Author Topic: Even professional artists deal with life stuff  (Read 3070 times)

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Offline Lisbon Virgo

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Even professional artists deal with life stuff
« on: December 23, 2013, 01:06:42 AM »
This is a post from Shane Glines on Facebook. Given that a few of us have dealt with depression and how it affected our artwork and output, I thought it would be a good read. Noben, I hope you especially read this. It should help give you some perspective on some of the issues you've dealt with yourself.

https://www.facebook.com/cartoonretro/posts/10152163868119739
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Even professional artists deal with life stuff
« on: December 23, 2013, 01:06:42 AM »

Offline SleepingBeau

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Re: Even professional artists deal with life stuff
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2013, 03:30:28 AM »
I don't suppose someone might volunteer to copy/paste? I really don't enjoy dealing with facebook.
And the cackling coyote said to the wolf, "Then what will be left to eat but the fat off your lies and my gamey pointless riddles?"

Offline Lisbon Virgo

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Re: Even professional artists deal with life stuff
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2013, 08:06:12 AM »
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A few years back when my anxiety over my drawing was at its peak I would get so upset about what I considered to be a bad drawing that I wouldn't pick up a pencil for weeks, sometimes months. Even more crazy, sometimes I would do a drawing that I was pleased with or have some insight or breakthrough-- and even then the panic would kick in and instead of pursuing and building on that insight I would be so afraid of what I felt would be the inevitable disappointment if it didn't continue that I would just stop drawing. Even a good drawing could paralyze me.

During this time I would still get job offers and would accept because I desperately needed the money but as soon as I began work I would have a running dialogue in my head about how I was going to screw it up. I would even be mentally composing my email apology for not being able to do the work- while I was working on the job. There were times when I would just break down and start sobbing at the drawing table.

I don't spend much time thinking about my past but when I do think back to those times I feel so grateful that I was able to shut off that destructive inner voice and be able to just have fun drawing again.

Thanks so much for all of your beautiful comments, compliments and enthusiasm for my work and the vintage art that I love sharing with you.
Have a great holiday!

With love,
Shane

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Shane Glines I really appreciate the comments here.
After being put on a variety of pills that only made things much worse and reading every self-help book on the market I finally tried meditation. It's not a quick fix, unfortunately.

Meditation has a lot of metaphysical nonsense surrounding it which turns a lot of people off. It's not a religion and shouldn't contradict any beliefs you hold.

Basically, it works like this-- at least in my experience and research:

Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes and just watch. Focus your attention on your breathing and if a body sensation or thought comes up direct your attention to it and just watch. Don't judge or label, just watch it. You find that as soon as you look at it it stops-- so you return to the breath. While you meditate you'll catch yourself lost in thought many, many times but through repetition you're training your mind to not blindly follow any thought that pops up.

After regular practice a small space appears between the thought and your reaction to it. Just enough time to catch it and see it for what it really is.

If you want to learn more look into mindfulness or Vipassana meditation.
Thanks, everyone
S.

Plus, a response from J Scott Campbell:
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Very raw, honest, and deeply insightful Shane. And so eloquently put. So many of us "professional" artists have felt a similar level of anxiety from time to time... some more than others, but we ALL hide it! I think up-and-comers feel like they're alone when this sort of doubt seems to overtake them. I sure hope many younger artists out there get to read this! Thanks man!
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Offline Russ

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Re: Even professional artists deal with life stuff
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2013, 08:23:55 AM »
Thanks for posting this, Lisbon. I'm also not into facebook.

I like the simple version meditation method shown there too. That same method is in a few manuals for potential job-seekers these days to get over pre-interview anxiety. Another real quick technique is the ten-second breath rule. From a starting point, exhale completely, empty out until ten seconds is reached, then inhale for ten, then exhale ten, etc. Five cycles of these will turn on a lot of the endorphin taps. Don't worry when doing these if you fill up too fast then hold for the rest of the ten seconds, and if emptying too fast, same thing. It gets easier to do as you go.

  I use that quick meditation method. It does have one problem for me- I'll drift off to sleep about a third of the time! OTOH, its a good way to start sleep and often results in lucid dream with time.

  Also, while its main idea is getting you to focus and ignore random thoughts, through repetition training, often what can happen is that partial success will allow you to sharpen normally random thoughts and it (meditation) becomes a creative tool. I'll often envision scenes I would like to draw or experience story line ideas as if in a conversation.

  Use that mental toolbox, the same as your pens, markers or other art supplies.

Offline SleepingBeau

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Re: Even professional artists deal with life stuff
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2013, 11:30:38 PM »
Thank you Lisbon :)

Sounds like some of what I know about first-hand, too. I, personally, reached an acceptable middle ground by differentiating what I thought about my own work vs what others appreciate about it. I treat everything I write like I'm just writing it for my own amusement. So long as it was fun to make, I'm happy with it. And if other people like it, so much the better! I'm not trying to monetize my work, though, so I'm probably not dealing with the same amount of pressure.

Mental Health is one of the things I'm really hoping becomes a worldwide standard in education. It does so much damage to us all.
And the cackling coyote said to the wolf, "Then what will be left to eat but the fat off your lies and my gamey pointless riddles?"