Burning Out from Extensive Notes
3yr
An
Hello all! I have been working on the Proko Anatomy course (I have not done the figure drawing course though) and I have been burning out way too quickly. I think it has to do with the notes I'm taking and I'm not sure if I should keep going with my current strategy or take another approach. All of these notes are really spaced out since I do some and then get tired/unmotivated. I'm also in school so it seems as though this isn't the priority when I think of where to focus my energy. I have tried to limit my notes, but I keep thinking that every piece of information is important. I don't know what to do! If anyone has tips for how to keep from burning out or what to do about my notes would be really appreciated. (Or if taking notes is even necessary) *Sorry for the bad images, it's the morning and I'm a bit shaky*
Reply or ask for help
Drop images here to attach them to the message
All posts
Newest
Lila Stageberg
Anfissa; I could have written this myself. I study a lot of the time and I have developed a method to get max results in my own way. I go through the info quickly (x2 on videos) just to see the shape of the lesson. Then I set a timer for 25 minutes. That is my personal limit, at least right now. I do the best I can to watch and take notes limiting the number of times I stop the video to write. I know the urge is to "get" all the secrets and be able to capture it, but as has been said dozens of times above, it is hand/paper/pencil practice and nothing else. Just like reading about playing the piano or surfing. After my timer goes off I go do something else for 5-10 minutes. The (this is the secret sauce for me) I come back and re-read my notes from the beginning, annotating them if necessary (it always is). Then it is close the book, do the drill. Stan always has a source figure, or you can get one anywhere. Draw the thing, not well but fast. Like 10 of them, for practice. Only do that for another half hour. Then stop. Then toss all your practice. Right before bed, do the same drawing - 5 minutes. Do it again the next day. And then next night. I don't know if you are like me, but I bought every book in existence thinking I was going to buy the skill. Nope. It is a matter of practicing scales. Drawings, over and over. Copy some from Stan, then do them yourself. Give yourself a critique the next day but only by pointing out things that are actionable - Like, features not symmetrical, or arms too long or something. Drawings are never bad, they are practice. Good on you for having the guts to admit to notes-itis! You have a lot of company!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
James Doane
Hey @Anfissa Pruitt! I wanted to let you know that I created a video that explains how muscles get their names to help artists learn anatomy. If you want to check it out, it may help you. https://youtu.be/z2YvCox99ZY
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Tristan Elwell
Less writing, more drawing.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
@noahdrakeholguin
Agreed, learning through trail, error, and comparison is way more effective than writing everything in detail. Practical application also allows you to absorb the info in easier.
Reply
Alex MoCa
i do the same thing about the notes and it works for me honestly, i try to make them easy to understand like trying to explain "any topic you are learning" to a 5 year old, that mentality really helps me out to clean up and ignore a lot of "unnecessary information" trying to explain it with simple and quick words that resume the topic. i think is a good strat but don't get to crazy with it, make it easy and quick to understand let it be like 30 minutes or around 1 hour of your studding session, and the rest just applying what you learn by drawing. drawing is a visual skill after all. about the burnout, it really depends on things, for me it was that the process of learning it was not fun anymore, did like 6 to 8 hours of studying a day, sometimes we feel that more is better but it was not, it burn me out really quickly and it took me more time to recover from it, it even give me anxiety and depression, i fix it by just giving my self like 2 hours of studding, and the rest just me having fun with what i learn. also don't ignore figure drawing don't be like me and spend a lot of time in anatomy with no simple understanding of the human figure, draw a ton of boxes learn basic perspective and study proportions, anatomy can wait. TLDR: Make quick notes that a 5 year old can understand, make the learning process fun, if is not fun why bother, dont ignore simple fundamentals (Basic structure, figure drawing, proportions and simple perspective.)
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Sagnik Kirtan
Hi Anfissa! Taking notes help us to concentrate but they are not for learning any subject, be it arts or science. We have to revise ourselves to learn all the concepts we are taught. Learning anatomy by heart would take time. One thing you can do is to use mnemonics as a key for memorizing. You can also print the anatomical system of humans, and you can mark every anatomical features on it. This helped me to learn anatomy faster. Or while drawing a person from reference, you can rely on the anatomical guides by proko or other books for those anatomical features you can see on the reference. For example, if you are drawing the hand of a person, you only need to know the anatomical features of the hands, not of the whole body. In this way you can learn anatomy by drawing different parts of the body at a time. After drawing all the parts of the body, and if you are feeling quite confident, you can draw a final sketch of the whole body. Anatomy would be a cakewalk for you then!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Alex McCaleb
Yeah, I'm seeing a lot of comments that are aiming you in the right direction when I scroll down. So my advice is the same. You and I both have to learn not to fight so hard to retain the information, because that fear/stress is part of the problem altogether. Taking notes is Absolutely helpful, however applying the learned information commits it to a different part of the brain's memory. Remember that when drawing poses, try to look for a pose that interests you. Burnout doesn't stand a chance against doing things you actually feel like doing. Sometimes I have to pose in front of the mirror or set the phone camera up to take a picture of poses and camera angles I want to draw (especially the face). Since you're studying as much as you are in the first place... rest assured you're going in the right direction.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Julip
Hi Anfissa! It looks like these are notes from videos, I would recommend that instead of taking notes watch the video multiple times and practice each part of the video once at a time. For instance watch the whole video once, then go through and for each topic draw a page just looking into that topic. This will allow you to figure out each topic for yourself rather than having to go back and read through notes each time you want to draw. Notes are helpful but I think practice is key.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Daniel Partain
I guess the only advice I would have is to try to draw more than you write. Break it up, you know. After you make a few notes, then be sure to make drawings to solidify the point. Or maybe have a day where you just watch the lesson without notes. Then try to summarize it the next day...see what you can recall. That way you get the main ideas down without all the rote learning.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Melissa Cook
I dont think it is necessary to take that amount of notes, if you feel you are forgetting information or need a review I would just re watch the videos or even better review the pdf things. I would watch the videos and maybe take some important notes, not write down every word. I dont really write notes to look back on, mainly its just to solidify an important concept in my head.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Peter Anton
My humble opinion: Stop taking notes and just focus on watching the videos and absorbing as much as you can. Then go draw the figure and see what you're retained and what you need to work on. Notes already exist in the form of books, and you will familiarize yourself with the terms through repeated exposure. In my own experience, notes were busy work that are a way for you to avoid the pain of making bad drawings. If you really like writing, journal from memory right before you go to bed- so you dream about it and process it subconsciously
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
@hanandrawswell
Try drawing along with him, and only make notes on the titles, but in general I think prokos videos are a bit too fast
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Adam Wiebner
I can definitely relate to this challenge as well. For me personally, I definitely think the pictures i draw as i study the course will be more valuable time-wise than words written/ copied down from lectures.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
An
3yr
Okay, I'll keep that in mind, thank you for the advice!
Reply
Shiikoshu
Hiya! I’m also new and studying the anatomy course just like you, and have been for a while. If you want your notes to be more legible and easier on your hands to have for later, I would suggest typing them on a document or google slides. That way you can highlight and bold important things without it messing with the info that you’re putting down, plus, it’s more organized. That’s what I personally do and it works for me :D
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
An
3yr
Thanks for the advice! I'll think about doing it online next time!
Reply
James Doane
That's a lot of notes!! You will not be able to absorb everything about anatomy quickly, but you don't need to. Start prioritizing the information. For example, you don't need to know the difference between proximal and distal to draw people. Those terms are handy directional terms (they are used a lot to name bony landmarks), but it is not critical for drawing figures.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
An
3yr
Thanks for the advice! I'll try to focus more on important landmarks than small details.
Reply
Sam Reeves
@Anfissa Pruitt Did you see the Draftsmen episode where Stan talked about using a Zettlekasten? I read the book he mentioned HOW TO TAKE SMART NOTES by Sönke Ahrens and it helped me.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
An
3yr
Thank you! I must have missed that one, I'll make sure to look at it!
Reply
. .
3yr
I've found that the best way to understand anatomy is by copying plate diagrams, and then redrawing them from imagination afterward. Cycling between copying and redrawing without reference until I understand the material. And then doing a figure study where I can apply what I've learned. Sounds daunting but each drawing should only take 5-10mins, and limit yourself to <1 hour for the figure. Also don't spend the whole day doing studies. Set aside an allotment of time for studying and then move into personal work.
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
An
3yr
Thanks for the advice! I'll keep that in mind in my free time when i'm studying outside the Proko course.
Reply
Finlo Bowers
Hi Anfissa I feel your pain - I have been through this - feeling like every nugget of info is super important, and making sure that nothing is missed. I have filled whole notebooks this way, before realising that I could be using my time better - something your post suggests you are beginning to realise yourself. The depth of your notes is impressive - it shows your dedication to the subject. The unfortunate thing is that the human body is unbelivably complicated, and the course is very dense, so there is no way you will remeber everything the first time round - even if you do note everything down. But that's fine! And also, time you spend taking notes is time you could be drawing - and that's the best way to learn the subject - not by trying to recycle the information. The good news is that more drawing, not more note taking, will probably help you learn more effectively! My advice would be to take it easy on the note taking - this is how I usually do it - I watch the video, and do my best to remeber as much as possible - THEN, when the video is finished, I take notes - this forces you to use your memory and actually makes you remeber things better. Then, at the end of the day, I write what it is I learned that day - this just reinforces any nuggets that are still there (and is a nice motivation boost). You will forget a lot of what you see in the videos - it takes years and years to learn this stuff - even the very best don't know all the theory off by heart - but that's also totally normal. Just practice whatever subject you are on, and keep rewatching the videos! A lot of people do the courses multiple times even. I I think that this would be a better use of your time. I wish you all the best!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
An
3yr
Thank you for the detailed reply! These are great tips I will make sure to implement!
Reply
Smithies
Hi! Firstly - what neat notes! Yours put mine to shame. I'm sure it's really worthwhile making such thorough notes, but make sure you break it up with lots of drawing practice. Maybe don't go through the course so quickly (or even each video?) so that for every page or so of notes, you spend a couple of hours just drawing and practising from different angles, or from different references. I would have thought even that might get exhausting, so take a break from 'learning' drawing and just chill out with some gestures or something more relaxing or something you find easy every couple of hours :). Keep up the solid learning - it'll pay off!
Write reply...
Drop images here to attach them to the message
Andrew Knolla
Good advice from Smithies. I would also emphasize doing less writing, more sketching. Maybe you could document the same ideas by highlighting/emphasizing certain things and/or putting short/simple labels with the sketch rather than explaining in full sentences. Jeff Watts always talks about committing concepts to memory by drawing them over and over (not writing them out).
Reply
An
3yr
Thank you! I never even thought about using the notes to actually draw, I usually just do the assignment! I'll make sure to do that in the future.
Reply
Help!
Browse the FAQs or our more detailed Documentation. If you still need help or to contact us for any reason, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!
Your name
Email
Message