Since quite a bit of my art over the past couple of days has looked fairly similar (in terms of settings, characters etc…), I thought that it would be a good idea to write a post about this subject and about what to do if it happens to you.
First of all, this has nothing to do with developing your own art style – it’s perfectly possible to draw a wide variety of things using the same style.
No, this is about when the pictures you draw, paint, etch etc… all seem to look fairly similar. Sometimes this can be an intentional thing if you’re making a series of pictures about a particular subject, theme or location – but it can happen unintentionally too.
So, without any further ado, here are five things which might help:
1) Keep creating: This sounds pretty counterintuitive, but it’s a good idea to keep drawing/painting etc… even if whatever you produce ends up looking really similar to all the other stuff you’ve produced recently. Why? Well, for starters, it’s better than drawing nothing.
Yes, it’s a sign that you’re feeling slightly uninspired, but at least it isn’t full-on artist’s block . One of the best ways to keep a creative block (whether artist’s block or writer’s block) at bay is to keep going and keep creating as regularly as possible.
Secondly, if you keep going, then there’s more of a chance that you might produce the occasional different/interesting picture.
For example, if you produce two small pictures a day and about one in ten of your pictures is something innovative and outstanding. Then, even if you’re feeling uncreative, you’ll still produce one great picture every five days if you keep going. Trust me, it’s worth getting through those nine mediocre pictures just for the good one.
2) This happens to quite a few artists: When an artist is famous enough, this is usually referred to by art critics and historians as a “period” (for example, Picasso’s Blue Period ). But, if you’re not famous, then people might just see it as repetition.
In all fairness, this happens quite often – the fact is that people (especially geeky creative people) are fascinated by things and think that some things are cooler than others. So, it isn’t any surprise that people focus on creating things which they think look cool. If this is the reason why you’re constantly creating similar drawings, then don’t worry about it and don’t force yourself to do anything different. Just enjoy it, throw yourself into making things which appeal to you. Eventually, after a while, you’ll probably find something even cooler to draw or paint instead.
Also, every artist has themes, motifs and things which turn up in a lot of their drawings ( for example, I like drawing sunsets, checkerboard tiles and gloomy artwork in general). Sometimes these themes are conscious choices, sometimes they come from the subconscious mind and sometimes they’re a mixture of these two things.
Anyway, sometimes what you might see as repetition may just be one of these common themes showing up more than usual. If it is, then don’t worry, it happens to quite a lot of artists and it’s nothing bad.
3) Move on to another artistic project: This isn’t always the case, but I’ve sometimes found that repetitive art (especially if I’m feeling like I’m going through the motions when I’m drawing it) is a good sign that I should move on to drawing comics for a while. Likewise, when I feel uninspired or worn out with comics, then this can be a sign that I need to go back to producing ordinary art for a while.
If you are interested in or curious about another type of art, then producing repetitive artwork might just be a sign that you should move on to this other form of creativity for a while. And, if you’re not interested in making any other kind of art, then it might be worth looking around within your particular genre of art (whether it’s drawing, comics, painting, etching, airbrushing etc…) to see if there are any other techniques you’re curious about.
4) Produce less: If you’re like me and try to produce lots of art every day, then some repetition is inevitable. You can be the most creative person in the world and still not have completely new ideas several times a day. You can either just see it as part of the price for feeling driven enough to create lots of art or you can scale back for a while and produce fewer pictures per day or per week.
In short, if you take some of the pressure off of yourself and channel your creativity into fewer pictures – then you’re more likely to think carefully about every drawing and add more detail (which will make your drawings look more distinctive). Although, if you’re anything like me, then this is much easier said than done.
5) Redrawings: Sometimes re-drawing one of your older drawings (or paintings or whatever) can be a good way to make yourself create something different to what you’re currently creating.
Plus, since you already know what to draw, then re-drawing your older drawings can be a good way to keep up your creative output whilst giving you time to think of ideas for new drawings. Just remember not to do it too often.
I hope that this was useful 🙂 Plus, it probably explains some of my recent drawings too LOL!!!