At the beginning of this month, I pushed myself to continue working on my website images, in hopes that I actually manage to get my website up and running properly at some point during the summer months. The pictures were going pretty well, even at the frequency I was drawing them at. At some point, I hit my effortlessness/near-effortlessness stage where my artwork was coming out above average for my current skill level. It lasted for about a day.
The next day, I began falling.
And the day after, I crashed.
I hated my artwork. I hated my style. I hated everything I did. It didn’t help either watching my friends make drastic improvements in their art. Comments I got on my works irritated me, regardless of what they were. I just wanted everybody to shut up and I just wanted to stop feeling so down about my artwork so I could work on my website images!
I was originally planning to ban myself from drawing for four days, but I extended out to 10 (which ended up becoming 11 because I got too lazy to draw on the Monday I was suppose to start again). Once I got back, things were pretty dang okay.
I started sometime last week and ended up hitting my effortless stage around the beginning of this week. My artworks were going pretty well until yesterday, where they started to become more flimsy. It was an indication that I need a drawing ban again.
Why the Drawing Bans?
I notice when I do something pretty non-stop for about two weeks, I end up triggering a mess of negative emotions that force me to take a break to regain myself and continue. For instance, with my artwork, if I’m drawing pretty non-stop for about two weeks, by the end of the second week, I start to feel angry, annoyed, disappointed, pessimistic, and hate all my artwork, which eventually turns into depression.
I put myself on drawing bans as a break to work on other things and allow me to regain myself. Depending on the reason behind the drawing ban, I might be banned from drawing for a weekend to almost a year.
Why the current drawing ban?
I can feel myself starting to hit that point of unsatisfactory that acts as some sort of depression trigger. I already hit a my effortless point during this week and the more I push myself to draw more artwork, the worse it looks.
I want to try and prevent myself from falling into depression this time around by catching myself early. I have already started feeling angry and annoyed at my artwork, but I haven’t hit the depression stage yet. I’m hoping that because I put myself on a drawing ban now, I will have prevented myself from falling into depression.
How do you identify that you need a break?
As I mentioned before, it has to do with how I’m feeling, which correspond with how long I’ve been doing something.
Let’s say I start drawing on a Monday. The beginning of this week, I’m drawing pretty decently to pretty dang good. I might have to push myself to do certain poses or to go out of my comfort zone, but it’s not that bad. I draw everyday for several hours.
Then it’s early next week (either on Monday or Tuesday, most likely) and I end up hitting my effortlessness/near-effortlessness stage of drawing. This means I’m able to draw my best – I’m just drawing. No trying. No forcing effort. It just flows. It’s when I’m able to exercise the most of my skill level, as well as venture into poses and techniques I’ve never tried before and succeed. This generally lasts for a day.
The next day is when I start going down. Drawing becomes more frustrating and painstaking. Any effort I put into it ends up running me into the ground. Drawings are generally still satisfying at this point, but they’re more annoying to do.
As I push myself to continue drawing, everything becomes worse. My drawings feel like they’re in pieces and like my skill level has regressed a few years. I get angry, frustrated, annoyed, and hate everything. I feel like I should give up, it’s pointless anyway, since no one is going to appreciate it, not even me. It’s when the depression begins to hit.
Drawing Ban Number 2
I kind of hate that I’m going on another drawing ban – I have three or four pictures left to draw for my website before I go and pencil line the remaining images and colour them all. I’m sure a lot of people, including myself, would want to say I should just push through and get them done, but I want to make sure I’m at my best or going towards my best, not my worst!
I hope the 11 day ban will make me more excited for the artwork! In the meantime, I’ll be doing other things…