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Submitted on
November 19, 2013
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I think most of us had it at some point. A moment in which we felt sad about our art. It might have been a full developed artblock, or just a small moment of hopelessness, perhaps questioning our artistic career, asking yourself "Why did I actually start doing this?".

Over the years, I've had many moments like that. Most of them triggered by another failed drawing, a total lack of inspiration (while I needed to get creative work done --nothing more annoying than that!), or another harsh critique that was just a bit too much to handle, at that particular moment.

I've had many times that I doubted myself. There have been times when I questioned my creativity in general. Times when I was sad about just another harsh critique, or depressed for being turned down by another group or publisher. Times when I got angry and shouted that I wanted to quit art altogether. 
But eventually, I never quit.

The point is... no matter how angry or sad I am, it always takes me a while to calm down and ask myself: "What is art to me?"
According to the dictionary, art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

Sounds all pretty boring and static, doesn't it. But I guess that's what dictionary's are for.
To me, art is more. So much more...

Art is the one thing that I did as a kid, and never stopped doing, no matter how old I got. It connects my past self to my current self, and connects with people with similar interests. I've made more friends with doing art alone, than I ever did outside. And although my vision changed over the years, because of the experiences I've been through, the satisfying feeling that I had when completing just another artwork or fictional story, never changed. Art is the one thing that helped me expressing my true emotions, even when I couldn't find the words to describe my situation... or when it was just too painful to talk about. The process of making art never ceased to calm my mind, even though I had a million things to worry about. Art was the one thing that kept me going, even in times when I felt severely depressed and I couldn't see a single light in my life. The worlds and characters I created, gave me interesting subjects to think about, and helped me escaping the parts of reality I wasn't able to handle at that time. Creating fictional characters and putting them through challenges helped me finding my way and my strengths.

When thinking about that, the question isn't about how much happier I would be, not putting myself through the struggle of making art.
It's about what I would lose, if I quit!

Life isn't always easy.
Some people submit themselves to alcohol and drugs in order to deal with the difficult things in life.
I have art. And I consider myself lucky to have such a creative mind.

So instead of getting depressed over another failed drawing, or a harsh critique, think about what art has brought you.
The battle is part of the process. We, artists, art delicate creatures. We create. We pour our soul into our artworks; into our worlds, and our characters. And we leave it there -out in the open- for the entire world to judge. 

In one sense, that makes us vulnerable. But at the same time... doesn't that make us very brave?
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:iconshiguretheprotector:
ShigureTheProtector Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I know this is from last year, but damn... I agree with everything you've said in here. Very inspirational and encouraging.
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:iconseventhdaysoldier:
Seventhdaysoldier Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2014
Thank you. God bless!
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:iconradiumlowi:
radiumlowi Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I will, never deactivate my account, in fact I'm pretty proud of it really. My OCs are exactly like my own children with some traits from myself (a hipster girl, the worried one...). If I de-activates, it is comparable with killing them and dunk the bodies in acid :/
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:iconcreativesoul007:
CreativeSoul007 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2014  Student General Artist
Words can't describe how beautiful this is, or how much I needed to hear this right now. I feel like my depression is slowly pushing my artistic abilities away from me. It's a very uncomfortable and scary situation, since I would normally turn to art to make myself feel better. I don't know where I would be without art; it gives my life meaning.
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:hug:
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:iconcreativesoul007:
CreativeSoul007 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2014  Student General Artist
:)
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:iconjohn-marc:
John-Marc Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2014  Student Artist
Wonderful, just wonderful. I'm just ... A teen, trying to draw. I have only a bit of support and I always doubt myself due to failing more than others, at a rate of which I just want to quit. My friend showed me this topic, and I'm grateful he has. Well done, you've just saved someone from quitting, so thank you.
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:iconrachelolynuk:
Rachelolynuk Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Clap i think you have a new followerWink/Razz 
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:icondamaimikaz:
DamaiMikaz Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Welcome to the club :hug:
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:iconadastreet:
AdaStreet Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
Oh, bravo and well said! I have so many corresponding thoughts in my head on this topic that I can't really get any of them out into typed words right now, but I have to say this was very well said of you.
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:icondemonictemerity:
DemonicTemerity Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am constantly criticizing my art. I hate everything I draw. I think it's because I see people on here my age doing better things and I feel like a failure. I want to stand out or make something that people would be astonished with...but no matter how hard I try I can't. But I'll always keep trying
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:iconghurahm:
Ghurahm Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2014
The last sentence is a really good thought to have. You shouldn't let go of that. While I can't be sure that you still hate everything you draw now(as it's been six/seven months), I'll still tell you this:

Children surpass adults and teenagers many times. That child who was a prodigy at playing piano? Imagine how many people who wished they had the talent to play like that. The first thing someone might think of is the numerous amount of people that gave up because of that prodigy. But you also have to wonder about the people that didn't give up, and kept trying-- all because they wanted to be like them. They never gave up; they got up early in the morning to practice, and kept doing it til the late hours of the night, even if they kept messing up.

It's the same thing with people of the same age. I know several people/friends who are around my age and are in another league than I am. Yes, you will be jealous at times. Yes, you will wish that you had a certain talent of theirs. But take that jealousy- take that low self-confidence of your art and turn it on its head.

When you're drawing, and when you hate your art because you can't be like this person or that person.. If you want to stand out and make something that people would be astonished with, you need to believe in yourself first and what you're doing. The thing is, you can stand out in your own way and make pieces where people will say, "Hey, that's really nice!" And you already have that. I've seen your art, you do really well with details and shading. But if you do hate everything you draw, try something new. Think about when you first started drawing. Did you think of the other kids around you-- and if they drew, did you think you were a failure then? Why did you even start drawing?

Taking this from your profile page: "I have ALWAYS loved art and I first started drawing around age 3! (then again I wasn't that good) " Well, was being good or bad at art what made you love it? Did it stop you from drawing? It didn't, you're still here.

When I was younger, and when I saw someone of a higher skill than I was.. (People on cable, my sister, etc..) I didn't think I was a failure. Heck, I wanted to be just like them, and to do that I had to keep practicing. 

If you want people to be impressed with your art, you first have to be impressed with it. Why do something you hate, afterall?

Many people have different opinions on what is good, and what is bad.

Many artists have opinions on our own work- some can be negative, others can be positive.

We are our worst critiques, though. Keep that in mind.

--
I hope I wasn't harsh or anything and I hope I helped with something ;;v;;
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:iconsoleospace:
Soleospace Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Student General Artist
i feel the same way... that's why i don't draw anymore .-.
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:iconssj-videl:
SSJ-Videl Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist
Nice piece of writing <3
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:iconlupizora:
Lupizora Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That's so inspirational! For someone who is on this point now, this was the right thing to hear. I always worry how others will perceive what I wrote or drew; is it going to be enough for them? I'm quite the perfectionist and that rubs of the wrong way on me. Maybe I should just relax and enjoy the process more I guess; because my characters showed me several time that I can do it. I'm not putting so much hardships on them, so that I won't do myself what I preach through them. 

I can't really express how much this means to all of us (artists/writers/and so on). All I can say is a big Thank You! 
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:iconstudiocolorcomics:
StudioColorComics Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2013   General Artist
Great words!!!:D (Big Grin) Thumbs Up 
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:iconthemooplet:
theMooplet Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you.
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:iconanoxymous:
anoxymous Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I always love reading your journals and it never fails to make me think outside the box... Such inspiring words~
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:iconart-an:
Art-an Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013  Student Digital Artist
it's a very beautiful essays, thanks for writing this.. i can relate myself to this.. :)
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:iconrosydawn527:
RosyDawn527 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013   Writer
Inspiring words. :salute:
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:iconraine0678:
raine0678 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
that is awesome
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:iconanyazalia:
anyazalia Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It is so peaceful... And by the way, damai means peaceful in my language :) :) thank you so much for this journal. I love art, and i will never stop. :) thank you...!!!
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:iconiceyblu3:
IceyBlu3 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
Such moving words Damai. I also had that feeling. Where I just wanted to throw down my pencil and paper and never draw again. But then I realized that I have nothing to gain by giving up. Only things to lose. But then I learned to never give up. Even when you are failing hard. Thank you for writing this and may your art continue to amaze us.
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:iconrocktoxiz:
RockToxiz Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow :D  that's touching :)
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:iconprofleisure:
Profleisure Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thoughtful :)
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:iconechoplexsermon:
EchoplexSermon Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:iconclappingplz:
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:iconwallflower-kris:
Wallflower-Kris Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Student General Artist
This a very lovely piece.
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:iconbonfire1969:
Bonfire1969 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very good writing.
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:iconcillasillustrations:
CillasILLUSTRATIONS Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This Is beautiful Just Like Your Artwork :) love it thanks for sharing
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:iconretroart1221:
RetroArt1221 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
 omg it was so beautiful it almost brought tears to my eyes i love your art work i wouldn't want to miss seeing a single piece
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:iconearthx:
earthx Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Student General Artist
LOVE
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:icontheivoryfalcon:
TheIvoryFalcon Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Student
Thank you
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:iconangelasartarea:
AngelasArtArea Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional General Artist
Yes I think it makes us very brave. In fact I think it makes us so brave that some can not even comprehend it. Some think that there is just one way of life, settling down, getting a steady job and having a bunch of kids. I don't think that there is just one way of life, I think that there are many and that's what makes this world such an interesting place. I think that each individual should find what truly makes them happy and live that way.What truly makes me happy is art, it adds energy to my soul and helps me breath freely. I've put my art aside many times due to my health but just like you, I always return to it.
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:iconcecegrace:
cecegrace Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish my classmates have creative minds. Sadly, I have more imagination than I know what to do with, and most of my classmates have none. They're like Charlie Gordon when originally faced with a Rorschach test (Flowers for Algernon).
I am so lucky to never have had a moment like this.
Yes, all artists pour their souls into their work.
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:iconqueenanime99:
QueenAnime99 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful journal entry. Thank you for sharing it with us. 
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:iconcutiekins3:
Cutiekins3 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
that, and i am really frustrated with the software i am using for drawing
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:iconcutiekins3:
Cutiekins3 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have been on hiatus from drawing actually because of my low self esteem. I started drawing when i was little because i wanted to be someone else, because i liked drawing the life i wished i had instead of coping with the one i was dealt. As i have gotten older i have been battling my desire to be someone else. I noticed that a lot of drawings actually resemble the artist that made them. I have been trying to find a way to stylize myself so that way it looks pretty, but the drawings always end up going sour. So I have pretty much stopped drawing(full pictures) until i can figure out how to make a drawing that will make me feel good about myself, instead of making me feel inferior to my creations.
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:iconcolorgasmatic:
Colorgasmatic Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very well written and incredibly inspiring. Thank you so much for writing this! =)
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:iconmomentoannette:
momentoannette Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for writing this.
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:iconsimokaos:
Simokaos Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
Thanks for sharing your thought :aww: It helps really :)
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:iconwolfsoulphoenix:
WolfsoulPhoenix Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Very well put. As a writer, I put things on paper that I could never tell anyone else. Those times when I have to be strong and slap on a smile, even though I'm dying inside. Healing would take so much longer if those wounds were left to fester. Keep foing what you do, love. Your art is amazing.
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:iconyellowpikmin88:
yellowpikmin88 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You are a wise and true mind. I salute you. You know the true meaning of creativity. Thank you for your wisdom. and the llama too
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:iconmarkushavalone:
MarkushAvalone Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013
best journal ever....well, i ever think about quit art + this busy time since i am on last semester...but back from the time when i really want to be an artist....that so memorable......so just to be idiotic person who don't give a single f*ck about everything then La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la La la la la
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:iconvembecuz:
vembecuz Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
Your so right!  thank you for writing this made me atease. Ive been expirencing stuff like tihs specialy people who criticize my works it really brings me down. but after reading this it made me realize something thank you <3
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:iconmarcelo-c-c-filho:
Marcelo-C-C-Filho Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013
"It's about what I would lose, if I quit!" <- You nailed it so much on this. Very inspiring, thanks for sharing! =)  
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:iconsunnykeller:
SunnyKeller Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for writing that. 
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:icontakatheeducatedkid:
Takatheeducatedkid Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow, you always make such inspiring journals. This one is especially inspirational, thank you so much for making it~
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:iconunereveur:
unereveur Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013
Heck yes!  Artists are brave. It takes great courage - (moving forward in the face of fear) to move forward when I feel critiqued harshly. But move forward I do, because ultimately - I am a creator - and in my work I express my life in all of it's forms - it is through my photography, through my writings, through my expression of humanity that I live, and walk in beauty. :heart:
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:iconneuracore:
Neuracore Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013
Sometimes you have to simply start from scratch to get boost:)
Reply
:icontom-boy965:
Tom-boy965 Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:,) I'm going to go draw now, i was gonna quit but thank deviantart for letting me come across this.
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