Artist's Block and Self-Motivation
ARTIST'S BLOCK & PROCRASTINATION
On this page I am looking at the issue of self- motivation as an artist. There have been times when I have found it hard to get back into the habit of painting whenever I have taken a break. There have been periods when I have avoided painting, even when I want to do it. This is commonly known as a creative 'block'. This is usually the result of inner conflict between a strong desire to achieve something special - but fear that it is too difficult.
A technical mistake may be enough to give me 'artist's block. One time I applied brown acrylic paint on the canvases instead of brown oil paint. I delayed scraping off the acrylic and repainting the patches with oils for a whole month.
1. GET YOURSELF IN THE MOOD. WATCH A RECORDED ART VIDEO OR READ AN ART MAGAZINE TO PREPARE YOUR MIND
TV Series such as Landscape Artist of the Year or videos on YouTube are a great way of getting you into the mood for painting. Reading a good article in an art magazine can also do the trick if it gives you an idea.
Paint early in the day. If I am working on something else it takes more effort stop what I am doing and switch to another activity..
2. BOOST YOUR SELF-ESTEEM & BANISH THE INNER CRITIC
Whatever your thoughts tell you - your subconscious believes. The simplest way to overcome creative block is to change the words that you use in your thoughts. That's all you have to do. Refuse to allow yourself to be self-critical. Replace criticism with praise - even if it is only one part of your painting.
Tell yourself you LOVE doing the art work. When you find yourself avoiding it - i.e. doing anything other than your art work - tell yourself that you are going to enjoy painting or drawing for at least 10 minutes. You will feel relieved and start to enjoy it very soon after starting.
Also ......watch this Youtube video by Marisa Peer
2. PROMISE YOURSELF THAT YOU WILL WORK FOR A VERY SHORT TIME
When I resolved to be happier with my work I have found it helpful to only work as long as I am comfortable with the progress of the painting. This has resulted in 15 -45 minute sessions, whereas before I used to paint for 60 - 90 minutes. Stop before you become stressed or discouraged.
The Button Maker progressed quite quickly I made sure that I stopped frequently and reviewed it critically. Faults are much easier to spot when you return to it after a break.
I finished The Button Maker with more definition and contrast. It is always difficult to know when to stop working on a painting.
3. DO A QUICK SKETCH
Even if you just do it in front of the TV - get started.
Putting the 'in progress' works in the living room is also a good way to come up with ideas.
4 KEEP A TIME LOG OR WRITE ON OUR CALENDAR - PAINTING IS A PROCESS. DON'T EXPECT INSTANT RESULTS
Writing down your work will show you that progress has to be made in small steps.
5. HAVE A DEADLINE THAT YOU HAVE TO KEEPJoin an art society and enter its exhibitions or competitions. Go on a painting holiday or join a workshop.
6. PAINT SOMETHING AS A GIFT
My painting of a dog was succesful as a painting and as a gift. I enjoyed painting it and the recipients were delighted.
5 EXPERIMENT & KEEP TRYING NEW THINGS
Here are two succesful experiments with texture mediums
I used some heavy structure gel under acrylic for this painting called 'The Necklace'. It was sold at an exhibition of Ringwood Art Society.
I have found that hypnotists are usually able to help you to relax and boost your motivation. You could create your own self-hypnosis recording and play it while you are relaxed, but a professional session is more effective.
Thank you Debbie Mahon! (in Southampton)
7 SOCIAL MEDIA
Some people find that posting updates on a blogging site or social media site e.g. Facebook or Instagram, motivates them to produce work and obtain comments from others.
Southampton, Hampshire. United Kingdom