My creative journey – Moments of frustration

2년 전

Lately I've been having more and more people asking me to draw stuff for them. Commissions for actual money, which is really cool. It's a great sign that I'm improving and that I have something to offer. So far none of them have been overly complex but in my attempts to fill their orders I've come up against quite a frustrating wall. Not an unexpected wall, but one that makes me want to tear out small chunks of my hair. Which...might be kind of hard since I have a shaved head...but, you get the idea.

While I've been pretty much balls to the wall for the last 6, almost 7 months now, honing my skills, calibrating my hand, and figuring out how to use all the tools available to me, I'm still not anywhere near where I want to be (obviously) And that point became crystal clear again when yesterday I spent several hours working through a number of drawings as well as a short background story for one of my commissions.

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I've become pretty comfortable with finding images and using them as the base for different kinds of practice. Figures, animals, objects, what I see I can at least make a decent looking copy of. I don't consider it creative, more technical. The practice needed to get to where I want to be. By rote repetition putting forms, shapes, shadows into my mental library for later use. I preach about imitation to get to creation over and over because I believe it's true.

I know the people who approach me right now about this kind of stuff say they don't have high expectations and they're good with how my work looks like right now, but, in the back of their heads, they have an ideal in mind they want me to reach. When they ask me to draw something there is this preconceived notion of how it's supposed to look. I can feel it. Or, maybe it's just me. But, I just feel that something is there. I mean, they're paying me to provide for them a product, a rather unique one, and I want to make sure I hit the bullseye.

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Maybe it's one of my deeper fears of letting people down. I always strive to do my best and am always afraid it never is. That, in some way, I could have done or given more. Maybe it's a strength in my character, maybe it's a flaw. I'm on the edge about it. While that fear constantly drives me to try and do better, it also drives me a bit insane. You can imagine the anxiety loops it begins to create in my head as I'm drawing for someone else, hehe. Then again, it's the same with my photography. The question of, 'is what I'm good enough for my client?'

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So, looking over the work I did yesterday this morning over some tea I had to do some minor soul searching. I've only been at this for like 7 or 8 months. People know this. People do understand the level that I'm at. And, overall looking at what I basically created from scratch, I am actually pretty proud. Frustrated, yes. I know I can do so much better...just not yet. Sure I followed along cliché storylines, tableau, etc.. But I did them with my own twist using my experiences, knowledge, and feelings.

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I think that's the takeaway for me from last night. That it's okay to be frustrated. I may not be able to yet actualize and bring into reality the ideas I have in my head in the exact way I want to, but, I most definitely am on my way. Over the last several months I've been scouting out on my own with ideas taken from my own head, little forays into the wilderness. This was on a whole different level. This was like the Scouts in Attack on Titan riding out past the wall. That I survived to tell the tale and want to go out again...that's pretty cool.

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Frustration let's me know that I care about what I'm doing. That I'm emotionally involved with what's going on. That it's not just a minor thing for me. Each time I feel that emotion welling up in me it adds fuel to my fire which drives the engine of my creativity forward. I want to not feel that emotion anymore so I'll throw even more energy at it until it goes away. I'm sure there will always be some frustration in what I do, with my clients, with the world at large, but, it's sure as hell better than feeling indifferent.

The only thing I can do it carry on, do what I can, and hope for the best. I can't let myself linger on negative emotions, though. Deadlines need to be met, expectations need to be exceeded, and I need to move forward :) For know, I'll deal with the frustration by working even harder to get better, hehe.

Thank you everyone who came by for coming by. As I pretty much always say, I really appreciate y'all. An artist without an audience is like a boat without water. Useful, but not really fulfilling it's purpose. Let me know what you think. And, if you want me to sketch you, leave a pic of yourself and I'll try and get to it. I hope everyone has an amazing week!

PS My client asked me to do a geisha or samurai. Since she wants me to do something for her daughter I figured a strong female warrior might be a good idea :)


Find me on Instagram at IAMSTONEDWESSEL and watch my new work, videos, and occasional LIVES :)

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What you are describing is completely normal. I am still going through it even after many years of doing this for living, although much less. It's just a manifestation of unconscious fear which makes us want to please others because of lack of self-love and inner insecurity. The only thing you can do with it is to observe it with awareness, dis-identify yourself from it (cause it's not really your "true self") and invite it fully in. You can never heal it by rejecting it or pretending it's not there . the only way is always through fire. That fire is in everyone. And it's a blessing in disguise. Your work is great brother. Don't bother about praise or criticism at all. It's got NOTHING to do with your work. After all it's not even "your" work. It's a gift you were given. Peace


Amazing words. Thank you for saying them. Means a lot to have you drop by. That's the hardest thing to do, trust and love least for me. But, I'm doing my best to get better at it. :) I'm just gonna try and be the best and most me I can be, hehe. Small step by small step. Hope you have a great day!