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Feeling Stuck? 3 Tips to Spark Inspiration & Motivation

Feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and overall bleh about your artistic practice?

Here are my 3 suggestions:

Two paintings from my "Frogs with Hats" series

1. Work from a prompt list

Work from a prompt list or random idea generator. Sometimes the open-ended blank page is too daunting. Providing limitations like specific colors or subjects can help get the juices flowing! Prompt lists like Inktober don't have to be just for October! If it still doesn't spark an idea, limit yourself even more. Try to incorporate two or three prompts together like mouse, teacup, and golden hour - sounds like a mousey tea party to me! Or perhaps a mouse wearing a teacup for a hat on an expedition?

Art inspired by combining 3 prompts: Companion, Shelter, and Petrichor

2. Start small & one step at a time.

Start small & one step at a time. It gets easier the more you do it. Your brain has to build neural pathways for every habit including creative ones! At first, you have to hack a path with a machete. After you've walked it a hundred times it's a well-worn path! You don't have to do a super fancy detailed piece every time. A gesture sketch of a rubber duck is a walk down the path as is a polished finished piece. Build momentum with the little things. You actually learn the most from the initial sketching & composition design - it's OKAY if you don't even finish!

Photo credit: Lydia Brewer Photography

3. Be honest with yourself.

Be honest with yourself. Not every day is a creative day. If you're tired and you don't have the spoons to draw, don't push through it. This is different than just being lazy or unmotivated - but it takes more energy to create than you might expect. Listening to your body, getting enough rest, and taking care of your mental health is crucial to create a fertile ground for creativity. Don't beat yourself up if today's not the day. Set aside a designated time tomorrow or over the weekend to try again. 🖤


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