There are times when it's hard to stay inspired and motivated to create new art. We all go through periods when it seems a chore to start a new canvas or even to finish others. Everyone of us has different reasons for losing our steam. Sometimes it's stress, boredom, or some little thing that's bothering us that can stop your production dead in its tracks. I'm going to share a few things that I do to get myself back at the easel and happy to be there. I hope that some of these work for you and help to get you inspired again.
A Dedicated Art Space:
Having a room or part of a room that is solely dedicated to creating art is so important to motivating you to work. Now I'm not talking about a corner of the kitchen table (we've all been there!), but a nice organized and clean area with plenty of light and storage where you can keep all of your art supplies. I have a roll top desk in our office at home where I have all of my art supplies stored and organized. My oils are on one side and my acrylics on the other. My watercolor supplies are stored in the upper part of the desk. Blank canvases and paper have their own storage space and my reference materials are stored here as well. When I walk into this room, even if it's just to get something, I feel the urge to sit down and paint. Sometimes just walking past the door I want to go in and start working. If you make it easy to access your supplies then it will be easier to start working. Having to clear the kitchen table or the living room table and gather your supplies from somewhere else makes painting or drawing a chore before you even start!
Look At Lots Of Art:
Most of us are on some kind of social media. This can be a great place to find inspiration when you need it. Personally I use my Facebook to stay in touch with clients and friends on a personal level, but my Instagram is nothing but art! I follow all kinds of artists on Instagram and keep my feed clear of non-artists. By doing this I can just scroll down and see what other artists are up to. I can see their progress on new projects and finished work as well. Many artists will share tips and tricks as well that can help further your education. I make it a point to follow artists from all kinds of skill levels and styles. Sometimes when you see a piece of graphic art or digital art it can inspire your work in a completely different medium. A good way to find artists to follow is to start follwing pages that share artists work such as: Art Collective, Juxtapoz Magazine, Trekell Art Supplies, etc. These pages will showcase different artists so you can find them and follow.
There is always some kind of art show going on in your area, I guarantee it. Some are small and poorly advertised but they're there. I recommend that you go and see some art in person as well. Meeting artists in person and seeing art up close can insipre you more than you'd think. Sometimes we get down on ourselves because we are too critical of our work. We spend hours upon hours staring at our own work up close and find faults. Seeing a painting online does a lot to hide these flaws and we go on thinking that they are perfect. It's not until you see these works up close that you realize that even the greatest artists have stray cat hairs stuck in their paint, a messy stroke or two, and if you look carefully enough a fingerprint from touching wet paint accidentally! Once you see that you realize that your work is just as good, and that can give you all the motivation you need.
Paint With Others:
This is the one that scares the hell out of most artists. Being that we are very solitary and untrusting creatures we tend to create our art like little Gollums hidden away in our caves never seeing the light of day. But I can tell you from experience that painting alongside other artists on occasion can pull some great stuff out of your imagination. It could be a subconscious nugget that has been lurking around in your mind, or more likely a burst of inspiration from wanting to do something impressive around your peers. Either way I find that spending a few hours with other like minded folk can give you a spark in your motivation and creativity. Someone is always having an "Art NIght" somewhere that you can join in on. These are rarely a public thing, so you'll just be around other artists, and they are never competitive. It's usually just a fun night of painting and drawing.
When I'm listening to music, reading a god book, watching a movie, or sometimes just going for a walk I am constantly taking notes. Sometimes it's a shadow that I see or a color reflecting off of something. Sometimes it's just and idea or a concept that doesn't involve anything visual. But no matter what it is I find it to be an inspiration to create or duplicate that feeling. If there's paper handy I'll write myself a note. Or sometimes I'll take a quick picture with my phone. But the important thing is to get these notes into your dedicated art space so that they are easily accessible. That way when you need an idea or a thought to start with you can peruse your musings and find what you need to create.
These are just a few ways to get yourself better motivated and inspired to create art. We complain nowadays that there's just "not enough time" or "it's too much work" to get in the studio and make art, but I disagree. I can form a pretty accurate timeline of your day just by watching your activity on Facebook. The hours you spend on there posting memes, videos, and rants about things you cannot control could be spent making a piece of art or writing a song. Let's not even mention the amount of game invites I get form some of you which tells me you're spending a lot of time "crushing candy"!!! The very best way to get more art done is to better budget your time. Make time for family, games, and tv. But also set aside some time for your art.. It's not as hard as you may think. I give myself an hour on each day to just vegetate and play games, but then it's time to work, which is not work if you are inspired to do it. Then I give myself time at the end of the day for movies, tv, and family. Write out a schedule if you have to, but it's not necessary. You just need to have strong willpower and dedication.