Art Discussion

What do you do when you hate everything you're producing? How do you get out of the funk?

By Nai Obeid


  • Bleu Hope artist
    Bleu Hope (@bleuhope)
    12/28/2018 @ 6:08pm

    I've never really hated any finished works that I've produced so much as the methods I've used again and again to craft them (after a while). For years I used to craft my illustrations solely through pencil and graphite among other things, yet since I added pen & ink into my process as a finishing touch, I've seen my work strengthen and soar to heights I never thought possible. But yeah, succinctly put/long story short, when things wear thin I add something new and hope for the best. So far it's working out rather nicely.

  • Caroline Rodriguez artist
    Caroline Rodriguez (@carolinerodriguez)
    12/28/2018 @ 9:25pm

    I think the idea that @bleuhope mentioned is a great one -- add a bit of variety and explore with different mediums. Entering drawing challenges is a great way to just try something new. However, the overall issue, which is confidence, just needs to come naturally.

  • Lauren Konopacki artist
    Lauren Konopacki (@lettermore) Plus Member
    12/31/2018 @ 4:38pm

    I like to sit down and rather than "create something amazing" just experiment with different techniques for simply laying the color down on paper. For example, I'll experiment with different watercolor opacities and take it a step further by seeing how the paint will react with salt, or oil to create interesting effects. I find that it usually sparks my inspiration and curiosity, thus setting me on the right path. It's all about just playing and being open!

  • Embracing nightmares artist
    Embracing nightmares (@gibroni87)
    01/01/2019 @ 3:24pm

    I like to go for walks in the woods. Just to think and get my mind clear. Or plug in my headphones and drown everything out and just sit for a bit. If I’m still stuck I just start doodling anything, not caring what comes out just making marks on paper. After a few times of this something catch’s in my mind and I’m able to get away from the brain fog. As far as not liking something I usually just stop what I’m doing and leave it, occasionally looking at it again to see if I can get a better understanding of what I really want with my picture. I have lots of unfinished work but I don’t see anything wrong with it. I don’t like to draw unless I’m pretty certain I’ll like the outcome.

  • Nai Obeid artist
    Nai Obeid (@naio)
    01/03/2019 @ 3:39pm

    @bleuhope That's a great idea! Thanks for the tip!

  • Nai Obeid artist
    Nai Obeid (@naio)
    01/03/2019 @ 3:59pm

    @carolinerodriguez @lettermore @gibroni87 Those are all great suggestions. Now I have an arsenal of ideas next time I find myself stuck :)

  • Karen Wattie artist
    Karen Wattie (@Yabut)
    01/27/2019 @ 12:20am

    I have recently discovered I can do better than I ever expected with a simple ballpoint pen, so if things are not going as well as I hoped I'll switch to that. It may not be archival but it's a great confidence booster fir me.

  • Dietrich Adonis artist
    Dietrich Adonis (@ArtNinja2000) Plus Member
    01/27/2019 @ 4:17pm

    READ books, PLAY an instrument, LISTEN to music, dine out ENJOY a good meal and go down my Oscar list and WATCH a good movie. . .

  • Melissa R Cooper artist
    Melissa R Cooper (@Melissarochell)
    01/29/2019 @ 1:04am

    I start to practice with different mediums and/or styles. Since each will force me into a different way of approach/technique, when I return to my typical mudium, I consciously (or subconsciously) bring along something new to my work.

  • Phil Conner artist
    Phil Conner (@pcartistry)
    02/01/2019 @ 4:31pm

    Huh, I seem to go the opposite of all the comments so far. Instead of trying to calm my nerves and drink tea and take walks... I get a little destructive. I will throw paint and use aerosol spray cans on the painting i am struggling with. After about 15-30 minutes of this, I feel rejuvenated, refreshed and messy. Sometimes also out of chaos comes inspiration.

  • David Laferriere artist
    David Laferriere (@drlaferriere)
    02/02/2019 @ 10:08am

    You can do some of what has been said here but at some point you should share those works you hate with a few people who will be honest with you. They may see/say something that you can try that may work for you.

  • James artist
    James (@Jhonny)
    02/03/2019 @ 1:50pm

    It all comes to the state of flow and how it can be accessed the inspiration comes from there and clarity ideas so on. You can learn abouth it this definitly could help. Sorry If my english it's bad im from Rumania

  • Lorelei Ross artist
    Lorelei Ross (@ArtWithFire)
    03/02/2019 @ 3:36pm

    This may seem a bit odd, but here goes—it may be helpful to try and draw something I’ve never drawn before. My weakness is drawing cars, so I went and (for some reason) painted a picture of a car (took me a month!). Once you finish doing that, try going back to what you usually do and the art might flow better.

  • Mark Lane artist
    Mark Lane (@MarkLane)
    03/10/2019 @ 1:57pm

    I hate going through that phase. That’s happening to me at the moment so I look back at all my old stuff to try and inspire myself to get right back on with it because I fear that if I leave it too long I’ll forget what to do. I haven’t drawn for about a month now. To be quite honest, sometimes I look back at some of my best stuff and think “how the hell did I do that?” I create music with GarageBand sometimes but I haven’t made anything new for years. Even with that when I listen back to my tunes, I think “what the....”.

  • Valeriya Nikolayeva artist
    Valeriya Nikolayeva (@Geeelairs)
    03/31/2019 @ 4:41pm

    That’s the worst phase!!! Unfortunately, I went through it for 10 years... for me, it took getting into another art medium, but it also took me looking at my art differently. I used to draw people I knew or who were famous, but I hated all my art because it didn’t “look like them”. Once I got an iPad, and I found models online who I didn’t know, I started my drawings with the outlook that they didn’t have to look like themselves. For the first time in years, I made a piece of art that I a, actually proud of, and its such a strange feeling! For years, others told me not to be so hard on myself, but I think another way of putting that statement is that you should be flexible with what your finished work will look like. If you’re open to your art not matching your expectation of it, you might find that you actually like it! But I guess there’s TONS of other ways to like your art! :)

  • erik cheung artist
    erik cheung (@metamorphosis)
    05/25/2019 @ 7:38pm

    Every work is a diary. There are nasty days and sunny ones. Close the diary. read it after a few months. What appeared to be bad could be a lesson of self taught techniques. I still have horrible works from a decade ago laying in the basement starring at me every time I go downstairs. From time to time, I rework and learn a thing or two to be applied to my new ones.

  • Rik Catlow artist
    Rik Catlow (@rikcat)
    06/18/2019 @ 1:38pm

    When I'm in a funk I revisit something I made from the past and recreate it.

  • Anlly artist
    Anlly (@Anlly)
    07/20/2019 @ 2:47pm

    It's incredibly difficult to keep going when everything you make doesn't look at all like you intended. In those cases I tend to leave the thing I'm doing for a while and then come back at it with a fresh mind. If that doesn't work I simply start from the beginning or a new piece entirely.

  • Jenn Adkins artist
    Jenn Adkins (@Flashfox) Plus Member
    09/16/2019 @ 9:54pm

    Experiment with a new medium or style. One fun thing I like to try is to pick 2 or 3 artists I like with different styles, then try to blend their styles into one drawing, using some elements from each style. It gets the creative flow going and you might pick up new techniques along the way.

  • 43Sdrawsstuff artist
    43Sdrawsstuff (@43Sdrawsstuff)
    10/18/2019 @ 10:08pm

    I think why I don't like the final effect and what caused that. I find the mistakes and try to never repeat them. Another thing is, people often lean towards "hating everything they produce". I try to imagine the artwork I am looking at was created by someone else. Or I have someone else look at it. Different perspectives help to build a more constructive approach.

  • Arwen artist
    Arwen (@ArwenGallopswirlz)
    10/23/2019 @ 1:02pm

    Before you draw any conclusions, I would definitely TRY AGAIN. And again. When you are absolutely certain that the next artwork you create is one you won't like, take a break. I would suggest going outside, spending time with pets, and interacting with people, even if it's online. It helps me clear my mind of artist stress. Oftentimes it's your mindset that makes your art look worse. If something is bothering your conscience, I would try and resolve it; you'll find that it will make your drawing hand feel so much more relaxed. Then, look at your art. Look at what's bad. Look at what's good. Then, define what's good. Improve it and make it even better. Change what's bad to look like what's good. Look at the art style and media you used, and redo it with different media and a different art style, if possible, but without changing the look or the mood of the artwork. This is often the best approach for me. It is good to analyze your art and not throw it away. Some people can be embarrassed about their art, and don't even want to look or think about it. But to improve it, it is important that you look closely at it and decide what exactly it is about that art that makes you dislike it. Then, change it so that you like it.

  • May artist
    May (@SydneyMay)
    10/26/2019 @ 5:56pm

    What helped me was going back to some old drawings where the line work is already done & re draw it in a different style or media. Then when I'm starting to have fun again, I go back to creating something new

  • Leighanne artist
    Leighanne (@AbstractHuman8)
    01/14/2020 @ 4:11pm

    I hate to say it but alcohol does help to dislodge some of the doubt. However, it is hardly a concrete solution.

  • Haynes artist
    Haynes (@Haynes)
    04/12/2020 @ 8:37pm

    I went through the hate producing stage a few months ago. After taking a month break from art I realized my artistic eye out grew my draftsmanship. This motivated me to continue practicing and practice drawing thumbnail sketches.

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