5 Tips for Staying Motivated

Everyone struggles sometimes to keep momentum going in their art practice, to keep the ideas flowing and stay motivated in their creative field. I often find myself stuck, unable to get back into the creative mindset. When life gets in the way, it’s sometimes really hard to find my mojo again. These are some of my tips and ideas for getting it back.

Sketch book doodles. Dip pen and ink
  1. Keeping a sketch book

What I mean by this is getting into the habit of creating daily. Keeping a sketch book is like keeping a journal. It’s where your ideas go down and it’s something you can refer back to later when creating new artworks. It’s a good idea to try and make it a regular practice to do a drawing a day. You could make this a new challenge for yourself. Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed and try doing a drawing a day for a week to see how you go. After, reassess and see if you can set yourself a longer goal.

If you get stuck on ideas, there are so many lists online but you can also just draw an item on your desk or in your kitchen; just draw what you find around you. This is not only a good habit but will also help to improve your drawing skills, all it takes is a little practice. If I am being perfectly honest this is an area that I need to improve on, so perhaps I will set the challenge for myself to do a drawing a day in my sketchbook.

2. Get outside

There is nothing quite like the fresh air and calming effect that the outdoors can have on you, mentally and physically, and if you’re stuck creatively, sometimes your mind just needs to take a break from your workspace and your usual surroundings. If you can, take a sketchbook with you and observe your new surroundings. Going for a simple walk and getting outside helps me particularly. As a mum working from home, my daughter can get really antsy if we have been cooped up too much. If I’m trying to do some work, going for a walk to the park or just around the block has some of the best results. We come back calmer than when we left, and she is usually happy to play with herself for a bit which leaves me much more free to do a little creative work.

3. Start with something small

Sometimes the idea of creating an artwork or coming up with a new idea can be too overwhelming. If this is the case for you, then my suggestion would be to start with something small and that is achievable in under an hour. Set a little challenge to do some quick, 1-minute drawings, or a small illustration or painting that won’t take long to complete.  It’s quite surprising how motivated you can feel to keep working and how many more ideas you are inspired to create after you have actually finished an artwork.

4. Try a new medium

If you normally create paintings in watercolour, perhaps, try painting in acrylic or oil. Or, go really wild and try something completely different. If you’re an illustrator maybe try creative writing or photography – something completely new. There are so many ways for you to be creative. For example, I love to crochet and so I usually have a crochet project on the go. It gives me a break from what I usually do and challenges me because it’s still a new medium.

Mix it up! Who knows, maybe it will inspire a new body of work and encourage you to explore a new creative world! The possibilities are endless.

Inspired by a class by @boccaccinimeadows on @skillshare

5. Take a class

I believe that this is really helpful for anyone’s creative practice. Learning is so valuable as I believe you can always improve on the skills that you have as an artist or a creative person so that you are always evolving. There are so many forums online to take classes. My favourite and the one that I use the most is Skillshare, which is a subscription. Skillshare offer a huge variety of classes to choose from: art classes, photography; even cooking and sewing. They are taught by creatives who are working in their respective industries. When I am feeling stuck in a rut or if I’m struggling to stay motivated, I take a break from what I am doing and take a class. Each class has a project to complete which gives you a place to start creating. Its a good place to become inspired by others and is a great community to develop the skills you have and build on new ones.

I hope that this has been a helpful read for you and has given you some ideas on where to start if you are feeling stuck in your creative practice. Please let me know what you think and any ideas you might have on staying motivated by commenting below.

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