Lack of motivation can hit at any time in a creative process.....for me it's usually when I've got a deadline to complete a project which is the worst time. So in an effort to get myself back on track I have a few techniques I try which do always seem to work if I'm patient with myself.
Firstly, I allow myself to make a mess no matter what my ultimate objective is. The goal here is to let the mess happen without restricting myself to using the materials for whatever it is that I'm avoiding working on. I find that if I allow myself to just play then the images and the ability I'm blocking will return but gently and without me pushing myself.
If however that fails and frustration occurs......(example: noisy flatmates who make so much noise that it's impossible to focus even in another room) then I plug myself into music or anything that helps me concentrate and block out the distractions. Creating speed videos of making a mess with no ultimate outcome is always quite cathartic somehow as I do enjoy watching to see how images emerge out of a mess and then this itself gets me motivated to try again, this time usually with an idea in mind which means I'm on the right track to getting myself really motivated!
Lastly, rewards help.....I make a list of the most simple tasks and take absolute delight in ticking them off once I complete them and a reward always helps too so if I have something in mind as something I can really enjoy if I accomplish all the tasks on my list then I have motivation to keep going. What often happens is that I get so caught up in finishing the tasks that I can become caught up in the creative process and end up going back to it even after my reward which is a bonus!
My favourite material in which to make a mess is ink.....in bottles and all vibrant. If I just start dropping dollops of brightly coloured ink onto a wet or dry surface and moving it around with the ends of paint brushes and then going back to dab and then draw into it.....I can make a serious mess but eventually it'll become something and this something is the spark to keep going.
The video you see above is my attempt to motivate myself today.....you can see it started out as unrelated marks and nothing more and then eventually became an old tree! But now, I had so much fun that I want to try again and I'm brimming with ideas and my elusive motivation has returned!
*I'd love to know what other artists do to recharge their motivation and what techniques they employ to get it going again.....I do hope someone feels like commenting as I'm very curious!
**If you'd like to keep following Materials posts then please stay tuned every Monday at 9am UK time for more.
My name is Franceska McCullough and I'm the owner and artist of Toothpickmoon. I'm interested in blogging about art materials, art events and conducting artist interviews partly because I wish to help others and partly because I need to create structure in my own life as an artist.
*Disclosure: The links I'm using on this blog will only ever relate to the products I myself use in my own practice. I am actively trying to earn income through Amazon for these links. Any earnings are reported to my Jobcentre as I'm currently living on benefits because I don't have a job. I put in 50 job applications per week as well as working on this blog and my own creative practice.