5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

 It's only been a few months since I graduated from college, and I can already notice a large drop in the amount of work I was create compared to when I was in school. The deadlines and discipline I had because of my Solo Senior Exhibition aren't there, and it's more tempting to be lazy and participate in other pastimes. My new job also requires drawing on the computer all day, so it can be hard to come home and want to draw again. This is the most lucky problem in the world to have, but I'll write about how to deal with it anyway.

1. Get Jealous

My first step is get motivated by some good old fashioned jealousy. Search the art tag on Tumblr, or Pinterest and keep scrolling until you find something that you wish you'd created. Collect these images, and find out what makes these art pieces stand out. See if this is something you can bring to a piece of your own, and think of how you could make something even better. When looking through at the artwork of others, think about how many hours and how much dedication some of these artists put into this work. Even if they are a quitter just like you, pretend they're not, and channel your envy into inspiration to create.

2. Feel Guilty

If you have a talent or are creatively inclined, it's natural to feel guilty when you're not creating. As an artist, it's how you contribute to the culture and world around you. This guilt can be channeled for good, and transformed into motivation. If you are constantly drowning in guilt and do nothing about it, the guilt is pointless, but when acted upon, it's healthy. An art sessions should be enough to take it away for a decent amount of time, and make you feel proud you made something, even if the work isn't a masterpiece, it's still practice.

3. Remember Your Ridiculous Goals

When it's hard to understand why you should even make art anymore, think back to goals you had in the past. These could be goals like showing work in a prestigious gallery, selling your paintings for mountains of cash, or improving your art skills. Even if these goals seem far away or not likely to be obtained for whatever reason, break them down into smaller attainable goals, and work toward one. Plan deadlines for each piece, and watch motivation get restored. 

4. Get Involved in the Art Community


Gain motivation from the people around you by getting involved in your local art community. This will most likely mean getting involved in shows as well, which means work will need to be made. The anticipation of a show, and being judged always brings motivation and competition to the surface, and my best work is create under this kind of pressure. This is how I thrive personally, others may find it stressful and a block to motivation. 

5. Draw With Children

Children are so creative and have an unbridled energy present in their art that we forget how to harness as adults. When you draw with a child, it's hard not to be motivated because helping them improve their skills is rewarding, and learning how to be more creative again is so valuable. If you don't gain motivation from stress and pressure, this is a laid back way to just start drawing without fear of repercussion. If you want to see evidence of the creativity of children, look at my 9 year old sister Trinity's blog

I hope some of these ideas are useful for starting to draw when you really don't feel like it. The end results are always worth it, so I hope you keep creating. 

Bonus motivation: If you send a link to your artwork in the comments, I will feature you in the next Art Links post! 


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Sonja Funnell Art: 5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

Friday, June 28, 2013

5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

5 Ways for Artists to Get Motivated

 It's only been a few months since I graduated from college, and I can already notice a large drop in the amount of work I was create compared to when I was in school. The deadlines and discipline I had because of my Solo Senior Exhibition aren't there, and it's more tempting to be lazy and participate in other pastimes. My new job also requires drawing on the computer all day, so it can be hard to come home and want to draw again. This is the most lucky problem in the world to have, but I'll write about how to deal with it anyway.

1. Get Jealous

My first step is get motivated by some good old fashioned jealousy. Search the art tag on Tumblr, or Pinterest and keep scrolling until you find something that you wish you'd created. Collect these images, and find out what makes these art pieces stand out. See if this is something you can bring to a piece of your own, and think of how you could make something even better. When looking through at the artwork of others, think about how many hours and how much dedication some of these artists put into this work. Even if they are a quitter just like you, pretend they're not, and channel your envy into inspiration to create.

2. Feel Guilty

If you have a talent or are creatively inclined, it's natural to feel guilty when you're not creating. As an artist, it's how you contribute to the culture and world around you. This guilt can be channeled for good, and transformed into motivation. If you are constantly drowning in guilt and do nothing about it, the guilt is pointless, but when acted upon, it's healthy. An art sessions should be enough to take it away for a decent amount of time, and make you feel proud you made something, even if the work isn't a masterpiece, it's still practice.

3. Remember Your Ridiculous Goals

When it's hard to understand why you should even make art anymore, think back to goals you had in the past. These could be goals like showing work in a prestigious gallery, selling your paintings for mountains of cash, or improving your art skills. Even if these goals seem far away or not likely to be obtained for whatever reason, break them down into smaller attainable goals, and work toward one. Plan deadlines for each piece, and watch motivation get restored. 

4. Get Involved in the Art Community


Gain motivation from the people around you by getting involved in your local art community. This will most likely mean getting involved in shows as well, which means work will need to be made. The anticipation of a show, and being judged always brings motivation and competition to the surface, and my best work is create under this kind of pressure. This is how I thrive personally, others may find it stressful and a block to motivation. 

5. Draw With Children

Children are so creative and have an unbridled energy present in their art that we forget how to harness as adults. When you draw with a child, it's hard not to be motivated because helping them improve their skills is rewarding, and learning how to be more creative again is so valuable. If you don't gain motivation from stress and pressure, this is a laid back way to just start drawing without fear of repercussion. If you want to see evidence of the creativity of children, look at my 9 year old sister Trinity's blog

I hope some of these ideas are useful for starting to draw when you really don't feel like it. The end results are always worth it, so I hope you keep creating. 

Bonus motivation: If you send a link to your artwork in the comments, I will feature you in the next Art Links post! 


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