When I sat down to write this article I wasn’t sure if I was ready to tackle this month’s set of issues.
You see, it’s easy to talk about how to improve your 3D Art from a technical point of view, or even as an abstract concept (I’m looking at you Emotion). It’s much harder to look at the process of creating itself and jump into the ditch to fight those monsters with you. But, although anyone that’s played DnD with me would dispute this point, I’m not one to avoid a fight just because it looks difficult.
This month we’re talking about Mindset; specifically the horrible thoughts and feelings that can creep in and become part of your life as a creative/artist/person.
This pillar is just as important to your over all success and achieving 3D Mastery as the more work centred ones we normally talk about; without being able to kick doubt’s ass, defeat despair and avoid desperation it won’t matter how technically brilliant your work is. You won’t be able to enjoy it.
What Exactly is the problem?
Depression, plain and simple.
However since using ‘depression’ to talk about the specific difficulties relating to creating art seems both a little ominous and opens up a can of worms with those in the mental health profession I’ve split it out into 3 types of issues.
I like to call them the 3 Ds of the Apocalypse – pun completely intended. It makes them somehow less large and looming, and you can imagine them running around on tiny horses trying to bite at your ankles.
Doubt – That nagging feeling that saps your ambition and makes it hard to keep focused.
Despair – The one that makes your bed so comfortable and the rest of the world so unappealing.
Desperation – The little voice that keeps whispering you don’t have enough and you’re in trouble.
(Quick note – If you are depressed, then your best course of action is to see a doctor or psychologist. No stigma attached, I’m just not qualified to give medical advice on this issue)
“Get a Grip” is Crappy Advice
Much as you might want to it’s incredibly difficult (if not impossible) to just wish these problems away. No matter how hard you can wish or how strong your will they can always jump right over your main assault and sneak in the back door. These are the thieves, murderers and evil sorcerers of the creative world and they do not fight fair.
Because of this, just getting a grip really doesn’t work. For longer than 5 minutes at least.
No matter who is telling you that this is the answer – most often, I find, its myself – and no matter how well intentioned it might be, it’s horribly counter-productive.
Getting a grip involves burying the problem until you can look at it later or until a task is completed. Problems don’t like to be buried and after about 5-10 minutes will surface again, bored, and demanding attention. Shoving it down harder might give you another 10 minutes. Then another. Until eventually the problem doesn’t dare poke its head up consciously and starts to make mischief instead.
How this manifests depends on the person; for me it shows up as a lack of patience, irritability, and eventually an unwillingness to do anything work-related combined with a ‘So what?’ attitude about the whole thing because I “Deserve a damn break!”.
Not the healthiest response, right?
“Figuring it out” is a process
There’s no magic button that will get rid of these particular problems. Any way out is actually a process, one that needs repeated consistently and gets easier over time.
Lets say you do manage to beat the problem into submission. Then you deal with the mischief by taking some time off. Things return to ‘normal’. A couple of weeks later something similar happens. Eventually you’re in this cycle of unhappiness and can’t finish any projects. Beating the problem in this manner doesn’t work; if you do it once, then you’ll just have to deal with the same problem again later.
With that said, it’s possible to recognize the problem and then deal with the source. While you’re dealing with the source you can also set up behaviours to make sure that something similar doesn’t happen again and that your needs are being met.
This way, the first time you’re faced with a problem and look at it more closely from a solving perspective, you’re less likely to have to fix it again later. And you can spend most of your time happily working without dealing with any feelings of impending doom.
This month is all about getting to the root problem for each of our 3 Ds and solving it ‘for good’ (or as close to good as we can get).
This week your only homework is to jump on the newsletter and share this article if you’ve ever felt less than happy when working on your 3D Art.