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Submitted on
September 27, 2012


19,859 (18 today)
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  • Mood: Neutral
I find it irksome when people say things like: "Drawing for me is like breathing; If you were to take away my ability to draw... I'd die!"

I wish it were that easy for me.

I think for a lot of people it's too easy to look at someone's gallery and take for granted the amount of time and effort that has gone into each and every drawing on that user's account; Drawing isn't a walk in the park for everyone - for some people, each and every drawing is like running a twenty-mile marathon (and it doesn't necessarily get easier over time).

I wonder if people realise that when they're asking an artist to do a request or a trade, that they might be in effect asking them to run a twenty-mile marathon on their behalf; I use this metaphor because now I can turn it back to you...

Now imagine I'm a stranger, or someone you hardly know - and I ask you this - completely out of the blue:

"If it's not too much trouble, would you mind running a twenty-mile marathon for me?"

How does that make you feel? I'm pretty sure that it drains the enthusiasm right out of you, doesn't it?

Now it's not that I can't run a twenty mile marathon (running with the metaphor) - it's just that it's going to take a lot of mental effort, time, patience - and you can be pretty sure that I'm going to be exhausted at the end of it.

This is what it's like for me to draw a picture - it hurts - I get headaches - I suffer anguish when something doesn't work out as I had hoped or planned - sometimes I can't finish a picture until a few weeks later because I needed to figure something out.

Drawing for me isn't like breathing - it's like hard work! - and I'm still learning how to get the best out of my craft.

So please, don't assume that drawing is a cake-walk for every artist.

Note: This is just a vent journal; It's not necessarily targeted at anyone.
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Yeah I understand DND, though I'm not a artist I am a writer though. But i understand what ya mean, much like drawing, writting take up energy and time. Sometime it doesn't always come to ya in a instant. Sometime it like a moment you have or want but ya can't force it out or ya get artist or writer's block.
NawrakianSniper Oct 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is pretty much what happened to me in school every time. Especially when there was more than 1 person waiting for me to draw them something big. I always said yes though because I was just a bit too nice back then. -.-
EquidnaRojo Sep 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Beautifully well put. I'm the type who really does try to put tons and tons of effort into their pics (moreso now then when I joined) and sometimes it can take me moths, due to getting exhausted mentally partway through because something doesn't seem right... sometimes it's as simple as a hiccup in anatomy. other times it's coloring being off, the possibilities are endless.

As much as I draw, and I've always been more of a doodler, when it comes to actually finishing a piece I tend to get picky and finicky to the point where if I just don't stop, It'll probably result in me sending my computer through a window (kinda like how disc burning tests my patience.) I could never do requests like I used to, simply for the fact it is practically akin to asking me to run a marathon. Especially with my asthma!
DoNotDelete Sep 29, 2012   Digital Artist
I too have some pieces which have been dragging on for months - and one or two which have been dragging on for years - and even though these latter pieces are more or less out-of-date when put up against some of my newer techniques I still hope to finish them eventually.

I very rarely can finish a picture in just one sitting - which is something I'd like to be able to do more comfortably in the future.

I need to allow myself more breathing space for 'doodling' too - I think doing those occasionally improves my speed a little.
EquidnaRojo Sep 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
XD I have some of those that have been dragging on for years. I feel bad that I have a hard time not finishing things I can do all in one in one sitting XDD;

Doodling can really help with technique, I find. Though it can help with speed, too. you really seem to know what you're doing artwise, so it makes sense that it helps you build speed!
The more works you complete, the faster you'll learn to do them. Not everyone can work at the same speed, but as you become more familiar with your methods of creation, you'll get faster.
However, it is the sort of thing you only pick up when you've got the time to devote to it.

I find it quite curious when people mention they get bombarded by requests/trades, mostly because I've never gotten any myself (and I once believed this was one of the unavoidable pitfalls of being an internet artist). But then, I don't make a habit of frequently drawing fanart and/or pin-ups. I wonder if there's a correlation?
DoNotDelete Sep 27, 2012   Digital Artist
Oh, I do find shortcuts and figure new things out with each drawing - but just when I think I've figured it all out, the next drawing throws up a whole load of new problems I need to figure out.

I do get a little better with each drawing - but running a marathon is still running a marathon - I'm still burned out at the end of every piece.

I actually haven't gotten a whole lot of requests lately - I just feel that often people take for granted how much effort some artists put into each piece they make - and my gallery here is mostly fan art because I'm still a little uncomfortable about putting original stuff up for everyone to see - but lately I have been warming up to the idea.
It's all part and parcel of being an artist; you'll learn new things and come up against new problems constantly. I didn't mean to imply that it was "easy", by any means-- I personally didn't really see big improvements in my own art until I'd left school/quit my second job to focus on my art-related one.
With my attention divided between my art and other commitments, art suffered.

I can definitely sympathise with finished pieces being exhausting. The majority of people-- mostly nonartists-- tend to consider artwork being "easy" because it's a "hobby", or "fun". I get that a bit, really-- "your job must be so easy, you get to sit down and draw all day!"-- I certainly love what I do, but it's hard work, too.

If you feel like trying to improve your speed a bit, might I suggest attempting thirty second gesture drawings? There's a site here (3D models), and another one here (photo references) that you can use if you don't have the resources for drawing from life.
One of the best classes I ever took at college was the life drawing one, and this sort of exercise helped me improve my speed and accuracy immensely.
DoNotDelete Oct 3, 2012   Digital Artist
I've done life drawing at college myself but personally I prefer to draw from imagination - not meaning that I don't use reference for almost all of the pieces I draw (you should see how many images I place outside of my on-screen working area).

I don't have any real problem with expressions, gestures or poses - it's more that I spend a lot of time tidying up linework - which is mostly down to my approach to drawing (something I'm working on) - and on a more general note - I probably make it more difficult for myself using Adobe Illustrator rather than Photoshop or SAI.

I appreciate you going through the effort of finding me links, though.
Miraveldi Sep 27, 2012
I think you missed the meaning of the phrase. It's more along the lines of drawing being the ultimate happiness of that person's life, and they don't know how they'd carry on without being able to draw. It has nothing to do with drawing being easy or hard.
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