“The idea of divine inspiration and an aha moment is largely a fantasy. Anything of value comes from hard work and unwavering dedication. If you want to be a good artist you need to look at other artists, make a lot of crappy art, and just keep working.” ~ Sydney Pink
Whether you’re a painter, food artist, singer, sportswriter, web designer, photographer, or another type of artist, there are going to be days where you find it difficult to create something.
A few days ago, my mind was worried, and I was caught up in a cycle of stress about other things. I was a basket of mixed feelings.
At times, I am inspiration-less, where I have the motivation but just can’t think of anything good to do.
At other times, I am motivation-deprived, where I have the idea but just don’t really wanna.
The last—and my least favourite but most familiar state— is where I have the motivation and I am so pumped to get this thing done…but there’s this and that and the other thing, and my show is on, or my kids steal me. The times when I figure that I have other jobs on my to-do list, and I’ll just do the thing I’m really pumped about tomorrow.
Honestly? The last one is most of us. Soon (it’s no surprise), I find myself struggling to create anything at all.
Motivating ourselves to be productive isn’t always easy. Some days, boredom takes over and the last thing we want to do is strike off our to-do list. Maybe we have a hard time motivating ourselves to do chores around the house or exercise or start that big plan for work. But if it’s difficult to cross off everyday to-dos, it’s even harder to tick off creative tasks—after all, everything else is often “more important.”
Still, whatever tasks I struggle with the most, it’s possible to overcome laziness and be my most productive self at home, at work, or wherever.
I have been writing for a while now and when I look back at some of the things I wrote a few months or even a year ago, I see how much my skills have improved, and how much my thought process and style has taken shape.
If you are an artist, you’ve almost certainly had days where you hit a wall with your creativity: you don’t know what to paint, you’re not sure where to start, you have zero inspiration. Sound familiar?
I recently discovered a lighthearted solution to my problem.
I roped in my elder son.
We decided that each of us will execute a productive act before the end of each day. At the end of the day, we agreed, we must talk to each other about what we did. This, I thought, would at least encourage my son to become more disciplined about his days.
Oh how I embarrassed myself!
Interestingly, he took the deal quite seriously. Recording my excuse every day was getting harder and harder, and so was it becoming to expect him to believe the same ones, over and over.
Try this for yourself. I assure you that the urge to procrastinate will dwindle.
I cannot guarantee this method for all of you out there. Maybe you need to be your own accountability buddy and listen to the excuses you’re making inside your head. But believe in yourself, and always think of what you care for the most in this world before doing anything.
My best advice for anyone, if you’re art blocked and feeling uninspired to create the art you’re most skilled in, is to do another kind of art:
>> Paint with actual paint and brushes
>> Make paper crafts
>> Record some music
>> Repaint a picture
>> Edit a video
>> Sculpt something
>> Decorate a notebook
>> Sew something
>> Make a comic
>> Look at memes
>> Start a YouTube channel with a new theme
Just do something you don’t do every day, and it’ll feel new and cool and fun and inspiring.