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Submitted on
March 15, 2013


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Types of Artist blues, what helped, what didn't

Journal Entry: Fri Mar 15, 2013, 12:46 PM
||| FAQ ||| My manga sites ||| My scraps ||| Commissions |||


There are several artist blues I know of, since I have experienced practically all of them during the past few months since 2011. I will write about how I got them, how I overcome them. What helped, what didn't.

Some of these blues are professional freelance blues, happens to those who are making their own series/productions and when there's money and risk involved.
Some of these blues are shared by all artists.

Pre-production blues
Before the production even starts, the fear of it failing caused me to think about failing instead of success. It makes me hesitate about actually working on the project before I even produce anything.

:bulletgreen: What helped- Refocus on what I am making the project for, what's the true message I try to convey with the project, make that shine, and try to choose a cheap launch platform that makes it cost-effective.  

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- trying to level up on art skill. It helped with my overall art as work for hire, it didn't help with my production actually being produced. More confidence in skill doesn't produce more desire to make my own work.

Mid-production blues
During a project being made, usually at half way point, feel like giving up because the project just seem to go on forever and not end, and feel like I will get no where with the project anyway. (And that's usually not true)

:bulletgreen: What helped- Just focus on "I'm going to finish what i started no matter what, even if its not my best/perfect work." That vow alone makes it happen. "I want to see it end." "I already put so much into this."

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Fans/Friend's praise/encouragement. Sadly, that didn't work, as much as I hoped it would, when they gave me room to think about it helped. And thinking about the project won't make a difference if it gets completed or not, or all the things that's not working on the project. "It will make money" also doesn't work.

Mid-production panic
Deadline's coming, I haven't got enough done. More of a panic than blues.

:bulletgreen: What helped- Focus on the tasks at hand, focus on small chunks, ask for help. Make to-do lists, try to do similar tasks first, handling similar tasks get faster as one get used to it.

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Thinking about the big monster I have to finish. Increases panic.

Burnt out blues
Doing too many things at once, too much at once, get the blues and get irritated.

:bulletgreen: What helped- Start saying nos, start cancelling projects, postpone set deadlines. And rest for 10-15 minutes for every hour worked.

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Feel bad for pulling out and stay on projects I shouldn't have stayed on, it only burns me out more and drag people down with it.

Market reaction blues
After work being published, ended up on the wrong side of the audience, due to various mishandling by publishers/companies, got torn apart instead of praise. Rendering all work feeling pointless.

:bulletgreen: What helped-  Forgiving those who attacked me harshly. Even though it's only toward my work at first, some of these attacks turn out to be personal. Forgiveness of the "audience" and letting go is the only thing that work.

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Friends telling me "to get over it" or "don't pay attention to them." or being told "I didn't get the worst" (YEAH don't say that to an artist under attack.)

"not good enough" blues
Just lack of confidence, happens to most artist who are in pursuit of mastery skills. Especially being compared to others, or self-comparison.

:bulletgreen: What helped- Copying master art work and practicing basic art skills, then putting the practice into use to my own work right away. Getting critiques for study art or art for others, where I am less emotionally attached, when the crit is pure discussion of skill, no personal opinion of the subject, I do better receiving. A sense of accomplishment helps to ease away the blues.

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Getting critiques while developing personal pieces, I find in most cases only helped by 10% or less. I know it has to do with my working process and my personality. My idea either become someone else's idea when it's too early in development, (that doesn't feel good) or if I did it too late in the development there's not much to be changed or do-over becomes a hassle I just don't do it. I only ask for crit now for directional adjustment, like if I am lost at some point with my work.

"I am a failure" blues
After spending alot of time on completing a work, published it, and then not being well received or supported. An investment didn't get the return I hoped for.

:bulletgreen: What helped-  Let everyone who supported me know about my thoughts, the comfort from the audience/friends really help in this case, and use it as a lesson learned. And study market trends, target audience, etc, so I don't end up behind.

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Dwell on the feeling alone, of course.

White page blues
Staring at blank and not know what to do.

:bulletgreen: What helped- Music, and watching, seeing someone else's artistic vision. (aka movies, games, nature) Ask for a random idea, or go have a moment of quiet time and think up a story, or something I want to study.

:bulletgreen: What didn't help- Chatting away, surf about other things unrelated, end up staring contest with the white canvas. lol

Click to vote to see extra side story, or wips, update Wed, Sunday: (spam voting welcome XD)

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  • Mood: Amazed
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Add a Comment:
caradecunha2 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Liked the most ( or identify the most) with the "'not good enough' blues"
Tlaloca Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2013
thank you very much for your advice!! :D
ViridRain Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013   Digital Artist
Neat advices !! Thank you so much, great article !
This-Chick-Does-Art Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This was a wonderful post Mayshing. I don't know any artist that hasn't come across these blues one time or another. Your advice is on point; don't dwell on the past/what you can't go back and fix and keep progressing forward. I know that one of my issues was dwelling on one thing too long. Once I changed my thinking I was able to adjust my art process accordingly for better success in future works. The mind can really play with you and it'll sooner spoon feed you the doubts from outside exposure (friends, competitors, critics, etc.) if you let it. Keep it up, you're an inspiration.
mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
thanks, and best wishes to u.
ThePandaHatXD Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013
This is nice. Thanks.c:
The-Yuri-Canon Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That was very well said and helpful. I have an extra problem with my mental issues getting in the way. Just as I was finally getting back into the spirit of things again I get told by my disability worker, psycho doc and even friends that I don't need to do anything because I am disabled after all... Really put me in a bad place when those close to me weren't very supportive... *sighs*

Hope things are getting better with your in your artist blues.

mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
o.o Aw that's totally wrong to say. Everyone desires, and deserves to be a contributing member of the society.
There are blind who can paint, [link]
deaf who can make symphony, [link]
and mentally disabled people who can run bread shops. (run by a friend of mine) [link]
Surely you can do something meaningful and be productive in your life. :)
The-Yuri-Canon Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was doing a lot actually,doing small press stuff, conventions, lectures, activist and so much more... then I made the mistake of setting up 8 conventions in one summer... during a horrible break up... So crashed big time. Took 5 years to climb back back up to doing art and writing again, but no one allows me to forget that crash. I know I'm mentally unstable and I work around it, but recenly it seems like everyone around me just wants me to quit when I just want to get caught up after being sick for 2 weeks... *sighs*

mayshing Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2013  Professional Filmographer
:hug: Maybe they can use some gentle.... er... correction? Looks like u are doing well now. :D
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