that… How do I get rid of… dun dun dun… ARTIST BLOCKS?
Ahhh, the dreaded artistic blockage. When the cork gets plugged into the tube that feeds ideas from your mind into wherever it is you process ideas and/or draw them/write them… eh, you get the idea. Basically, there is only so much I can tell you here. Personally, I’ve helped a few people out of artist blocks. They probably didn’t realise what I was doing at the time, and they denied most of the things I said, but that’s not how the mind works, is it?

Above all, find out what is blocking your mind. Where do you get inspired from? Go back there and find out what it was and seek it out. Maybe you get ideas from other artists. Maybe there is a place you like to go either within your own mind or out of it where you get inspired. Maybe you stopped drawing since someone told you your artwork sucks (this is against dA policy). I’m only speculating. Only you know what this is.

The next step is to tackle it. Now, by ‘tackle’, I don’t mean grab the nearest sharp implement and have a hack at whoever said your artwork was bad. That’s… not very nice. Rather, discuss it with a like-minded person. I’m often happy to discuss this with people, by the way. Talk to someone (preferably someone who listens) about what inspires you, and what you like about your own art. Just talking about it can often help a lot – often much more than you realise.

What’s next? Most of the people I spoke to about this did nothing else. They simply picked up a pencil/pen within the next day and drew! Most of what goes on with artist blocks is subliminal, but it’s your brain, isn’t it? One other thing I tell people about artist blocks is this – the more you believe you have one, the more power you give it and the stronger it gets. I make it sound like some kind of monster, don’t I? Well, really, it IS!

Do you remember the episode of The Simpsons (yes, this is relevant. Keep reading) where giant advertisement posters came alive and began trashing the city? They were seemingly unstoppable, until some guy told everyone ‘just don’t look’. Of course, being advertisements, the monsters had no power and died. Try doing that to your artist block. Don’t tell yourself again and again you have one. Don’t fight it like that. Just let it slide to one side. Water off a duck’s back, as they say. Ignore it, literally. Accept that you can’t draw right now. We all have days like this. Just remember what inspires you, what you love about your own work – most of all, why on God’s green earth you draw in the first place!

Now what?
Stop saying that… Uhhh, yes. You may be thinking it though. Now what? Well, it’s simple. Read this again if you want. You will probably pick up something else. Then, simply go about your daily lives, only analysing the ideas behind your art. Don’t overanalyse, and don’t give your artist blocks power. I ignore mine! We all have days where we simply cannot draw. That doesn’t mean we have to force ourselves to believe our ‘muse’ is gone, or ‘your pictures never look right’, or ‘nobody likes your art’. As if you drew for other people when you first picked up a pencil at the age of four. Don’t kid yourself. (Okay Joshua… breathe now…) Ahem… I hope this helped, and please share your thoughts with me on this matter. Yes, big it is, but yes, much you will learn by reading.

If you liked this, I highly recommend my other similar entries. Links can be found directly beneath this.


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