I Can’t Even Draw
Being an illustrator can be hard mentally. You’ll have days where you think everything you make is crap and you’ll have days when you believe you are the greatest illustrator in the world. Usually you have produced the same quality work on both of these kind of days, but your brain is convinced otherwise.
Today I’m having one of those days where everything is terrible. I can’t get the colour palette right, what I’m drawing is too average, I can’t get the shading right and I CAN’T DRAW A DAMN BOWTIE.
Luckily, during my realisation of who I am as a creative last year, I also learnt how to get myself out of the rut and maybe it’ll help you out when you are angry or teary because you also can’t draw something.
1. Distract yourself
I always forget that the thing that’s making me frustrated doesn’t have to be the only thing I do that day. I used to become so fixated with making it right and being happy with the outcome but that normally lead to a vicious cycle of being frustrated – working an obscene amount of hours on the piece – still being frustrated and upset because nothing worked. Just take a break from it! You are in the wrong mindset to produce this particular thing so go to something else. Creative people tend to have a big ol’ list of things that want to achieve, take a look at that. I personally tend to write my blog posts in times of frustration (FYI right now is no expectation).
Instead of going around in circles about what you think the illustration should look like and never been able to achieve it, do some research to get your idea generation juices flowing. I like Pinterest mostly. Instagram can be good but Pinterest is good at suggesting visual research based on what you already like. So, in my opinion – if you are an illustrator, you should have Pinterest.
3. Stop Overthinking.
You are you and you are excellent on your own. Use your research constructively, don’t over analyse other illustrators’ work and reminder to have regular breaks. You’ll burn out if you work 12hrs a day everyday. You’ll also burn out if you constantly compare your illustration to another particular illustration. Find the balance between it being your passion and it being your job.