Ways to Stay Motivated as an Artist
Motivation is the fuel that drives the creative engine. As artists, we all know that feeling of being inspired by an idea, a vision, or a dream. We pour ourselves into our work, fueled by passion and a sense of purpose. But what happens when that spark begins to fade? When we find ourselves feeling stuck, uninspired, and unmotivated?
It’s easy to fall into a rut as an artist. Creative work can be challenging, and it can feel like an uphill battle to keep the momentum going. But the good news is that there are ways to reignite that spark and keep the creative juices flowing. Here are some tips and tricks that have worked for me and other artists I know.
1. To Stay Motivated Find Your Why
Why do you create? What drives you to make art? Understanding your why is a critical component of staying motivated as an artist. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of making art, but if you lose sight of your purpose, it can be challenging to keep going.
Take some time to reflect on why you create, and be honest about your answers. What motivates you? What do you hope to achieve with your art? Is it to express yourself, to connect with others, to make a difference in the world? Whatever your reason, keep it front and center in your mind. Use it as a source of inspiration when you need a boost.
2. Create a Routine
As an artist, you have the freedom to work when and where you want. But sometimes, that freedom can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get distracted by other things in your life and let your creative work fall by the wayside. That’s why creating a routine can be so helpful.
Find a time and place that works for you, and make it a habit to work on your art during that time. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or late at night, having a set routine can help you stay on track and keep your creative momentum going.
3. Embrace the Messiness
Creating art is messy, both literally and figuratively. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that everything needs to be perfect, but that kind of pressure can be paralyzing. Embrace the messiness of the creative process. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, experiment, and explore. It’s often in those messy moments that the most interesting and unexpected ideas arise.
4. Experiment with New Mediums
Sometimes, the best way to stay motivated as an artist is to switch things up. If you find yourself feeling stuck, try experimenting with a new medium. Whether it’s painting, drawing, music, dance, or something else entirely, trying something new can be a great way to reignite your creative passion.
5. Take Breaks
Creating art can be intense, and to stay motivated it’s essential to take breaks to avoid burnout. Take a walk, read a book, or do something entirely unrelated to your art, for a day, or a week, or a month – whatever time it takes to give yourself a pause so you can regenerate. Giving yourself permission to step away from your work can help you come back to it with a fresh mind and renewed energy.
6. Surround Yourself with Supportive People
As artists, we can be our own worst critics. It’s easy to get bogged down in self-doubt and negativity, which can sap your motivation and creativity. Surround yourself with people who support you and believe in your work. Whether it’s family, friends, or fellow artists, having a support system is essential for most artists and can make all the difference to stay motivated.
7. Stay Curious
Curiosity is a critical component of creativity. Stay curious about the world around you. Ask questions, explore new ideas, and learn something new every day. Keeping your mind open and engaged can help you stay motivated and inspired as an artist.
8. Set Goals
Setting goals is an essential to stay motivated as an artist. It’s important to have a sense of purpose and direction in your work. Whether it’s finishing a particular piece, learning a new technique, or exhibiting your work, setting achievable goals can give you something to work towards and keep you motivated.
Personally, I’ve set up exhibitions for my visual art six months to a year in the future. Knowing I had agreed to show the work whether or not I was finished really helped motivate me and kept me on track.
9. Celebrate Small Wins
As an artist, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that success only comes from big, dramatic moments. But the reality is that success is often made up of small wins along the way. Celebrate each step forward, no matter how small. Whether it’s completing a sketch, selling a piece of artwork, or simply getting positive feedback from someone, take the time to acknowledge your progress.
10. Remember Why You Started
When you’re feeling stuck or unmotivated, it can be helpful to take a step back and remember why you started creating art in the first place. Reconnect with your passion and your purpose. Look back at your earlier work and remind yourself of how far you’ve come. Sometimes, simply remembering why you started can be enough to reignite your motivation and creativity.
All in all, it can be a challenge to stay motivated as an Artist, but if you are truly passionate about working with your medium, you shouldn’t have many obstacles. You can use these tips whenever your passion temporaritly fades or gets derailed by one of life’s curve balls. By finding your why, creating a routine, embracing the messiness, experimenting with new mediums, taking breaks, surrounding yourself with supportive people, staying curious, setting goals, celebrating small wins, and remembering why you started, you can keep your creative engine running and continue to make beautiful, inspiring art. So go forth, create, and become unstoppable.