Friday, July 5, 2013

A Plea for the Art Gods

I've been struggling with a creative block for several years, playfully calling it a "creative re-routing" as if my creativity still existed but was being re-routed somewhere else and will find its way home back to me eventually. It's been "lost" for five years.

I know what you will say, "But Julie, you've obviously been making these little comics every once in awhile and some drawings, it's definitely not lost!" -- but it kind of is. And it couldn't be more frustrating. Making these comics were done by forcing myself to exert some sort of art, in an act of impatience and frustration with my prolonged inability to draw anything.

 I remember when I used to draw all day, every day. I stayed up till the wee hours of morning drawing on a piece of paper or on my tablet and I wonder to myself all the time, "where did that go?" I used to blame it on a completely different lifestyle than I had when I was 16. Lack of a full-time job, paying bills, half-assing school definitely gave me a lot of time to draw. I then tried to blame it on the fact that my full-time grown-up job with grown-up work hours made me too tired to even think of anything remotely creative other than what I'd be cooking for dinner. Then cooking became my creative outlet.

It's nice, but it's not as satisfying. It's like wanting a can of Cherry Coke but all the soda machine has is Cherry Pepsi. It'll do, but it's not the same.
But then I realized that it's just a change in interest. The drawings I spent hours and hours on when I was younger was a lot of fan art, a lot of anime, and I'm definitely not as into it as I used to be. It kind of was what I only knew how to draw, if you asked me to draw a realistic cat, I wouldn't know what the hell to do.

 I tried drawing anime again the other day, it was even more disappointing.

After venting my frustrations to friends, it's always the same question that comes up, "Well, what inspires you? What can inspire you to draw?" and honestly, I love comics. Not elaborate detailed superhero or manga comics but quirky comics with a simple but signature art style and great dialogue. It's just that I haven't got my own "style" or even one that I'm satisfied with. Before I spent so much time copying other artists' anime styles because I envied them and was unsatisfied with my own. I drew this in 2007. Didn't copy exactly, but took the style and color scheme.

I've come to the conclusion that I'm starting on a blank slate in terms of "how I draw" in general. There are definitely artists of all sorts that I admire, but it just evokes a mixture of jealousy and impatience that they're doing something that I want to do, and their art style is amazing. Which is ridiculous because I've not even come to close to the devotion and creativity that they have. It's as if my passion to draw is still there, but there's no content. Even starting this comic blog, I heavily took another artist's style.
**Note: This is not my work, just someone's awesome work.

Writing a life event or some thoughts I have is pretty simple, but drawing accompanying pictures with it gives me anxiety, especially when I know the art style isn't mine. Drawing without something telling me what to draw just doesn't exist. I started to feel guilty about the stolen art style which is why this website has inconsistent time frames between posts. When another post is up, it's usually me, forcing myself to squeeze out some sort of creative productivity in hope that maybe I can make this art thing actually work some day.

What's a girl to do?

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