How to stay motivated?Everybody knows the feeling - sometimes all motivation seems to be gone, you can't come up with new ideas or suffer from an "art block". There are several ways that can help getting rid of the art block, and getting your motivation back. The following points are just suggestions.
InspirationThe best way to stay motivated is to be inspired. There are so many sources of inspiration - this can be your favorite animal, a nice landscape or scenery, a TV show, movie or book, music or lyrics, artwork drawn by other people, animated characters or actors you like, funny situations, dreams, events (like Halloween or Holidays)... When something inspires me, possible picture ideas come to me almost from alone.
Art BlockArt Block... every artist experienced it at some point. No matter what you try, it feels like you can't draw anymore, everything you being just fails and all creativity seems blocked. Don't worry, this happens to other creative people as well, and it will go away again. You will have to find out what helps you best to get rid of it, so here are just a few suggestions:
Set your own goals - be reasonableIt is always important to improve and to set personal goals. If you're not seeking challenges, you're not going to improve. However, choose your goals reasonably. Achieving a goal brings the nice feeling of success and motivation. Failing to reach a goal brings the opposite, frustration and disappointment. Don't choose goals that you don't have an influence on or that are too unrealistic to reach, because this will likely end in disappointment.
For example, don't make plans/resolutions like "I'll get 1000 followers this year" or "I will win a prize in this art show". No matter how hard you try, there are so many factors that you don't have an influence on, and it can easily happen that you won't reach these goals (although you didn't do anything wrong - you may still feel like you "failed"). Also, rather than planning to "draw every single day", plan something smaller, like doing at least one sketch per week, or to fill a sketch book over the year, or to work on human anatomy this year. Make reasonable goals (also several smaller ones) that you can actually achieve. Every success will add to your motivation, while every disappointment / feeling of "failure" will badly impact it.
Don't compare yourselfIt is great to have goals and role models that you admire, that inspire you, that you want to learn from. It's great to admire styles, and the wish to "draw that level of art one day". However, don't compare yourself with other artists. There will always be better artists, drawing for a longer time, having more time to draw/improve... there are so many different factors.
Don't ask yourself - why does that artist get more favorites or watchers than me? Don't ask yourself what you're doing "wrong" when you compare yourself to others who are more popular. Ask yourself, what are your personal goals, where does your artwork maybe need improving, where do you want to take your art, what do you enjoy doing?
Especially beginner artists may sometimes think "I will never be able to draw like that artist". Never forget that everybody started small, and that most artists took a lot of pratice and time to get where they are now. Great art should always be a motivation and inspiration, rather than disappointment because you haven't reached a certain level yet.
Aim for goals - but be careful with expectationsIt's good to set yourself goals and to challenge yourself. However, be careful with expectations. Expectations have already given me a hard time many times in my life, because I imagined something in my head - and when it came differently (even though it wasn't even negative), I felt disappopinted, only because that "idea" in my head didn't happen the way I expected it. Try to be open. I know it's hard to say "don't expect", because sometimes it just happens anyways, but you can train it, be mindful of it.
Be kind to yourself - Love what you doI think it's very important to be kind to yourself and love what you're doing, because it will show in your art. Think about how you could make somebody like your art, if you don't even do it yourself? Of course, I also draw pictures that I am not happy with. Upload them anyways (and deal with the feedback)? Or just go on and draw/sketch more, until you actually bring something on paper that you're happy with.
Or sometimes there are just days when you feel bad, grumpy, maybe in pain, or maybe without any reason. Unless you have to (because there's a deadline), be kind to yourself and grant yourself a break and try to make yourself feel better first before you force yourself to draw. Something that personally helped me a lot to feel more balanced and at peace with myself is meditation. Don't be mad at yourself when something doesn't work out. Accept it, listen to your body, your feelings, and use that mindfulness. Of course this will work differently for everybody, but for me, meditation definitely supported my creativity and positive attitude a lot.
The right place/ambianceFor me, drawing is not only a technical thing, but also a matter of feeling, so my work place is very important to me. When spending a lot of time drawing, take the time to make yourself comfortable. Make sure you have a good chair to sit on (to prevent health issues like back pain), find out what makes working even more enjoyable - inspiring artwork/references on your wall, equipment that is fun to work with, a nice cup of tea or coffee, plants, some music in the background... Find out what adds to your creativity.
Reward yourselfEverybody likes rewards, not only animals. So especially when you're working on a bigger or maybe difficult project, reward yourself with something nice after you finished it. This may be a nice dinner, your favorite snack, ice cream or a nice massage. Whatever you enjoy - knowing this will wait for you when you finish this project can increase motivation and will also help to regain the strength and power to go on again.
Variety - try new thingsWhen you are always drawing the same things or style, this may end in a lack of motivation at some point, as it's hard to improve or artistically challenge your mind. There is such a variety of material to work with - dare to try something new. If you're a digital artist, try to work with real media or maybe sculpting. By trying something new, you will learn from that challenge. The same goes for the things that you draw of course, for example don't just always draw pinups - draw dynamic poses.
Check list for "Everything I draw sucks"If you're having one of those phases when you feel like everything you draw sucks and no picture (or any creative work) turns out nice. Here are some questions you can ask yourself, some kind of check list: