July 22, 2024

why most art motivation tips don't work (and which ones changed my life)

Published May 13, 2023, 7:20 p.m. by Courtney

Art has always been a huge part of my life. It's one of the things that makes me feel most alive and it's something that I'm incredibly passionate about.

However, I'll be the first to admit that finding motivation to create art can be incredibly difficult at times. I've gone through long periods where I just couldn't seem to find the inspiration to create anything and it was really frustrating.

Fortunately, I've discovered a few things that have helped me immensely when it comes to finding motivation to create art and I wanted to share them with you in the hopes that they might help you as well.

1. Set Some Art Goals

One of the best ways to stay motivated when it comes to creating art is to set some goals for yourself. What do you want to achieve with your art? Do you want to get better at a certain skill? Do you want to create a certain number of pieces?

Whatever your goals may be, make sure they're specific and realistic. Having some tangible goals to strive for will help you stay motivated and focused when things get tough.

2. Find Your Why

Another important thing to do when trying to stay motivated is to find your why. Why do you create art? What is it about art that you love so much?

When you can answer these questions, it will be easier for you to stay motivated because you'll have a strong reason to keep going even when things get tough.

3. Take Small Steps

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to stay motivated is that they try to do too much at once. They set huge goals and try to accomplish them all overnight. This is a recipe for disaster and it will only lead to frustration and burnout.

Instead, focus on taking small steps. Break down your goals into manageable pieces and focus on taking one small step at a time. This will help you stay motivated because you'll be able to see progress being made and it will prevent you from getting overwhelmed.

4. Find Your Inspiration

Another important thing to do when trying to stay motivated is to find your inspiration. Where do you find inspiration for your art? There are endless sources of inspiration all around us, we just have to be open to finding them.

Some people find inspiration in nature, others find it in music, and others find it in books or movies. Whatever your source of inspiration may be, make sure you keep it close at hand so that you can turn to it when you need a little boost.

5. Take a Break

There will be times when no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to find the motivation to create art. When this happens, it's important to take a break. Step away from your art supplies and take some time for yourself. Relax and recharge your batteries so that you can come back to your art with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

Taking a break doesn't mean that you're giving up on your art, it just means that you're taking care of yourself so that you can be at your best when you're ready to create again.

These are just a few of the things that have helped me stay motivated when it comes to creating art. I hope that they'll help you as well.

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when i was young my father told me he

looked me dead in the eye and said son

you're not gonna make it drawing little

pictures trying to seem cool you have to

be a doctor make me proud

now look at me

but i don't blame him though like i mean

i understand

all right so we've all worked at like

professional studios we're a bunch of

animation professionals here we've all

worked for netflix dreamworks even as

industry professionals we start our own

personal projects we're super hyped and

then we suddenly just stop and we lose

motivation immediately it happens all of

us right yeah except for shauna yeah

except except for shauna yeah we're

going to talk about that here's our

bunch of pro artists keep their

motivation but how do we start losing

interest in the first place for me the

thing that helps me one not get lost but

also to stay motivated is very clear

goals and steps i used to be like a

mechanical engineer so the first thing

you do as an engineer is let me lay out

step by step what it needs to do now let

me knock it down so i i take a step back

and i go okay let me say my entire story

in like two three sentences like lion

king a young prince he is told he's

gonna be king and get trained by his

father his uncle kills his dad and like

makes him think it's his fault he runs

away he's ashamed he just lives a

frivolous life eventually an old friend

comes back and tries to convince him to

return then an old mentor comes back and

tries to convince him to return then the

ghost of his father convinces him to

return he finally returns and he fights

his uncle to take over the king that's

where i start can i say my whole movie

or my whole show in a sentence if you

can't do that in a couple of sentences

you shouldn't jump into outline i think

my lack of interest in my projects is

usually just the fact that i don't think

i'm ever good enough i doubt myself so

much the problem i have is when i start

working i'm like i don't have time and i

start thinking about money and then i

start thinking about oh maybe this will

work as a film now i should make it a

comic and now i'm conflicted and now i'm

like i will do it again if the bar of

excellence is here like this is the

greatest thing that could like the

perfect film right and maybe your

ability is about here everything so let

me put my bar on something that's

actually attainable and i can hit that

and i can feel good that i hit that

otherwise you're just gonna feel guilty

you're gonna feel like [ __ ] because

you're not hitting that perfection bar

and really you need to get [ __ ] done

when you finish something your ability

bar goes up yeah and now you can move

that goal a little higher and then you

hit that your ability bar goes up even

higher before you know it you're like oh

i'm like hitting some good there are

times when i hit a mark and i'm like

every drawing's got to be good and i

just recently kind of got over that like

as of late like in teaching doing like

the story sprint for instance like it

made me start using toon boom a lot more

when i was drawing things and i realized

that it was more fun to draw a little

bit messy and concentrate more on just

the idea and getting the idea across so

i've been leaning more into that aspect

of evaluating my work from a more

reasonable standpoint you know yeah i

train i try not to compare myself to any

greats just because they're their story

every great person i've looked up to

their story is like almost similar to

mine like if you look at their

trajectory to the top they had to go

through some pretty harsh [ __ ] there's a

lot of like people that i looked up to

that had to go through some pretty like

you know some [ __ ] that you're not

supposed to get through as an artist you

know so i tried to compare myself to

them just because i know my situation

their situation is like you know

completely different in your journey to

the top to be way different to this

could be even crazier than theirs you

know what i mean for my motivation is

just to do something out of the norm

like often do something really crazy

like what i'm not you know i'm not going

to say it but like just do something

just very outside of you that scares you

a little i don't look at art in order to

get my inspiration i just get mad

yeah i get mad like because i really

want to draw but then when i get like

sometimes i'm not in the mood to draw

yeah so i'm just like okay no stop doing

that because you're beating yourself up

so i'll end up doing something in the

world go the [ __ ] outside because i mean

i have that problem where i'm just

sitting here and i'm like definitely

i'll be on the korean [ __ ] where i'm

like youtubing it for like 17 hours

straight i'm like [ __ ] i did [ __ ] let me

write something and i'll start writing

and then i'll notice like i'm just like

how could i write after all this [ __ ] i

just watched on tv you know for some

people that could deplete your

motivation in a way you know you'd be

like well damn what could i do so what i

try to do is get my ass up off the damn

computer get off my couch and go outside

try to work out skate and experience

what the [ __ ] going on outside i

mostly get inspired by like the artists

that i'm checking out on these social

media platforms like instagram youtube

like i was on youtube all day and night

like yesterday you know from like six in

the evening until like two o'clock in

the morning

just looking at artwork you know not

even drawing really easy

that's mostly what i do i'm like being

inspired by photographers and

illustrators whoever is our kids think

are creative out there that keeps me

inspired all the time get your ideas out

there fast don't try to sit there and

noodle on something and make it 100

perfect and take a billion weeks on it

right when you get home try to just sit

down for a minute 60 seconds to five

minutes to do a little bit of work each

day it's typically the starting is the

difficult part and once you start doing

it then you're going to get into that

flow or you're not you're gonna just do

five minutes and then that's okay that

you've done your five minutes for the

day but that can often turn to five

minutes to 30 minutes to two or three

hours but at least you've gotten uh you

know a little bit of work done that day

i personally lose a lot of motivation

whenever i do that i put a lot of work

into it maybe a week or months of work

into something and then i'm like this is

crap because i didn't think about this

beforehand so all of that hard work that

i did now i don't even feel like working

on it because it's all just like thrown

out the window that's is that basically

to me that's the problem of getting lost

i would kind of get lost in the woods

noodling on like one part of creation is

this working am i hitting like an

inciting incident am i hitting a clear

you know goal that the character's after

is the character active and then i'll do

a detailed outline


and then i have these clear

goals i'm like i'm trying to hit this

goal and where students go wrong with

most of motivation is they just start

with the render first and then it's none

of that and then they're like oh but it

doesn't it just sucks it doesn't make

any sense because you didn't do that

blueprint basically yeah that's for me

the biggest thing about oh i'm hyped i

got this thing done it's good all right

now i'm excited i'm gonna hop in the

boards yeah yeah

and i'm like yeah and then the board i'm


no yeah

let me relate that to boarding uh chase

you remember that time i turned in those

boards to you and it was all finished

and you scrapped the whole thing and i

had to board everything again and i felt

like [ __ ] i should have taken the time

and done the blueprint tom did was it

that vicious i don't know if i remember

but damn i feel bad now you don't

remember it was a the first time you

directed you put too much effort into

early on the drawing like cleaning in

the drawings and over animating things

and it's like yeah well that's not

that's not like not uh propelling the

story or the plot or mode of the cuts

aren't motivated you know things like

that and stuff like that but uh you know

you're savage though what did that do to

you your motivation i mean i always

wanted to learn so i was exhausted but i

saw it like oh okay i'm gonna learn

stuff now you know um scrap that and go

back again because the way i look at

myself is i don't know anything so i'm

trying to always learn every time any

chance i get that's the only way i get

better so when he told me that and i had

to scrap those birds i wanted to save

them and keep it so i could look at it

but that is i just

deleted the whole thing and went over

again which is what rad is saying you

know start from the skeleton like the

very tiny stuff and build on that i was

hyped to learn from it and i realized my

boards get better you know doing that

now take a step back and i look at the

story it's not working i'm like oh throw

this away and i don't feel any pain

because it's not looking that great

already and i start over again

i have to be extremely forgiving of

myself because i know i'm hard on myself

too so i know that part but um when

you're comparing yourself to other

people and what they've done because you

know we all we have instagram so we're

like looking at other people's work and

we're like i should be drawing but if

you don't really feel like drawing if

you can't really like put uh your images

or your vision onto the paper you should

allow yourself that and do something

else right design make 3d stuff whatever

one thing though that i try to tell all

my students is that the art for one most

everybody's art just sucks 100 it's

horrible all of our art here sucks

really bad

but storytelling that is something that

we can all do professionally because

especially if it comes from you know

within that bar that i feel like you can

hit still sets yourself up for success

right but everybody's got that ability

to tell their own stories i don't know

about your students but my students are

killing it right now i go to class and i

am so excited to go to class because

their stories are so much more fresh and

amazing than the sk the crap that i'm

seeing on netflix we watched our pitches

for our story class i was just like i

would watch all these shows these are so


i would personally put fyp money into

like the majority of the stuff that my

students are working on a lot of the

students have really crazy stories that

i've never seen the students are

definitely huge motivators because their

[ __ ] work is immaculate they're doing

[ __ ] they're already finished with

scriptures like brad you already do it

should i need to do it again it's simply

the best motivation i can get right now

to the students shout out to them

sometimes like uh you get so creative

that you don't know how to construct

creatively the words in order to express

your thought you know you just know how

to create it you don't know how to

verbalize your creative ideas like kanye

west for instance his interviews people

didn't know what the hell he was talking

about when he was talking about his uh

his clothing line right and then he

created a billion dollar clothing line

and i was like okay well

maybe we can't we do we should listen to

kanye west maybe it's like a bit of a

genie for motivation-wise kanye is

actually a really good example because

this is actually a really big deal to me

i feel like i have really good ideas and

i can see what's happening in my head

and then i go to a professional or i go

to a loved one this is this is where it

really hurts me is when i go to somebody

that i love and i say i got this crazy

idea let me tell you about and then i

tell them what's happening scene for

scene and then after that they go yeah

it's pretty cool and i'm like you don't

understand like what what i just said

like that could be a full-on feature

film or a tv show and they're like yeah

it's cool it's cool and i'm like oh that

hurts it's cool like that hurts me and

then i'm thinking is it that wasn't a

good idea that wasn't a good idea and

then i'm like i don't do it anymore you

gotta know the right people to share

with you you you really do you're a

little careful you you really your

energy i think that's the biggest point

that i can save for motivation for me is

because some people are low in their

life and they don't want anybody to be

above them they want you to suffer with

them and sit where they are in life and

that's not everybody but there are

people that want you know they're doing

it they don't know they're doing it yeah

they'd still love you too but they don't

want you to be better than them and

subconsciously some people will bring

you down that way and some people are

just like yeah it's cool because they

can't see what's in your head but for me

i can see what's in my head this is this

is what happened personally with me and

one of my students they were trying to

explain to me what they were their story

was about i'm like yeah that's cool and

i don't know if i didn't motivate them

or not but and i just couldn't really

imagine what they were talking about it

was just words all right they're just

going blah blah blah blah blah and i'm

like yeah yeah yeah keep on talking and

then they showed me what they were

working on a week later and i'm like

this is incredible i didn't know that

this is what you were talking about

these were your words last week this is

like this hit me in my heart and i wish

that you could have explained it that

way but you can't explain it you have to

show it through your art and put music

in it don't lose motivation whenever

somebody says yeah that's a cool idea or

whatever because they don't know what's

in your flipping head that's the biggest

thing that i would say i would walk away

from the main thing to walk away from is

that everybody has their own type of

motivation and we've all shared our

types of motivation and if you don't

like it you can probably just shut up

yeah that's it nice mic knife



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