Discovering the conditions that work for you!

Good evening fuzzbutts!

So I’ve been getting much better with my art, especially my digital work, for the past year. I’ve been able to schedule 2-hour blocks at a time and sit down with just the focus being on the art and some chit chat. How did this happen? I didn’t realize it until after doing it for the first couple of weeks how I was able to sit down and focus like that.

The short answer is I streamed my work. I would get myself and my avatar live, share my screen on clip studio paint, and get to work. Sharing the work with an audience and being able to talk to people while I worked (via the chat) was amazingly helpful for me to stay in my chair and easily squeak out 2 hours of work on an art piece. I spent the month of February this year just doing art instead of my usual gaming and I improved a ton. Incorporated art streams between games also helped me stay regular with regards to performing digital art. I no longer count the hours involved in a piece (My last one came out somewhere between 8-10 hours) and am more focused on the finished product.

Another thing that helps is just that sometimes I have trouble figuring out what’s wrong in the piece. Something around the hips looks off or maybe the face had something going on that I can’t quite identify. Amazingly, what’s not apparent to me has often becoming apparent to the people watching and they will sometimes chime in with helpful advice or remind me about something I may have forgotten (A detail on the character or whether or not I need to flip the piece due to something else like the character being right-handed but I drew them left-handed).

In a way, it’s like being surrounded by friends who are supportive of you in your work. You feel motivated to perform for them and also happy that there’s somebody who wants to see it. Usually that feedback shows up AFTER the piece is done, when you post it online and the Likes/Faves start to come in.

If not on a stream, you can still achieve the same by streaming it virtually in Discord to friends or, if possible, spend time with friends where the focus is working on art. Getting together for an art jam is so satisfying sometimes.

That being said, I understand it’s not for everyone. Sometimes you don’t want to be around others and just need to stay in perfect peace with maybe a little music or just pure quiet. It’s up to you to experiment what works best.

What about the time of day? Maybe you need to start in the morning before your energy is sucked away by your work or just life in general. Maybe you need it at night in order to help unwind from the stress of the day. There’s all kinds of factors to try out and eventually you’ll get it figured out.

For me, streaming has become a fun second job, whether it’s working out on stream, drawing, or gaming, I keep a regular schedule and it’s become super helpful for my productivity, as hilarious as that sounds. Hopefully you can find your way to discovering what conditions work for you!

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