'negativity' in sketchbooks

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'negativity' in sketchbooks

Postby sixeh » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:31 am

hi i was wondering what your thoughts were on, people self-deprecating themselves and the bad stuff they draw and or make in general.

i mean we all know it's bad, even when it's not(?) so why waste your time saying it?
i always felt kind of put off when i see people bad mouthing there trash,
grrr sometimes they are real good trash makers.

but it's sort of fun though, isn't it?

i supposed that maybe you could use it as a marketing strategy and or brand?
i mean 'you are the product' and if your product is 'negativity' then it makes sense?

any thoughts on this confusing topic?
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Re: 'negativity' in sketchbooks

Postby Caleb-Brown » Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:25 am

Yeah i never realized how off putting it was until recently. If you recommend studying gesture to someone and they say " No i'll never get it because i'm a piece of shit"... why even try to help that person?
But i think the reason behind it is a way of seeking validation or confirmation. If no one is bringing up your skill level you can say " i suck" and get responses that tell you whether you really suck or not.
And yeah it can be used as a way to sell yourself too. It makes it clear you don't fit the "arrogant artist" stereotype.
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Re: 'negativity' in sketchbooks

Postby Sophie_Draws » Fri Dec 11, 2015 1:40 am

Yeah, I've definitely been guilty of this. Although I do like to think I'm getting better at being positive about my stuff. For me it was never about seeking approval or anything like that, it's more just a result of being in a negative mindset for while in my personal life and I think it just takes time to break the habit of 'oh I'm terrible at everything!'
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Re: 'negativity' in sketchbooks

Postby Enydimon » Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:26 pm

I'm a little late to the conversation, but this is actually a topic I feel strongly about. There's a reason why I edited my signature the way that I did in recent months.

Self-deprecation is more often than not just a way for people to preemptively deflect criticism. A lot of people will immediately jump on someone if they start acting arrogant and like they're untouchable, but they'll go easier on someone who immediately admits to their faults and/or seeks out criticism. If they can beat everyone else to the punch, suddenly it's less of a shock when they do say something.

There's nothing wrong with self-awareness or seeking out critique, it's really a good thing, but when it becomes self-flagellation then we have a problem. Self-awareness and self-deprecation might show up together, but they're completely separate things that are also separate in what they mean.

Some people are really terrified as coming off as arrogant and full of themselves, and others are simply just depressed. And as someone who has battled through severe anxiety and depression, many people who are going through that tend to get self absorbed, and I don't mean to put anyone down by saying that. It's just that when you're insecure you're thinking way too much about how other people are going to perceive you and the reality is most people probably give as much of a shit about yourself as much as you do.

And that's the real problem with self-deprecation: insecurity. The solution isn't to be the artist who hates their artwork the most, the solution is to actually build up your confidence and get excited about learning. It's just such a bizarre concept that people think they will somehow get better at handling critique by telling themselves that they are garbage. You can like your work and still want to get better by virtue of the fact that you like art and getting better is fun. It's not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, but I don't think that's the point either.

As far as marketing goes, it's generally a terrible idea to undersell your abilities if you are trying to get your name out there. You are essentially insulting your potential buyers. Why would they ever want to hire someone who doesn't believe in their own abilities? I have legitimately seen people who have said, "I know I suck but..." when it's completely unnecessary. What exactly are you saying to your clients when you talk about yourself like that?

Simply put, self-deprecation in sketchbooks is not funny for the people reading them and they're just kind of awkward and hard to read. It's gonna be transparent as to what you're doing to anyone who isn't on that same mental state as you are too. Just relax and put in the work.
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