What Motivates you in your Artwork?

Hey guys I have a question for you. What is you main inspiration when it comes to your artwork? Is it driven by your personal life? The lives of others? The shows you watch? Or could it be the nature that around you? Also how do you push through when you have those art blocks?

I find myself having a hard time finding how to express the inspirations in my drawings. I love to watch anime or listen to music and I feel like to draw. After a bit however, the inspiration slowly dwindles to the point that I get frustrated and give up. It’s like a candle being snuffed out before it can fully display its flame. Or when the rain comes suddenly on a sunny day.

I love to draw, but each day it just seems harder and harder to pick up the pencil. What do you guys do when you get to that point?

I guess it’s not enough to want to ‘draw’, you need to have a subject or idea beyond roughing out doodle experiments. Since I don’t do this professionally I have to pretend I have an assignment and decide that’s what I have to get done. Once you ‘accept’ the assignment, or commit to seeing it finished then it gets easier to keep at it. The problem is that not all attempts at anything come off, and with no pressure to finish, whether that is from outside or self imposed then it is easy to lose interest in or give up on a drawing that appears to be not working.

It’s true you need subjects and plans. Having tasks prepared that you can assign yourself is a great motivator, as long as you both a) force yourself to do them and b) credit yourself for progress (which can be as small as simply completing today’s assigned task, even if you were totally dissatisfied with how it came out).

After enough time drawing every single day, your mind gets the idea that it’s not going to stop. I don’t really get artists block any more. I still feel bleh, or even despairing, at times about subjects, but that doesn’t matter – it doesn’t stop me from doing the work, which is the most important thing.

One other thing that is important in making “doing the work” as approachable as possible, is to have a well defined overall framework for how an artwork is made – what are the components, and how it progresses. I would recommend Vilppu’s Drawing Manual for this purpose, it is very clear, divided into 12 stages (= ‘week’ of study, if you are taking it as an overall course to polish all your art skills.) that each build on earlier stages.

That last part is particularly important IMO because of the tendency, even among professional artists, to try to ‘jump ahead’ (skip preliminary steps like thumbnailing) – which is satisfying when it works, but it’s more common that it really doesn’t work out, and that’s discouraging. Having a reliable structure prevents you from getting in that situation of being ‘in the middle of nowhere, out of your depth’

I hardly ever have what i would consider good ideas. When i do, i tend to google them to find out how original they are, and i’m nearly always disappointed to discover that someone else has already done it.
So i doodle. That’s basically 99% of my art…just moving the pen and hoping something interesting develops. I’ve recently returned to using pen and paper, after many years of primarily digital art, and much of my focus right now is on just becoming better at drawing and relying less on undo and layers. I figure the more i draw, the easier it will become to translate what i see in my head onto paper/screen. What i’m afraid of is becoming too redundant, though. I see a lot of very skilled artists who seem to create images of identical style and very similar subject over and over and over, forever…i don’t want to do that.

@mikshaw I think that’s one of my reasons I have artblocks sometimes. It’s the fear of becoming redundant in my style and subject. That is something I want to avoid, but can also be frustrating.

One thing I have been doing lately is keep a sketchbook with me and just doodle or write my ideas down. It will at least help me keep myself organized and not feel lost in my drawings. Plus I always perfer to draw traditionally, and then ink and color digitally.

@tilkau, I will take a look at Vilppu’s Drawing Manual. Thanks for the book recommendation!

Thank you guys for your input. It really did help. ^^

What motivates me the most is having something important that I really, really should be doing instead of painting/drawing. Not just anything, it should be something I just loathe. :slight_smile:

Having looked at your DeviantArt gallery, I think you should focus on realistic drawing even if your ultimate goal is to be a manga artist. Everything you learn when painting realistically can be transferred to whichever style you choose to pursue later.

When you copy cartoon characters you limit yourself to that little niche. You are pretty good at drawing Sonic characters, but when you want to go beyond those characters and their standard poses you’re back at beginner level because you have not drawn much else. And at that point you just feel tired, inspiration goes away. You can’t express the ideas that are in your head.

Visual artist must be one of the occupations that requires most knowledge of all. No matter what you draw you need some sort of understanding about it. Everyone recognizes an excavator but they actually have a very vague idea what it really looks like. The artist who is going to draw Sonic operating an excavator must know what makes an excavator look like an excavator.

Learning to draw is an enormous task and at the times when you are coming to that realization it’s easy to feel despondent.

That’s how it has been for me anyway. Only I used to draw Disney’s duck characters instead.

I draw/paint/digital creativity to keep my mind on something else. I do this when I have woken up again in pain. It’s a creative positive outlet instead of thinking of the pain that I always have 24/7/365 days of my life.