"It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire--desire to do it. "
-The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
"...a species of fear--the fear that your fate is in your own hands, and your hands are weak."
-Art and Fear by Bayles and Orland
Self-doubt is scarier than our last two demons in a way...the last two at least gave you ego-boosting excuses not to to do your work. They assume you are capable of perfection...if you could ever get around to it.
Self-doubt is like a fire-breathing dragon who lives in your head and stokes up the fire of your resistance to drawing (or potentially doing anything interesting in your life!).
The reason self-doubt is so insidious is that it comes to you in the first person. It is easy to identify with this demon, who speaks to us in our head in first person.
When not in scary dragon form, self-doubt shape shifts into a mirror. It tries to convince you that you either "have it or you don't," and that the chances are good you don't.
But Self-Doubt is only a good sentiment gone wrong. As the quote above by Steven Pressfield suggests, we wouldn't be so critical of ourselves if we didn't think it was important--if we didn't LOVE art.
When you love art you don't want to insult it with less-than-prefect drawings as you develop your skills. Better to not insult the muse and just stay away? NO WAY!
Take a moment to check out this ESSENTIAL video by Ira Glass on how to overcome the gap between where we are as creators and where be dream of being.
Watch this video NOW--that's an order, bootcamper!
So what does Ira recommend to get past this phase without quitting?
Set a deadline for yourself, and create, create, create!
How to overcome this demon?
First, you're going to need to train your brain to listen for any negative "I" statements. Like a ninja.
If you ever hear any of the examples I listed in the video above, know that that is the voice of self doubt!
- I'm not even an artist!
- This drawing is turning out terribly. I'm a bad artist.
- Who am I to try to draw? Who do I think I am?
My new motto is "Action Cures Fear." Feel free to steal it!
I also talk about how accountability is key to getting your drawing done in the face of self-doubt. Tell people what you're doing. Stick with this bootcamp. Go to an in-person class. Have a drawing buddy, and email each other a drawing a week back and forth.
We've already created our habit loop for our daily drawing. Have you done yours yet today? If not, let's jump into the exercise below.
The Element Value
Value refers to the quality of light or dark in an image.
The gradual shading that you will eventually be using to show the subtle differences in how light hits whatever it is that you are drawing.
Value will be essential down the line to create 3-dimensional effects and show depth & drama in your work.
Day 3 Drawing Drill
Today, get out all of your various pens and pencils.
Use your awesome shape-drawing skills to create a rectangle for each of your drawing tools.
Divide your rectangles into 5 or 6 squares. Don't worry about being perfect!
Start one one end of each rectangle to create the darkest dark you can with your instrument, perhaps using hatching with the pen.
Be sure that your focus on GRADUALLY lightening up the pressure and intensity so that there is a smooth, even flow between complete black and total white.
Spend up to 20 minutes on this, and way to go bootcamper!