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Guest jasfish

Creative Struggles

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Guest jasfish

Anyone else go through an extended period of so-so creativity? For the past 6-months I just haven't been excited about the work I've been doing. Granted, it hasn't been the most exciting to begin with .. but it's been a real struggle to come up with cool stuff.

 

I've tried getting away from the computer, getting back to drawing, taking pictures, just having fun. But when I get back in front of the computer it's tough. A lot of angst lately. The clients are very happy with my work, but I don't see anything special. I don't know if I'm setting my standards too high or what.

 

It would be fun to collaborate with someone on a completely non-commercial, just for fun project, but I don't even have any ideas for that right now.

 

Anyway, just wanted to throw this topic out there. I'm sure we've all been there at different times.

 

Cheers,

 

jasfish

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Guest igorschmigor

look at stuff that's really bad. Two weeks of nonstop-newbie work. Go and see firstsemester-exhibitions, visit the congress of afghanistan-motion graphics amateurs. I'm sure after that you'll see your own work with totally different eyes. Maybe i'll even upload some of my own work for you to look at. You'll feel much better after that.

No, seriously, i think this might help. When you feel bad, look at someone who's off even worse. Makes your own problems seem so much smaller. At least it helps me sometimes in everyday life. I'm not sure if it helps in a phase of creative blackout, or whatever you would call the state you're in, but i think it might be worth trying.

 

As if there was a thread i wouldn't answer to! I hope i get rid of the "regular"-attribute soon.

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Guest jasfish

I'm sure you're right igor .. I saw one of the commercials I worked on on TV last night, and I was pleasantly surprised at the type treatment and that it was actually good :-)

 

And you're probably right about looking at bad work to put your own work in perspective. When all you look at is the best, it's easy to get down.

 

Oh well. Keep slugging away, I guess.

 

cheers,

 

jasfish

 

p.s. the stuff you've posted has been pretty good i think (like the 3d stuff imitating the MTV extruded stuff)

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Guest igorschmigor

You know what this reminds me of? Me and Graffiti. Might sound trivial, but you know it was more than just a hobby to me. I was so proud of my first pieces in '89 and so excited about the whole graf-thing in the first years when it was all new to me. After 10 years of hard struggling i lost motivation. The worst moment was shortly after i sprayed my best walls. I had the feeling that expectations were high on me but the work i did the following months gave me the feeling that i couldn't repeat that success. I took the whole graf-thing so serious, it wasn't fun anymore. I think i just spent so much time creating sketches and spraying that i was already frustrated not having become one of the worlds best. All that work and strife and people still being better than me. I guess the harder you work the higher the expectancies to success. People also kept telling me that my pieces were still good but that made it even worse in a way. I didn't know if they were lying to me or if they were just simply too easy to impress. I wish people would still have underestimated me and told me i was bad, that would have given me the feeling that i have something to prove and pushed me a little further. Actually the real worst moment was when i did several commissions. Those commisions sucked, they were well-payed but they had nothing to do with real graffiti and really made me feel tired of it all. The end of the story: i quit writing graffiti. Ok, this was mainly because i got Asthma and it ins't funny when you breathe hard every night after painting a wall, but i think i would have quit anyway. I would never have been able to get back the feeling that i had in my newbie-years. Although this was the time i made my worst pieces it was also the time when i was the proudest and most motivated. It was just so much easier to become better and surprise myself with things i didn't know i was able to do until that moment. After 10 years i got quite good with the spraycan and all seemed so simple, easy and nothing special.

 

You might be in the same situation now. Maybe not, i know too little about you. But if you see yourself in this story i tell you, hold on. My homies who kept writing and never lost confidence in their own work are now doing exhibitions, have become quite famous and do big walls with some of the worlds best graffiti writers while i will never find out if i would have made it to that level or not. Of course you are not quite in the same situation because you won't quit your job for a lack of motivation but you know, in a few months you might already be singing "i can see clearly now the rain has gone". I think of how frustrated i was with my work but sometimes i still meet people who say "You're Igor? Man, i saw some of your walls, i'm a fan of you". And my last graffiti was in 98 or 99 i think. That's a nice experience and now i start to believe that people were meaning it back then when they told me i was good. Maybe you should meet some students and see their shiny eyes when they meet you.

 

Another thing that gets some of us down: the field of competition enlarges throughout our lifes. At school we might have been the best of our class in art lessons. Then at university we get thrown together with other students who all were the best in their art-lessons. And then after studying we have to compete with the whole damn rest. This will give anyone the feeling to be just one of thousands. We get born with the feeling to be the best and that feeling steadily decreases. Not so nice.

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Guest jasfish

thanks for the reply, igor. a pretty good analogy i would say. definitely makes me re-think things a bit. it's true, you're really excited when you first start out - and think all your work is the greatest : - )

 

Looking back it's funny how rough it was .. but there is that certain exhuberance of youth that shines through.

 

it's true once you've done it for awhile, things come easier, and wanting to be respected by others for your work increases.

 

i wish i could come up with something truly original (a la the other discussion we were a part of) but it's so tough to do.

 

but i think you're right, don't give up, keep going, and who knows what creative breakthroughs you may end up with.

 

at least that's what i'm hoping!

 

cheers,

 

jasfish

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Guest Sao_Bento

The cool thing with motion graphics is that it is the combination of so many skills. When I get burnt out on one aspect, design for instance, I start focusing on music or editing, 3D modeling, or even writing documentation and re-evaluating the way I market myself or deal with clients. That way I'm not focusing on my creative block and I'm learning to do what I do even better.

 

If all that fails, have a couple of kids. They'll make sure you don't have time to dwell on your temporary shortcomings.

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Guest SermonOfMockery

i know this is an old thread, but whatever...

 

igor, i am 100% on the same page as you. i was a graffiti writer from 92-2001 or so, and i had EXACTLY the same experience... i was constantly drawing, painting, etc, but i got frustrated because my work never compared to the people i idolized like Saber, Revok, Toomer, etc (ha ha can you tell i like LA graffiti??). motion graphics is the same... i get bummed because my work is nowhere near as good as BNS or whatever.

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Guest igorschmigor

cool. There seem to be quite a few graffiti writers in the design business nowadays. I like that.

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