Being Motivated as an Artist

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Being Motivated as an Artist

All artists are visual thinkers. We more often than not “see” our ideas wrapped up in a kernel of a thought. This acts as a generator that gets us to the easel or work space. We then get down to work and start doing what we do best by exploring the idea and expandingf on that kernel of energy. It dominates our thoughts and needs to be released onto canvas or paper.

Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t work this way and those ideas stop coming or seem to be so distant in the mind that we are not sure what we should be working on. We’ve all been there – chaos land, where we can’t see the trees for the wood. Something happened and everyday mundane life became more important than our real work. More important than our passion.

We know that this situation can’t continue – and won’t! – but getting out of the darkness and back to the well-lit path of creative endevour can seem to be a big task in itself.

I think all artists, writers,painters,ballet dancers and musicians etc experience this problem now and again.

What’s needed are strategies. A pre-thought series of actions that affect the thought processes in a positive way to coax the mind out of the mire.

The problem of “stopped-work” or being blocked can manifest itself as real physical tiredness or just some sort of mental lethargy – where the mind refuses to co-operate and would rather flit from idea to idea without settling on the real meaty stuff that would normally motivate us to work. To work with passion and fire that engulfs the creative person we are ,is the fuel of art. Passion and fire are responsible for some of the most beautiful works of art in this world.

So how do we get over this problem. Most important is to know oneself. To understand why you are an artist. To remember the reasons why you started producing art in the first place. Think about some of your best work. Ask yourself why you know it’s the best.

Think of this; you are de-motivated,you know you are de-motivated, you know that you want to change back to being motivated. You are not sure how. It is this that causes unhappy and even depressive feelings in an artist. You are aware that you are in the wrong place in your soul. So, you’ve lost your way and can’t find your map.

The point is this; you know the feelings and the actions that you identify with that make you the best artist you can be. If you didn’t know,identify and feel these states of mind, then you wouldn’t be unhappy about losing them. You value them.

When you hanker for the simplicity of “just-getting-on-with-it”, you are actually touching on those states of mind and ‘brushing up’ against the realms of your real self. The motivated artist is always there inside yourself. It never leaves you.You are just a moment away from being your old self again.

The actual “hankering” can be percieved as enthusiasm for work. It’s at this moment that you are leaving the dark woods to enter the path of creative energy again. So, with a little courage and slight effort we should grasp the moment and make an attempt at some work. We must help ourselves and Athena will help us.

Percieve the moment of “hankering” as a bridge that you have come across. Then take a little step and begin to cross it back into the world of creative art. The world of passion and fire.

The little step is your willingness to be a creative person. That one little step is the action in your mind. An action that will lead to phsyical actions of picking up the nearest pencil and paper and simply starting to draw or write. Believe me, your mind is full of wonderful ideas to put down on that paper. Don’t think – just do it. The moment the pencil touches the paper and moves, you will begin to produce something worthwhile. Your creative personality will sort it all out for you – it’s been locked up for possibly days or weeks and it wants out – really! It wants to be creative, it wants to express itself, so it will.

The drawing and writing will cause the inherent, positive motivation to be an artist and create to activate itself. With repeated action, this way of dealing with negative states of mind will cause the creative persona to become more dominant and therefore to become the stronger personality. This is how an artist develops anyway. Constant application of the creative process, leads to the strengthening of identification with that state of mind. Therefore, creativity creates the artistic persona.

When you practice this method ( as simple as it is), it will become a habit that you use to get out of the mire. In future you can extend it by observing what circumstances got you into a stick in the first place. This will help you to avoid the states of lethargy all together. With less time spent wandering around in a dark woodland of sleepiness and more time in the fields of creative light, the more work will be done. The more work means the closer you get to mastering your medium and producing your best work.

Don’t forget; Art strengthens the soul and produces great human beings.

Sean Durham is a working artist. He lives in Spain and works as a painter from his roof-top studio. He has exhibited in many cities around Europe.
You can see some of his work and read more about painting,materials and advice here;

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