Artists and all of the subclasses (coders, writers, dancers, singers, musicians, sculptors, painters, wood workers, potters and all of the others I did not think of) are always looking for inspiration. The Muse can be as fickle as Lady Luck and just as important. Inspiration is what makes the switch in an artists brain turn on and something brilliant comes out. Without inspiration there is no art, no music, no software or hardware to create graphic arts with.
If there is no problem with inspiration there can be the problem of motivation. Motivation is the drive to take the actions needed to create something. Even if you have some great and amazing ideas you might not be motivated to do anything with the idea.
Motivation can be a problem for me. Inspiration is all around. I see, hear, taste, smell, touch and “feel” inspiration all over the place. I can come up with some great ideas while out for a walk or even when working on another project. The problem come to being motivated to work on the project.
Its not that I don’t want to do it. I just don’t do anything except think about working on the project. It really is annoying. Usually it happens after a long stretch of hyper activity. Working on school classes, photographing Emerald City Comic Con, and finishing three paintings really took all of my energy.
I know I am not alone in getting like this. The problem is getting your motivation back. You can read all the self help books you want and even watch videos. In the end you are the only person that can find your motivation again.
I thought I would pass on some things that get me motivated again. They might help or not. All one can do is try.
1. Give yourself a break. Take a few weeks off and do nothing.
2. Start small. Do take care of something that can be done, but can and should be done. Hang curtains or blinds, clean the freezer or organize a cupboard. As corny as it sounds start taking walks or exercising. It does not have to be related to your particular field, just something that you have been putting off.
3. Pick something project related and break it down into a bunch of smaller parts. When I paint and have motivational problems I like to break the project down to sketch, fine tune, transfer sketch to canvas, paint background and so on. I will try to work on the project for 30 – 45 min each day. You may be working slow but you are working!
4. Keep at it. Even if you are not completely submerged in the project at least you are working on it.
When lacking inspiration or motivation your final product is usually less than it could be if you were inspired and motivated. Unfortunately that is the way it is. In most cases you can go back and improve your work when you are back in top form.
I hope this helps a few people.
Today’s image is from Cyanide and Happiness. One of my favorite web comics.