Drawing Cars: I Really Suck at Drawing!

August 23, 2011  •  Leave a Comment

That’s what some people think about their work every once in a while when drawing cars.

So I got this email from a guy that was ripping himself apart for the quality of his sketches.  I felt that it was important to write about this because I know many of you have either felt this way before or are feeling this now as I write this.  Let’s call this guy “Chuck.”  I like the name Chuck.  After Chuck watched my videos on Keeping an Active Sketchbook, he said this, “Thanks for showing us your sketch book! I’ve filled a few sketch books, but I’m still intimidated by them. I want to fill my sketch book with amazing sketches, but unfortunately many of my sketches suck! So instead I draw on loose printer paper.”

Now perhaps the remedy is a simple hug!  That’s the caring and sensitive approach! ;)  However the hug is only a temporary fix…cause you don’t always have a shoulder to cry on! So let’s break it down and figure out what’s happening here and find a permanent solution.

First of all…anyone having these feelings about their work is completely normal!  Everyone feels this way.  I used to feel this way and to a certain degree, these feelings STILL creep up every once in a while (maybe I need a hug). So  I am going to help you understand the psychology behind this problem.

It is very difficult to focus and understand what exactly you are trying to accomplish when starting out on your quest for drawing cars. Sometimes we just don’t know what we want.  We live in a world where we depend on the admiration of others to help us feel good about what we do.  We all want to be respected and praised by other people that see our work.  It is the ultimate form of flattery and helps to build your confidence and sort of legitimizes your presence in the design or art word.  Not to mention it’s an ego boost.

Ironically, this also becomes a distraction. I’ll explain. When I was attending engineering school, I used to struggle in my early classes. My father would often tell me that I was not studying to LEARN the material. I was doing it for the grade. If I were to learn the material for the sake of the enjoyment, than everything else would fall into place. The same problem persisted in the first year of attending design school. I would do the assignments and try to finish it off.  Bad idea!

You must be curious enough to learn the subject matter to the fullest degree. Even something simple like drawing in a sketchbook can be challenging because your mind is not actually “in” the moment to focus and concentrate.   Your main intent ends up being diluted with other random thoughts like “how do I make the baddest lookin sketch so I can show it off and act like it was NUTHIN!”

Bottom Line:  You may be focusing on making an impression to others than the act of improving your skills(which is your real intent!)

One may argue that the intent is not to impress anyone and disappointment only arises because the final sketch does not meet your own high level of  expectations.  However….again…why do you have high expectations in the first place? Think about it…you may arrive at the same answer.

All this causes a tremendous amount of internal anxiety and pressure. So what are you supposed to do?

Well….Let it go! Don’t worry about what other people think. Focus and concentrate on understanding and learning the material.  This is only under the assumption that you know WHAT to practice and you do it often.   If you follow that logic, everything else will magically fall into place because you are no longer trying to impress anyone….including YOURSELF.    Recognize that things don’t come quickly and easily. Be patient and believe in yourself.   It all takes practice and hard work….but STAY THE COURSE!!  Remember, you are doing it due to your fascination and insatiable appetite for knowledge on the subject. Trust me on this.

Now if that doesn’t work…well….then perhaps you’ll be needing that hug!

Cheers! ;)
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