Artist's Depression and pointers

Hello! 
Long time lurker, first time poster and all that.

I've been in a creative drought for the last few months. I don't really feel like my skills as an artist are progressing, and I feel directionless as to where I want to take my art. I try out handpainted stuff for a couple of weeks, gets bored of it and falls back to what I know. 
  
I'm hoping some good critique and a few pointers on some of my work will help me, or maybe some of you have been through this before and have some tips in general on how to be more happy with my art.

You can check out some renders I made: https://www.artstation.com/andersbrynildsen

Some of the main points I'm struggling with: 
- I feel directionless and don't know where I want to put my focus. Handpainted, stylized, PBR, realistic? 
- General unhappines with my art 
- I feel like I'm not progressing
- Unhappy with my textures, they're made in Substance Painter and I feel like they have very "Substance Painter-look" to them. No personality. 

Any and all tips, critique and feedback is welcome!  

Replies

  • Eric Chadwick
    Hey. I can't check the art right now, poor wifi, but I do suggest searching in the Career and Education section. Similar topics are discussed frequently there, with really informative replies from people who have "been there". 
  • electronic-fox
    Offline / Send Message
    electronic-fox polycounter lvl 8
    It appears as though your link is broken, but I can relate to your problem. I went through a very similar phase a while back.

    The way I got out of it was I had a change of scenery (I moved my desk to another room), opened Maya and just played with a cube for a while. I had no aim or ideas to follow, I just had to get out of the funk.

    I made some of the basic meshes like a barrel, a crate, some basic buildings and so on. The momentum gathered and I could feel my creative brain coming back into action.

    I heard somewhere before that the hardest part of a project is starting it. You gotta brute-force through that stage, and the momentum will carry you through the rest. 
  • DavidCruz
    Offline / Send Message
    DavidCruz polycounter lvl 7
    It would be great to be able to see your work (since this is the old pimp'n'previews) to give you some ideas but as fox said its inaccessible and you only made your profile on imgur yesterday. https://imgur.com/user/abrynildsen/about

    Otherwise what fox says is pretty good. Have you taken some time off, walked around, away from the pc/screens/games(whatever else) ? It happens to everyone, it is almost like that youtube burnout situation.

    All work and no play makes so and so a dull boy/girl. What i do with working out is i say, if i do it, its over with for the day and behind me (get it out of the way type of thinking, so the fun can begin), (sorts out my health so its a positive and i feel good once i am done with it.) So try rewarding yourself with a goal accomplishment, if you really enjoy food say when i get this done i will eat (the prize) replace eat with anything.

    That is how i do it, hope it helps someone having similar issues. Just for the record i take an extravagant amount of time away from doing things art related.  With that said, to get back into the swing of things i do little things as mentioned already in the thread, so think of base things you can do like make a leaf, make it the best damn leaf you've ever seen in your life.  Go simple, then go difficult.
  • abrynildsen
    Hey. I can't check the art right now, poor wifi, but I do suggest searching in the Career and Education section. Similar topics are discussed frequently there, with really informative replies from people who have "been there". 
    Thanks for the tip, @Eric Chadwick, I'll definitely check out that section! I also updated/replaced my link, you should now be able to view some of my work. 
  • abrynildsen
    It appears as though your link is broken, but I can relate to your problem. I went through a very similar phase a while back.

    The way I got out of it was I had a change of scenery (I moved my desk to another room), opened Maya and just played with a cube for a while. I had no aim or ideas to follow, I just had to get out of the funk.

    I made some of the basic meshes like a barrel, a crate, some basic buildings and so on. The momentum gathered and I could feel my creative brain coming back into action.

    I heard somewhere before that the hardest part of a project is starting it. You gotta brute-force through that stage, and the momentum will carry you through the rest. 

    I really like the idea of moving my desk to another room. I've been wanting to clear out the spare room/guest bedroom and turn it into an office. Right now my desk is just sitting in the corner of the living room. Not exactly the most inspirational setup. 
    I will test out the idea of changing rooms, and just seeing where it takes me!

    And I find it to be very true that the hardest part is actually starting a project. Once you get the feel for it and the motivation going it's quite easy to see it all the way through. 

    I replaced my link, you should be able to view it now, if you want to! 

  • abrynildsen
    DavidCruz said:
    It would be great to be able to see your work (since this is the old pimp'n'previews) to give you some ideas but as fox said its inaccessible and you only made your profile on imgur yesterday. https://imgur.com/user/abrynildsen/about

    Otherwise what fox says is pretty good. Have you taken some time off, walked around, away from the pc/screens/games(whatever else) ? It happens to everyone, it is almost like that youtube burnout situation.

    All work and no play makes so and so a dull boy/girl. What i do with working out is i say, if i do it, its over with for the day and behind me (get it out of the way type of thinking, so the fun can begin), (sorts out my health so its a positive and i feel good once i am done with it.) So try rewarding yourself with a goal accomplishment, if you really enjoy food say when i get this done i will eat (the prize) replace eat with anything.

    That is how i do it, hope it helps someone having similar issues. Just for the record i take an extravagant amount of time away from doing things art related.  With that said, to get back into the swing of things i do little things as mentioned already in the thread, so think of base things you can do like make a leaf, make it the best damn leaf you've ever seen in your life.  Go simple, then go difficult.
    Replaced the link, you should be able to see my work now! 

    And yeah, fox's tip sounds quite good, simply changing rooms and my environment might be a big help. I've also considered what you're saying, simply taking a small break for a week or two, that way I might be able to get some mental distance from the frustrations and worries I have about all of this. 

  • JamesBrisnehan
    Online / Send Message
    JamesBrisnehan polycounter lvl 7
    Yay, the link is working. So I noticed that your entire portfolio is prop guns, and since you mentioned that you are feeling uninspired I have to ask, how much do you really like guns? If you love guns, that's cool, maybe try some sci-fi guns, or fantasy guns, or horror guns. Maybe seach arround for an awesome concept of the coolest/weirdest weapon ever and try to recreate that. It could end up being more fun or challenging than a normal off the shelf assault rifle.
    If you're not that into guns, try something else. Try a different kind of prop, or an environment, character or creature. Look around Artstation for a concept that takes your breath away and try it out. 

    Other thoughts:
    Getting feedback, support, and attention can help with motivation. Post work in progress updates on here.

    Make a project for yourself that has an emotional/personal connection. Being emotionally invested in a project can help with staying motivated. Model a childhood toy or something from your youth. Make something for a loved one. Do some fan art for your favorite thing (game, tv show, band, comic book, etc.). 

    Get back to your artistic roots. Take a break from digital art, and make something the way you used to when you were younger. Draw, paint, sculpt, lego, whatever. Reconnect with why you liked creating in the first place.

    Challenge yourself (maybe). Try to make something a little outside of your comfort zone. Having a challenge to overcome can motivate some people, but not everyone is motivated this way.

    Finish what you start. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing something you've worked on for so long finally come together, then posting it and and getting those likes. On that note, lighting is your best friend. Learn all you can about lighting for your favorite software, and in general (like cinematography). Lighting has become one of my favorite parts of the process, because that's the point when it really comes to life.

    I hope some of my ramblings help. Good luck.
  • abrynildsen
    @JamesBrisnehan, thanks for the ramble! 
    To be honest, in real life I'm not much of a gun person, I do however love fps games and find them (used to at least) incredibly fun to model. I would really love to be a weapon's artist someday, and I think that's why I'm kind of "stuck" modelling weapons. Like most people I have way too little freetime, I feel like I started 3D-modelling a little late age-wise and I'm also stuck thinking I'm not using my time modelling as efficient as I could if I don't practice hardsurface techniques and weapons. 

    Starting on a fan-project that isn't a weapon is probably not a bad idea, so I can flex my creative muscles and try something different. Weapons are 90% of what I've done the two years I've been doing this, and when thinking about it, I guess most people would feel burnt out and a little sick only modelling the same thing for two years. 


  • Vertrucio
    Online / Send Message
    Vertrucio polycounter lvl 9
    So you may be hitting a point were your design ability is not matching up with your ability to model. If so, challenge yourself to do designs that aren't based on real world objects like guns.

    Go ahead and choose some 2D artwork from other artists and try recreating them in 3D. Then, after doing that a bit, use the insight gained to make your own designs. I recommend going this route if you're frustrated with your own designs right now. This way you still get modeling practice and portfolio pieces, but you also gain insight into what makes a good design/concept and how to design for 3D.
  • Pav3d
    Offline / Send Message
    Pav3d quad damage
    I've been in a creative drought for the last few months. I don't really feel like my skills as an artist are progressing, and I feel directionless as to where I want to take my art.
    I understand where you are coming from here. I would suggest learning to, or expanding on your drawing and painting. It will be a huge boost to your 3d work and creativity overall.
  • kanga
    Offline / Send Message
    kanga interpolator
    Your stuff on artstation looks to be too low poly in the wrong places, except the first weapon plate. I guess that was the last one you made.  There is a lot of work that goes into creating a finished product and loosing your puff is something all of us know too well. 

    The second handgun looks good but there are problems with your normal maps. For example the bullet chamber. The highlights look wrong. That could be  your poly distribution (too low where it is needed like on curved surfaces. The trigger guard and trigger look pretty low poly.

    The fourth plate shows hard edges that look unnatural, like the magazine and the back part of the hand grip. With game modeling you would want to show the best version of a piece in a hero shot. Here is a great method for making weapons in combination with a standard modeller and zBrush to achieve high quality high poly models for baking:https://polycount.com/discussion/168610/3ds-max-zbrush-proboolean-dynamesh-hardsurface-workflow-tutorial/p1

    My attempt is here: https://polycount.com/discussion/168610/3ds-max-zbrush-proboolean-dynamesh-hardsurface-workflow-tutorial/p4 This is a fantastic way to model awkward details and get an almost flawless result.

    Check out the best weapon work on artstation (under the products category). Download the pics you think are inspiring and put them in an inspiration folder for fuel and reference. Not just 3d game models but also the real thing. Ask yourself what it is about the image that interests and excites you and try incorporate those elements into your own work. Take a break from standard and model a few concept weapon art pieces as a break and to stretch yourself.

    The best of luck.
Sign In or Register to comment.