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I lost my motivation...

polycounter lvl 3
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Alander polycounter lvl 3
Hi, as you have noticed in the title, I lost my motivation. I can't continue doing anything.

It doesn't bring me joy, it's not fun anymore. I can't come up with any ideas, I'm unable to even create some basic things.

I wanted to get back into the 3D art, started learning sculpting, I got excited while watching a course, but when I opened ZBrush, I was lost again. And I don't want it to be like this.

I just feel like this leads to nowhere, that I'm not and I'll never be good enough etc.

Please tell me how to start enjoying all this again.


  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor high dynamic range
    I never did computer work before getting into 3d. I think computer work is particularly challenging because its sedentary. Hard to work hard and want to work hard when you body is just vegetating.

    I think your issues stem from lack of having a goal you believe in, or perhaps having the wrong goal in the first place. It's not "am I good enough," it's "I love doing the work and can't stop myself from doing it." You will get better  if you keep going. It's inevitable.

    Anyway, if you are sitting in front of the screen just waiting to die, get up, go outside, and get your blood moving around for a bit. Talk to people, even if you hate them. Works wonders.
  • melviso
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    melviso polycounter lvl 8
    Always remember to start small. Do not focus on trying out big projects. Like sculpting for example, start by sculpting an orange, an apple, an eye. e.tc.
    That course u watched might be too complex for u as a beginner. Start with this:

    Grab a picture or photo of an orange, pear. Download Pure ref, paste the photo there and and try and replicate the pear or orange.
    U might not get it right at first. Then try again.
    Always keep things small or minimal. When u get it right, u will see a boost in your confidence to try something more complicated like a face, or hands, or a sofa.
  • J0Y
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    J0Y node
    No matter what you do you will get tired and bored after a while, that is how the human brain operates!

    What you can do to help the situation is to:
    a/ Meditate daily. (This may sound weird but all you have to do is to be aware of your breathing. Be aware of the in breath and the out breath. The minimum recommended time is 5 mins daily ). Meditation helps you better focus and concentrate on the task at hand. Do this every day to increase focus and learning concentration

    b/ Take a piece of paper and write down 3 reasons why you have wanted to do the thing that you are doing. (You have to have a solid foundation/reason and a strong belief in what you do in order to manifest and do it long term!) 

    c/ Be inspired! Besides watching videos about sculpting or Zbrush, you can watch other related stuff like 3D modeling,  environment art creation, podcasts or go to the movies or a festival.

    d/ Conscious Learning + Practice. I know it is easy to just sit down and practice something you have already know days in and out for weeks and months, "practice makes perfect",  your skill wouldn't have gone better. Truth is, when you include conscious learning or continues learning, you go up a step, your area will increase greater and greater. 

    e/ Get Rest. Take A break. Sometimes, you hit a dead end and got lost. You don't know what to do next. Don't worry, just get a break from it! Go do something else like washing dishes, eating, take a shower. Treat yourself, relax! Take a few days off to learn on or do something else. However, try to go back and finish what you have left. 

    f/ Do daily. I can not stress enough how important this step is -> Do at least the smallest amount of work possible every day. 
  • Dumbanana
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    Dumbanana polycounter lvl 9
    I think a lot of what can hang someone up is due to how intangible becoming a better artist is. So for me, what has helped when I feel stuck, is to imagine it like going to the gym. You can see someone with an inspiring body, defined muscles, lifting 500 lbs or whatever; in great shape. Mentally, I don't think you'd expect to walk up right next to them on your first day and also lift 500 lbs.

     But, when you see someone's artwork online and attempt to replicate, or are inspired by it, only to fail to produce, you can get into a negative mindset where you beat yourself up and experience only failure and frustration.

    My advice then, is to treat becoming a better artist the same as if you'd just started working out. Start with the metaphorical 5 lb weights. In 4 weeks try 10 lbs, etc. Keep progressing. Art is partially an intangible muscle. When you get stuck or begin to feel plateaued, change it up and do specialized training. Keep pushing. A lot of it will be discipline and resilience. Be kind to yourself and where your abilities are. You are trying to be better then you were a month ago, not better then someone else with years or decades of experience. In a few months of consistent, art-skill appropriate work, I'm sure you'll regain some of the lost confidence and then in a year I'll bet you'll feel much better about your output and future.

    TLDR; Do smaller more manageable projects you can finish in a week and then test yourself with a larger scale project every 3 months or so to solidify what you've learned. Good luck!
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master

    In addition to the above comments, I'll also recommend reading 8 Tips for artists struggling with motivation by Tim 'PixelMasher' Simpson

    "The biggest difference between a professional and a hobbyist in almost anything is that a professional will consistently get to work outputting results even on days, weeks or months when they don't feel motivated to do so."

    ...which is where self discipline really comes into it's own. 

  • garcellano
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    garcellano greentooth
    Start small. Join some groups. Show some work. I literally need to do the same. I'm kind of the same with me trying to learn SpeedTree.
    It takes time. But aim for something. The worst feeling is not trying at all, philosophically speaking :) and sometimes the brutal critics are what's needed to learn something. Maybe not all of the hard hitting ones, but you get the idea.

    I've made crappy stuff before (and I feel like I still do lol), but the more crappy stuff you make, and the critics you get, if you follow through those critics and improve them on your next pieces, they'll get less crappy and maybe more fine tuned to fit for something in a game or movie. Kind of an odd way of explaining it, but as artists, we all work and think a different way. It just takes a few of us to pin point a few things, either through critics on the work or mentioning what fits in a game dev pipeline or a movie pipeline, and, if you're pursuing that path, you'll change it a bit to fit within that workflow.

    That being said, when it comes to nodes in Nuke, or Substance Designer or Unreal Engine, some are scattered around like someone's solving a crime case or a constellation in space, and then the end result fits in a game or movie, but it would be so confusing to figure out what goes where if you pass it on to another artist lol. 

    I'm rambling, but you get the idea. Know what you what, and aim for it. 
  • defragger
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    defragger sublime tool
    A fundamental thing that many people are not aware of:

    Sleep plays a critical role in creative thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. It impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.

    Chronically sleep-deprived people rate themselves considerably less impaired than they actually are.

    "Since people usually evaluate their capability on tasks subjectively, their evaluations may lead them to the false conclusion that they can perform tasks that require constant attention when their abilities are in fact drastically impaired."

    7 to 8 hours to be efficient! The absolute minimum is about 7 hours.
  • Alex Javor
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    Alex Javor high dynamic range
    defragger said:
    A fundamental thing that many people are not aware of:

    Sleep plays a critical role in creative thinking and learning.

    This is really important! Good that several people have commented because now we have a very balanced view.

    If you take this on it's own : "The biggest difference between a professional and a hobbyist in almost anything is that a professional will consistently get to work outputting results even on days, weeks or months when they don't feel motivated to do so."  without a lot of experience and critical thought it is easy to view it as, "just suck it up and work!"  So you man up and just keep marching... but then you burn out. Because you are human after all. Can't escape it.

    But it's still the best advice! The thing is, being consistent and maintaining discipline means that you are always working to maintain that lifestyle balance to keep the machine running at optimum. It doesn't mean literally always working.

    There is a lot of semantics to can get into with "motivation versus discipline", but it's all really simple. If you are sitting in front of the screen and trying to make art is like pulling teeth, you stand up, take a stretch, and figure out why you are feelign like a turd. Did you stay up to late? Do you need exercise? Need five minutes of water cooler time relax? And then the opposite must be done too. You let the chit-chat go too far, you spend too long on the forums, and now getting brain into the work is tough... Being professional means you put the mission first, so you are always working to maintain this balance so you can output the work at top quality day after day, year after year, and decade after decade. No reason this has to be a young mans game only.

    Know thyself, so that you can develop the consistency that other people can rely upon.

  • Ashervisalis
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    Ashervisalis insane polycounter
    Here's some ideas. I don't know if any of them will work for you, buuuuuut

    - Try out competitions that have a deadline.
    - Take a break from 3D and learn some skills that translate into 3D (i.e. take an art/painting class that isn't online).
    - When working on 3D, do it in a cafe (or somewhere out of the house), and don't connect to wifi.
    - Join a community that gives you heck for not finishing.
    - Try something else in 3D. Substance Designer is really cool and creating 1 material doesn't take a month.
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