I've been having a pretty rough few years in the creativity department. Going to school and being able to day dream and doodle during boring classes is what kept my creative juice flowing. I always came home with another page of my notebook filled with pictures or stories to write. They weren't picasso, but they were something.
I've taken art classes in high school and after graduating i had a short break-- which actually seems like forever, from drawing till i transferred from a jc to an art university. Although i felt a bit rusty my 1st semester there, i was so glad to be back in a creative environment--if you'd call a regular school a creative environment...so i spent a year in art school till i could no longer afford it which led me to a deep depressive state. I wanted to be around other artists, i loved being able to see the different skill levels and ways of executing an assignment, it inspired me. Not to mention the loads of art equipment i had access to. Before all that i had never worked because i went straight to college after high school, which i wish i had done differently but i wasn't as prepared for the adult world as i thought i was. I was always told to just focus on going to school and work can come later, BIG MISTAKE. In the end, it got me thinking whether art school is even worth it. Yes, i do best in a learning environment because doodling during lectures is somehow the key to unlocking hundreds of ideas on what to draw.
Since i've been out of school for the past 3 in a half years, i don't have that wasted time to brainstorm, because now i'm worrying about finding a good job i can have in case i fail at being an artist,(was seriously doubting my talent)and paying back loans. I also had to start taking care of my younger siblings while i sulk about my lack of creativity growing every day that goes by. There were very long periods where i just didn't draw at all and then times i drew(i don't even think that's a word)but couldn't come up with anything. My doodles were plain crap, i couldn't even finish a drawing becuase i hated everything and it made me frustrated that i couldn't put what was in my mind onto paper as i see it, i didn't even know what to draw anymore. Somehow i had formed this "Great Wall of Amanda" in my head which was built with all of my negative thoughts. It's true when they say "you are your own worst critic." My whole adult life i said i can't do this, i suck, I'll never be as good as them. Now at this time i was spending a lot of my time looking in deviantart for inspirations and i definitely found some artists i absolutely love and wish i could draw like. It's really bad to compare your work to others which my dumb behind did all of the time, and this only fueled my depression more.
I made a lot of excuses too, my main one being "i have a really big creative block." While it is true, my brain is filled with cobwebs and i can't get the rusted cog wheels to rotate more than an inch, i never really tried many techniques to get it going again.
I had collected books over the years, watched videos on how to draw, got a lot of advice from artists that went through what i was going through every day in my life, yet i still felt stuck. Creative block is hard to overcome. It kept me from drawing as much as i should. And what I've learned from everyone but just didnt want to believe was that you have to practice no matter what, draw everyday even for 5 minutes. It can be anything, it can be copying (hate to do) a favorite artwork or just murdering a blank piece of paper with scribbles-i don't know. The longer you work at something the more you can develop. ALTHOUGH, that may not apply to all things, because i know i have and always will suck at making the perfect pancake consistently.
I used to hate the phrase "practice makes perfect," i never believed it for myself. It didn't apply to me because no matter what i did, i didn't improve, it didn't boost my creative mind. But i believe I'm wrong now. After watching some motivational videos, my opinion changed drastically. Currently, i feel the walls I've built in my mind beginning to crumble, because i decided to change how i was living. From now on, i will draw everyday for 1 hour only, just to warm me up and get me drawing something again, to get the wheels of creativity running again. Thus, every week i will have a theme to focus on. And every day i will draw one thing. For instance, this week my subject matter is horror, and on one day i will draw a monster, then a creepy person, the next ill try a creepy environment or something. By the end of the week i would have studied a human, creature and environment/object in the theme I'm focusing on. Originally i thought for an extra challenege i can combine all subjects to form one complete illustration, but ehhh--I'll keep things simple for now my main focus with this plan is to get me drawing all the time so i can improve my skill. With this change, i have a better mindset not just as an artist but as a person. And if anyone else is having problems that are preventing them to be successful be it creative block or their own personal issues what have you, try this. Just do it(my favorite saying). Don't question anything, don't hesitate, "Just do it" and see where that gets you. Because the moment you start letting the negative thoughts run amuck, you're already doomed. Stop standing in your own way, no one else is because they can be easily pushed away. That's something i had to come to terms with about myself, that i've been standing in my own way, preventing myself from striving towards my dreams. I've learned that doing nothing and WISHING i was successful won't get me anywhere, and just because I'm not an amazing artist, that doesn't mean i should stop drawing. NEVER stop! Keep on drawing those ugly stick figures, keep on drawing an anime character with deformed hands--just continue to roll with it, OWN that small head that is tinier than the rest of the body, and that one eye that is higher than the other!
Now let's see if i can stick to this and pump out some more artwork, because my page is looking rather dead.