How To Get Motivated – 37 Answers From REAL Artists

By Nicole Tinkham


We have written many blogs on motivation in your artwork and life in general because it’s one of the main things that are holding people back from achieving their goals. These blogs are filled with incredible tips but we’ve found that the best advice comes straight from an artist’s mouth. So we posed the question “What gets you motivated to start a new art project?” on our Facebook page and the various tips we received is just out of this world. Save this post because you really can learn so much from these artists of all different skill levels. Read on for what these 37 real artists (just like you!) have to say about what motivates them.

1.    “I meditate or go for a run early in the morning. Kick starts my imagination!” – Dominique

2.    “Looking at all unfinished works, stacked against the wall doesn’t help. Seeing one on my easel with paints ready, brushes clean and favorite music helps! Oh and a thermos full of sweetened, cream coffee…” -Barbara

3.    “Gonna sit in front of the linen and take a brush and see what happens….just easy…” -Anja

4.    “I pray, and just dive right into a project. :)” -Tia

5.    “ I have to create it completely, step by step, in my head so I need the quiet time to do that, then when I face the white canvass I’m ready.” -Wendy

6.    “I close my eyes and access the many worlds in my artist head and pick one to do.” -Cindy

7.    “Whenever I need to express myself or when I’m working on an assignment” -Linda

8.    “Music and looking at other art work or landscape photos.” -Kelly

9.    “Touch. Music- it’s hard to pin down.” -Jamie

10.    “Hope that it will sell.” -Rita

11.    “I have to have a clean house. (ok….somewhat clean!!) this way my mind isn’t thinking about what needs to be done. Then I just start fiddling around until I start something!!” -CJ

12.     “Research, research and more research. I get intimidated when I don’t know what I’m doing, research helps me deal with that initial fear. Then sketching, lots of sketching, this gets me used to the idea that I can do it. And gives me a chance to experiment with my ideas, what works, what doesn’t. It’s good to make the mistakes before moving onto the final media that I’m going to work with.” -Krysia

13.    “I crochet blankets for me to start my project I think about who I am making a blanket for and why. Then I spend at least an hour or more looking at designs I try to find it even make my own design if I can’t find what I want. Once I actually start the work I have things settled. I made one for one of my son’s he was living quite a distance away I made him a new one and he said that when he got it that he could feel my love all over him” -Barbara

14.    “Oh, they are swarming in my head 🙂 just have to find time for the next one. It has to be time when I can relax and don’t think about anything else. Sometimes I can’t wait to come home from work to finish a painting, sometimes I start sewing something right after I get up, to get in a better mood and start a day with something pleasant.” -Vera

15.    “New art supplies laid out nicely… and then the storm hits and we have a hot mess! But a beautiful project arises from it all. It’s quite a process! LOL!” -Estela

16.    “Clear my mind, set aside everything else, put on music and then let the art flow out onto the canvas, paper etc. Hours fly by before I know it.” -Lorna

17.    “Well of late I have been concentrating on mythical creatures that I have loved sense childhood. Mainly dragons and fairies. I have no idea whatsoever why I have not been drawing these for all of these years……If I owned the house that I live in I would love to do a mural of them…..” – Andrea

18.    “Anything inspires me. Mostly I respond to color or interesting color combinations. I also draw heavily on my Hispanic heritage- I love bright colors and Mexican and Catholic Imagery. They work so well together!” -Lisa

19.    “I get some crazy idea…lol…then l search thru hundreds of images online…then l do some sketching… I’ve got an idea I’m still rolling around in my brain.. mixed media.. Some drawing… Last night l watched a program on PBS that had a lot of castles, so l focused on the designs, layouts and perspectives…;-)” -Jan

20.    “I just start something. I get a bunch of ideas while I’m in the process of drawing, painting or carving. So I just start..” -Deborah

21.    “As a child, I played the piano when in a bad mood….now I paint when in a bad mood….both very calming and productive!” -Linda

22.    “Caffeine and a rough bit of a sketch on the back of a cigarette packet/ beer mat.. then more caffeine and dive in..” -Chris

23.    “I see something & then my imagination takes off. I love it when I wing it, lol.” -Kathy

24.    “I put a blank canvas on the easel for a day or so , I can’t stand seeing a blank canvas” -Diane

25.    “It magically happens when I get unmotivated to do a less fun project.” -Sam

26.    “visual stimulant – usually a photograph, an emotion, a natural setting rather than a structured work” -Diane

27.    “Music♡♡♡♡” -Karren

28.    “Turn on the music” -Anamarie

29.    “A new idea always helps to start off” -Sayanti

30.    “Look at my empty bank account” – Saddhasura

31.    “Looking for inspiration” –Gina

32.    “You don’t “get” motivated, either you are, or, you aren’t….if you have to psych yourself up… should probably wait… I feel anyway…” –Kurt

33.    “The need to be creative until I get it done. Oh the joy of an accomplishment feels so good. Wish I could get this excited about chores.” –Jnett

34.    “When there is nothing on my easel to work on.” –Larry

35.    “It just happens, for some reason. I try to pretend like I have a process, but I’ll wake up one day and it’s like a switch flipped and I have to make a thing happen. I’ll start assembling what I need, as if someone told me that the project has a deadline. My wife and I have been together over 35 years and she’s still trying to figure that part of me out. She’ll walk in and go, “What’s going on?” in that, “Are we about to lose a room of the house for several months?” kind of way. I’m pretty sure it’s like when Roy Neary started building the Devil’s Tower topographic in his house.” –Robert

36.    “Seeing the first half of the payment is good enough motivation for me to start something. Personal projects just need an “ah-ha” moment and some paper.” –Sarah

37.    “See a great art show like the traveling’ American Watercolor show.” -Bernadette

Whew, we are pumped up just by reading these! Keep in mind that every artist is different so going for a morning run may not do it for you. Maybe you’re more of a music person. Or maybe a little caffeine will do the trick. Try a few things out and see what gets you in the creative mood. Once you find out what that thing is, let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the list!

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