In Lisa Bardot’s Artmakers Club, I responded to a prompt about motivation– finding time and getting unstuck, and having the confidence to keep going. Life is hard– we’re all busy, even those who are retired. How do we find the time for art? And for many of us, we compare ourselves to others and lose confidence. How do we stay motivated and confident to stay focused and try to improve?
Right off the bat, I’ve four places of inspiration for me. These four online spaces allow me to connect with others and share art, process, and creative options. They are positive, encouraging, and helpful to everyone. Though online and each a different experience, they are a sense of community with art friends.
- Jennifer Nichols Creative Journey — an online subscription community
- Lisa Bardot Artmakers Club — an online subscription community; and her prompts Making Art Every Day [My Previous Posts]
- CLmooc FB group [anyone can join– you are welcome!]
- The DS106 Daily Create [About] [My Previous Posts] Responses on Twitter
But how do I find time for art, and how do I stay motivated with the confidence to learn and grow?
I’m retired, and the day I retired in 2016, I started drawing. Because I love art of all styles and have never had the skill or instruction or time to create. And, I can’t sing, but I can draw a wiggly line. And if I can draw a line... well, the possibilities are endless, aren’t they?
Now, I shouldn’t say I didn’t draw before because I always included art in my language arts classes. Many of my students excelled in their drawing in many forms, and it seemed to me that they could share their learning through their art, or at least to accompany their work and complement the message. And for breaks during the day, we’d have art breaks, like sketch a person out of 5 dots or “small art.” We all had fun, and I learned along with them.
About the time of the pandemic, I set myself three daily goals:
- Do the Daily Create — a daily 10 minute or so prompt to create art, writing, music, etc. This started as part of a digital art class years ago and is still around; the main theme is Create Art, Dammit and “Rule: There are no rules” and “Everyone is Welcome.” [Daily Create posts]
- A photograph [new or old] with a note and a poem [Poems for 2022]
- Doodle daily, an activity shared with my online CLmooc friends [we even made a 2022 Calendar you can download here] [Doodles for 2022]
I am on 1265 days in a row of these blog posts. They have kept me safe and out of trouble [ LOL].
Motivation / Roadblocks
- learn from others while scrolling, like I learned from my students and now from my communities; seeing how others approach art, like perspective illustrations, gave me confidence to give it a try [see top photo]
- take classes for inspiration and artist’s block [See YouTube for many free art lessons: Jennifer Nichols, Lisa Bardot, Teela Cunningham, Calvin of Drifter Studio ]
- have pen and pad or iPad ready at all times for those moments of solitude that come around and use that time for art
- set a goal that fits you– simple or complex projects like Lisa’s daily, weekly, or monthly projects
- compare yourself– to you only: everyone is at different spots and you are where you should be
- goofs: they are learning; move on
- try a point of view: zoom in or zoom out– find the big picture [like this] or the detail [like this or this]
Motivation / Inspiration
- form a network of artists or doodlers like my CLmooc [who do Daily Creates too] friends to share with — or an art community– and appreciate the art, perhaps even collaborating on an open project; the connections help motivate and break artist block
- participate in the activity of your chosen group– notice what makes you smile in other’s art and share with them
- Besides setting a goal: acknowledge the importance of art for your well-being, for the struggle that helps you grow and the smile that success brings– then make that goal real.
- Creativity is hard. It’s thinking. It’s analyzing. It’s synthesizing. It’s making something different from all that thinking. It requires flexibility and adaptation, thinking in different ways. And it takes practice. And asking questions, “How can I adapt the prompt to something I can actually draw?” Maybe it’s to zoom in or zoom out — to looking at a distance or to magnify or look behind or to the side. Creativity is breaking rules to generate something new or different in order to make sense of something. Lisa Bardot even shares a blog post on 20 Limitations to Boost Creativity— try a few.
- As noted before– compare you to you– your growth. And remember FAIL means “first attempt in learning.” It happens to everyone!
- Keep it simple– choose one goal, like my “perspective” bunkbed goal. I didn’t try to get it all perfect– there’s no fluff in the pillows or bedspreads– no stuff on the floor like a kid would have. I just focused on that goal of getting one-point perspective done.
Which idea resonates with you? What ideas to you have to keep motivated, confident, and productive? What are your strategies? Or pick one of mine and give it a try!
I know– we can be vulnerable, fearful, hesitant to join in. So I leave you with Brene Brown’s TED Talk on the Power of Vulnerability. It may help you see your strengths in a different light. Here’s my summary from years ago when I first started “sketching.”
See you online — learning and growing together. Thank you for our connections so far, and I do hope this has given you some ideas for staying confident and motivated.
As always, thanks to all the artist teachers and YOU who have inspired me to just give it a try– and I hope you join in.
~Reflect curiosity and wonder; Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness.