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Mama_Cakes's avatar

Those who do well at creating art (sketching, drawing, etc.), if you haven't done it in awhile, how do you get yourself back into it?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9289 points ) September 18th, 2012

How do you get motivated???

I’m thinking about my girlfriend here. She has the supplies. She wants to do it. She just needs the drive…

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21 Answers

_Whitetigress's avatar

Extremely good question!

I’m currently going through a drought myself. I have art buddies around me, they are active. For some reason I’m not. Not musically, not literature-wise, not photography or painting wise. I enjoy all of them. I have it in my head that I will indeed get back to them. I have the mindset of, “Art Mode: Currently on Pause.” With the new baby and balancing act between school and my day job it’s quite challenging to get into the mood. For me, getting in the mood means I have nothing else on my mind, and I have free range to fire on all cylinders. For two years straight I had this mindset of, “Art/Project Mode.” So I know what it feels like and I know what it takes. What I recommend telling your girlfriend is just get the wheels turning. Once a project is realized it picks up. Tell her to roll her hand sized snowball down her mountain and see how big it gets at the bottom

Also some artist need to be challenged. Tell her if she’s not doing it, no one will, so she has to do it then in that sense.

janbb's avatar

I’m answering just so I can follow this question. I used to do a lot of watercolor painting and have the time and inclination to resume but I just cannot get myself going again.

Bellatrix's avatar

What about organising for her to do a short art course? That might get her warmed up. Then organise a weekend away together with the goal to create artworks. Take your pens, paper, paintbrushes and eisel and set up and be creative. If you don’t draw etc. perhaps you could write or take photos or do whatever your creative pursuit is.

susanc's avatar

My husband used to work in his shop out back on motorcycles, furniture and fixit projects. But if he got distracted for awhile he would perseverate about not knowing what to do next and he would sit around the house kind of groaning about it. And then one day (this happened over and over) he would be all cheerful when I got home from somewhere and say he’d been out there and solved the problem of the carbureter or the biscuit join, and I’d say, How did you do that!?? And he’d say, “I remembered the rule that you Just Have To Turn The First Nut.” In other words, Be Here Now. Or, more literally, be where the materials are. Where the work is. Don’t think about the work. Go put your hands on it.

Additionally, I just saw a Picasso quote somewhere which is this:
“Inspiration is real, but it has to find you working.”

Mama_Cakes's avatar

All very helpful. She is following this thread. Thanks!

wundayatta's avatar

Does anyone know if there is a version of “Writing Down the Bones” for painters?

Fyrius's avatar

Oh, I don’t. I’m far too whimsical for that.
Every once in a while something reminds me that drawing is fun, or more commonly, I come up with something that would make a cool drawing, and then I draw a bit again. And then I go back to whatever else I was doing.

creative1's avatar

I start again by doodling here and there then it gets the creative juices flowing again then I find I need something to insprire a new piece and you never know where that inspiration will come from.

_Whitetigress's avatar

Oooo I just thought of this idea while reading this thread.

Maybe she is highly interested in doing an art show? Or trying to get one together? She can then kind of set a theme for what she wants to show the audience in about 6–10 pieces? This way, it will help her hone in on a particular subject (if she chooses to) then she can tackle it out the box. And even if it doesn’t become an art show, it can then go into her portfolio and it is already themed so it will be readable in the portfolio.

Anyways goodluck!! <3

Ponderer983's avatar

For me, my desire to create art comes and goes. At least the art I do as a hobby, not as my job. I paint, and sometimes I bust out a bunch in a row, and sometimes I go years without painting. Like now, I can’t remember the last time I painted. Well, I can, but I was commissioned to do a piece. But the last time I voluntarily picked up a brush and went at it, I just don’t remember. There has never been anything tried and true that gets me back in a mode. However, one thing that does get the rumble in stomach going is going to a museum and looking at others art. I get inspired by what others create and want to creat my own.

YARNLADY's avatar

Motivation has always been a mystery to me.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

If you surround yourself with driven people, do you feel as though that would rub off on you?

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes and no. It depends on the people. Some people can demotivate. I find working with other writers helps me though. Going to writer’s retreats for instance? Where the focus is in a group of people supporting each other as they write. Or even forming a writer’s group. Something I am trying to do at the moment.

Does she have friends who are artists? Why not invite them over for a weekend (you live in a place that surely must inspire artists!) for a bring your eisel and a bottle of wine weekend. You supply the bed, they all supply some food/wine and the creativity. Could be great fun.

Crumpet's avatar

Take her to a gallery, buy her some art books.

rooeytoo's avatar

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. I think you should be monitoring your own motivation and allow your girlfriend to do the same. When she is ready she will do it.

But if you insist, message @gailcalled and ask for the website of her friend who does art workshops. She has a really interesting approach. It was mentioned just recently in another thread that I can’t find at the moment.

Kayak8's avatar

One of the things that always deterred me was having the supplies (but put away, neatly, in a cabinet). Art is messy and I am more inclined to do it when I leave stuff out and it is handy—if I have to go track everything down, it isn’t going to happen.

I also like doing art (read making the mess) in the rooms where other people gather. I don’t want to be off alone in a different room to do art (I do when I write, however). So, it takes household members who are willing to tolerate the mess and the moodiness than can accompany artistic birthing. Sometimes I pace, with a paint brush hanging out of my mouth until the idea is better formed in my mind.

The best thing to motivate me is an image that is incredibly significant to me—maybe the way the light hits or the colors in a photo or some other feature. A friend of mine gave me a book entitled “A Sketch a Day” and it is like a diary that allows me to keep track of ideas as they pop up. There is a great website (although a bit slow to load) called Wet Canvas. They have events called WDE (weekend drawing events) wherein a regular posts 16 or so photographs for inspiration and you have a limited time to interpret one of the photos and post your work in progress and at the end.

Wet Canvas also has places to post work to get critiques—I have gotten a lot of helpful feedback from VERY experienced artists with tips and pointers. I have found the critique on point and polite.

Ponderer983's avatar

@Kayak8 Thank goodness someone said it. Sometimes I don’t want to paint because it’s such a production to get everything out and then to clean it all and put it away. If I had a true art studio where I could have things more accessible, maybe I would do more.

ragingloli's avatar

I mostly draw porn, my drive to draw something usually comes after looking at porn.

XYZZYtja's avatar

Doing random stuff to get back at it…

Kayak8's avatar

@Ponderer983 I gave up on having a living room and turned it into my studio. It is a terrific room with windows on three sides (about 16×20). I covered my large dining table with oil cloth and I can paint anytime I want as everything is right there available. I have done more painting in the last 3 months (since this change) than I did in the previous 3 years!

susanc's avatar

Great conversation. I like very much “I gave up on having a living room..” etc, thanks @Kayak8 . And thanks also for Wet Canvas.

It sometimes seems to me that making art is a little like having sex – it’s a little secretive but the more we stop being secretive the stronger and funnier it gets and the less anxiety we have about it.
Just sayin.

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