Not meeting your own expectations

Dashboard Forums Weekly Member Message Not meeting your own expectations


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    Heidi Søholm

    Hi everyone,
    I am unsure where this post belongs, so now it ended up here.

    Recently I have experienced a great barrier between myself and the blank paper, which is: I do not meet my own expectations. I long to be better and see a lot of areas where my skill is lacking (anatomy, being lose and drawing animated characters and so on). Thus I am stopped before I even pick up the pen. I do not dare to make more “bad” drawings. I know I have to practice to get better, but I keep holding back though I want to draw and though my inner critic hourly reprimand me for not practicing. On one side I want to just enjoy drawing while learning – on the other hand I just can’t seem to please myself and thus do not dare to commence.
    In short: Some help would be very welcome.

    Suzanna Lasker

    I think most artists have some disappointment no matter what they draw. It took me years to be able draw the images I imagine. Fortunately one of my personal quirks is that I love to draw. The inner critic is such a powerful force. Draw some pictures of that demon…write it a letter, telling it to back off…journaling really helps.

    Heidi Søholm

    Thanks Suzanna – well, I have tried drawing my inner critic, but that is some time ago, so I will follow your advice 🙂



    Listent to tonight’s podcast.


    Christopher Fox

    Hi Heidi,

    You’re most definitely not alone in this regard. One of the ways I work through it after a bad drawing is by making an effort to see what I did “right” in the drawing. It’s definitely not easy because we all have a tendency to only see our mistakes, but if you make that effort to see past them you will see that you did some things the way you intended. After that, identify one thing you didn’t like about your drawing and focus on that area in your practice.

    Also, you need to cut yourself a little slack and remember that you’re in the learning stages of a really complicated process. Art is hard. I always compare my work to artists that I respect and find I come up short every time. I just have to keep reminding myself that learning to draw is a process and if I work the process one step at a time I’ll eventually get to where I want to be.

    Just remember what the great Walt Stanchfield said, “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out the better.”

    Good luck,

    Heidi Søholm

    Oh, your words are comforting and needed, Chris. I will try my best to follow your advice as well. 🙂

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