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Art frustrations, which is the most difficult for you? 

51 deviants said Inability to focus (wanting to do all the things at once)
41 deviants said Dealing with not being noticed.
38 deviants said The big confidence crisis.
33 deviants said The curse of having (too) high expectations.
33 deviants said Comparing yourself to other artists.
25 deviants said Hating your own work.
18 deviants said Other: (do tell!)
10 deviants said Inability to recognise and value progress in your own work.
9 deviants said Dealing with negative feedback.
3 deviants said Dealing with compliments.



Uh Fack 2: What makes you unhappy as an artist?

Journal Entry: Wed Jul 9, 2014, 7:55 AM

elcome back, and hi to all the fresh meat!
This is a blog series aimed at helping artists (including myself) who struggle with negative thought patterns in their art: lack of self confidence, hating your own work, feeling frustrated or discouraged, you name it.

I've officially dubbed the series "Uh Fack", since the acronym for the Unhappy and frustrated Artists club sounds like that. Not the most elegant of names, but then I realized that it is suiting the subject ;).

So here's the scoop. No more long and general introductions, this was the last one- (it's ok you can cheer, I've no feelings ;)). I think I've said enough about my motivations for writing these in the first two journals.

From here on I'm just going to address mental roadblock's from the list below, one at the time. And whenever possible I'll combine them with something more active like critique rounds, compliment rounds (!XD) and perhaps a hangout or chat or what not.

List of Art frustrations, in no particular order.
  • The big confidence crisis.
  • Dealing with negative feedback. 
  • Dealing with compliments.
  • Dealing with not being noticed.
  • The curse of having (too) high expectations.
  • Hating your own work.
  • Procrastination (not because of laziness, but because of feeling depressed/overwhelmed/...)
  • Comparing yourself to other artists.
  • Inability to recognize the progress in your own work.
  • Inability to focus (wanting to do all the things at once)

I'm well aware that there's overlap between some of these topics, so there might be some grouping or repeating myself - but I felt this was better than writing one or two massive pieces of text trying to cover all of them.

I'm doing a quick poll to see which one of these things are most commonly recognized, but I also want to ask you guys here if you guys feel like I'm missing anything on the list.

Previous 'Uh Fack' blogs:
Uh Fack, part1: Improving, angst and frustration.P
rogress. A thing we all want, right? Some more than others perhaps, but I think I can safely say that it's the one thing all artists want; to be a better artist.
In the past few years I've been struggling with this topic a lot. I ran into one of those phases in which I learned a lot of what I was doing wrong, but didn't manage to work on any solutions for these problems. I felt like going backwards, and I grew increasingly frustrated with my own art. I'm progressing, but hardly as much as I aspire to - while I do spend most of my waking hours drawing.
Sure, a bunch of my comic work allows me to study and practice - but it's a very narrow and same-y kind of study- and there isn't really room for mistakes or experiment because of time constrains.
So, this is what I found to be a super effective 4 steps plan to become an unhappy and frustrated artist:
Be a perfectionist. Preferably with high ambitions. (actually, just step 1 would get you a long way with be
  Uh Fack, part 1.5 : Some thoughts on perfectionA
nxiousness, frustration and the likes have been effecting me as an artist, holding me back in my pursuit of progress and happiness. I've noticed two things about that: Taking the time to dissect the problem helps me to find the right answers, And I'm all but alone in dealing with these problems.
For me there's two types of challenges in becoming a better artist: the mental blockades, and the actual practicing. The 2nd challenge is the one that is being addressed aplenty in the form of an seemingly infinite numbers of tutorials, live streams, demo's and what not. But if you find yourself struggling with the first challenge there isn't quite as much to work with. Plenty funny, recognizable and sometimes even consoling memes and comics about the topic have been made, but usually they offer little solution. That's why I've decided to focus on the first challenge for now.
Part of the condition of being an artist is the yearning for perfection, e

  • Listening to: nuthin
  • Reading: Blood of dragons - Robin Hobb


ElsaKroese's Profile Picture
Artist | Professional | Varied
I am Elsa Kroese. I run a small art studio (, focusing on illustration and concept art for various companies and studio's. I also do a lot of animation and production of in-game assets. You can always contact me about commissions and assignments,

In my spare time I am writing and drawing a Comic called Spindrift. If you want to know more about this, you can take a look at the spindrift-comic group linked on the left.




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LoraAli Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014
You have great profile.
Amazing amazing work. ^_^
TheAncynt Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  New member Professional Artisan Crafter
Tof om eens een geweldige nederlandse "artist" te vinden :D
Revan-svk Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Leuk om eens een geweldige Nederlandse artiest te vinden :)
BATTLEFAIRIES Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
Thank you for Favouriting my stuff! This means you get to ask the Djinn (THIS Djinn ONE question. Have fun!

(PS Efteling? Niiiiiiice. Ben er net zelf geweest met m'n schoonfamilie. Nostalgie-vlaag tot en met!)
jamesgunner123 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
...a very happy birthday to you miss...=3
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Krelianalpha Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
J-Skipper Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Happy Birthday! :)
Venom-V13 Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2014
Happy Birthday!!
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