Question: Hello Lachri!
I was wondering if you yourself have your bad days when it comes to drawing, like if you’re not in the mood or if a piece you’re working on goes wrong. Or is it because you’ve been drawing for so long and are very experienced you don’t tend to go wrong much on your work?
Oh, absolutely. There are days when I just do NOT want to sit down at that easel. One of the problems I have is that I am quite obsessive. If I’m focused on something, I don’t want to do ANYTHING ELSE. If I’ve been working on my website, trying to get myself to sit still at the easel is nearly impossible. I have a really hard time transitioning from one activity to another because of that. It can be anything, even organizing a cupboard. Seriously, I did not want to paint for 2 days while I was putting in my shelving liners. I just wanted to finish that project!
For me though, because art is my job, I have to find ways to work through this. When I get like this I go through a series of actions to put myself in the right mindset. First, if I REALLY don’t feel like painting or drawing, I go on a short 10 minute walk to clear my mind from whatever I was previously obsessing over. I then make myself a cup of tea and prep my work area. Normally I will listen to an audio book, but sometimes that won’t actually put me in a painting mood. If it won’t, then I put on music, preferably something that I like but that I’ve not listened to in a long time. For some reason hearing something I love but had mostly forgotten about can really trigger the impulse to create.
This doesn’t always work though, especially if it’s a project I’ve gotten bored with or really don’t have much interest in. On those days I just have to fight through it and paint or draw anyway. Art is like any other job. If you want to make it into a career, or even if you simply want to improve you have to work even when you don’t want to. I used to work at an animal hospital and I can tell you there were PLENTY of days (like all of them) that I wasn’t in the mood to go work, but I still had to go if I wanted to be paid.
As for things going wrong in my work, it happens ALL THE TIME! And some days are worse than others for sure. This is how you will get really good at fixing mistakes! To me, something going wrong doesn’t mean you’ve ruined anything, just that you now have to take the time to figure out how to fix it. There have been many projects that I thought would look awesome in my head and once I got it onto canvas I realized it was a big fluffy NOPE! The funny thing about those paintings, someone will always like it so I finish them anyway. I just keep reminding myself when working on something I’m not in love with that this is GREAT practice. I’m practicing blending or shading or whatever. Not every painting is going to be your best. That is totally ok, so keep working on it anyway.
Of course, if you really don’t want to paint one day you can take a break, you just have to be very careful not to let that break last more than a day or two. It’s soooo easy to fall into the mindset of “I’m not in the mood and art requires some magic fairy dust and all of the planets aligned properly for me to do it well”. People who stick to that myth don’t generally get too far with their art because they don’t spend enough time creating.