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Why Can’t I Draw Anymore?

Why Can’t I Draw Anymore?

September 3, 2021

By Rachel Blythe

Are you struggling with your art?

Are you in a bit of a tough spot, finding it hard to get back to how you used to feel about drawing?

We’ve all been there.

 

If you think that you can’t draw anymore, I’m glad to tell you that you are wrong.

Everyone can draw.

If you could draw before, then you definitely still can.

There are a couple of things that might be at play here, and that might be making you think that you can no longer draw as well as you used to.

All of these things, which I will discuss in more detail in this blog, are temporary and can be fixed or improved upon.

While there are things making you believe you can’t draw, there are even more things out there to pull you back up again.

This blog will talk you through what you might be experiencing right now, why it’s happening, and what you can do to get out of it.

Hopefully, by the end of this blog, your love for drawing will be reignited and you will know exactly how to get back out there and keep on drawing.

Don’t let negative thoughts get in the way of experiencing the joy of art and drawing.

 

Overthinking

The number one reason you might think that you can’t draw anymore is that you’re overthinking it.

Whenever you’re overthinking your art, you are judging yourself too harshly. Maybe you’ve been on social media too much and you’re worrying what other people think, maybe you’re comparing yourself to other artists too much, or maybe you’re just in a bit of a down spot in your general mood.

Don’t worry, it’s happened to all of us.

If you are having these negative thoughts about your own art and drawing, it’s important to take a step back and think about where these thoughts are coming from.

If they are coming from social media, then maybe it’s time for a break.

Try and remember that art is subjective, and then it is supposed to be a creative outlet, not an exam.

What is good to you might not be good to someone else, and that’s ok.

Create art for yourself.

Do it for relaxation, expression, or just for the fun of it.

 

Lack of Inspiration

The second reason you might be feeling like you can’t draw anymore is that you simply aren’t inspired to draw anything right now.

Whenever we don’t feel inspired and have no desired outcome in our heads, it can be hard to start drawing anything at all.

If you can’t see where you’re going and don’t feel good about it, it makes sense that your brain could mistranslate this as losing your ability to draw altogether.

The good news is, there are lots and lots of ways for you to get re-inspired.

Try:

  • Going to an art gallery
  • Borrowing an art book from the library
  • Exploring a new period of art or famous artist
  • Watching an art documentary
  • Watch films, anime, or cartoons
  • Meet up with friends and talk about art
  • Join an online art community

Or just try taking some inspiration from the world around you.

There is art, life, and colour all around.

If you see something you like or something that provokes a reaction in you, why not draw it?

It doesn’t have to be “good”, it doesn’t have to be “right”, and other people don’t have to like it.

Ride the wave of inspiration whenever it strikes.

  

Practice

You might be thinking that you can’t draw anymore only because you are out of practice.

Practice is critical to maintaining and developing our art skills, and whenever we don’t oil the machine for a long time, it can get a little sticky.

Maybe you’ve really been busy at work recently, maybe you’ve had an injury to your hand that’s only just getting better, maybe you haven’t been inspired for a while.

Whatever reason it is, not practising for a while will leave you rusty.

And that’s ok.

Because there’s a very easy solution…

Practice!

You can always get back on the bike by just jumping on again.

Start practising again by drawing anything you like to draw. To reiterate our last point, don’t be too hard on yourself right away, and don’t try to critique or rate your work.

Just focus on getting back into the way of things and drawing anything at all.

Draw what you see, what you are thinking about, or what you like to draw.

Fill your sketchbook with drawings and you should be back to feeling like your old self in no time.

 

Upskilling and Teaching

If you need a little extra push to get back onto the proverbial bike, there are plenty of ways that you can upskill yourself or receive some teaching.

There are paid ways you can do this, but there are also a whole bunch of free ways to do this online.

If there’s something particular you are struggling with, you can look online to see if there are any classes or tutorials available on this topic. Two great sites for this are YouTube and Skillshare.

If it’s the inspiration you need, there are lots of daily challenges and prompts out there on blogs, social media accounts and online courses. If you can’t think of anything at all to draw and you can’t find inspiration in anything around you, try following some of these daily prompts and see what you can come up with.

These should get you back into the habit of drawing regularly, which will boost your motivation and confidence.

In addition to this, you can upskill yourself by learning about a new genre or style or technique of art you haven’t practiced before. Online courses and videos are great for finding out about things you might never even have heard of before.

If you only draw realistic art, why not take a course in anime drawing? If you only use graphite pencils, why not watch some videos on using gel pens to draw?

Trying something new is a fantastic way to get out of a rut.

And with the Internet, you can find something new every single day.

 

Physical Technique

 If you are struggling to draw, you might need some help or guidance with your physical technique.

Simple things like how you hold a pen can have a big impact on how your drawings turn out.

The best ways to figure out if you are doing the right things are to check out online videos and tutorials, to use social media to connect with other artists and ask questions, and to ask a teacher if you can.

There could be a very easy fix to something you are struggling with, and a small change could make a big difference.

 

The Wrong Equipment

On a similar note, the equipment you are using for your drawings could be impacting how comfortable and successful you feel with it.

If you feel that you can’t draw anymore, it might simply be that you need a new pen or a different pen.

Think about all the equipment you use, pens, pencils, papers, paints, or anything digital, and consider what feels good and what doesn’t.

Sometimes we are too quick to blame ourselves for problems we are having, and not quick enough to revaluate our set-up.

If you’re smearing your ink every time, is it your fault, or do you need better ink?

If your paper is ripping every time that you try and erase your trace lines, is it your fault or do you need better paper?

The things you are currently using aren’t the only ones out there, and chances are there might be something better for you.

Connecting with an artistic community and talking to other people who also draw and create will again be an invaluable tool for this process.

You can also read reviews and blogs online about different pieces of art equipment and figure out what might be best for you.

A lot of this process will be trial and error, and what a better way to fit even more practice in.

 

To sum up…

If you think you can’t draw anymore, you most definitely still can.

We might feel this way because of being out of practice, being overly critical of ourselves, using the wrong equipment, needing more teaching, or a whole range of other reasons.

No matter what the reason is that you are thinking you can’t draw anymore, it doesn’t make the thought any more real.

Drawing is a personal joy and an art form.

Try not to get bogged down in comparisons or judgments of your art. There is no right or wrong, and you have no one to compare yourself to apart from your past self.

As long as you are practicing, trying things out, and enjoying yourself, how can you be going in the wrong direction?

Cut yourself some slack and get back out there and draw.

You can do it.