5 Ways to Stop Struggling with Motivation as an Artist

Ask Yourself: Why Are You Not Motivated?

Getting to the source your problem is probably the first thing you need to do before you try any other trick to motivate yourself.

Are you motivated because…

  • You don’t feel good enough?
  • You have too many things to do and don’t have time for your art?
  • You can’t think of any ideas?
  • All three of these at once?

Once you figure out the most likely reason (we’re going to call this an excuse because this is holding you back) you’re not motivated, it helps to write the reason down. Then write a response:

Excuse: I don’t feel good enough because there are so many artists who are better than me…

Response: So What? That doesn’t matter because I’m still a better artist than a lot of people, I can always improve and get better, and I don’t even want to be the perfect artist because that means there wouldn’t be anything more to learn!

Schedule Your Creative Time

Try to figure out a point in your day that’s just dedicated to your creative time. Sticking to a schedule can be tough, but there are ways to make it work.

Try to find out what time of day you’re the most creative: Is it first thing in the morning? Is it late at night? Make sure whatever time this is, turn off your phone, don’t worry about any other obligations. This is just your creative time. It doesn’t even have to be a long 3-hour chunk. 30 minutes a day is plenty of time.

Don’t have 30 minutes?

Yes you do!

Chances are you’re spending at least 142 minutes on social media (and I know for a FACT my average usage is way more than that, not counting when I’m using it for art).

Set a 5 Minute Timer

Some say 10, some say 13, but I say setting a 5 minute timer to start your creative process is plenty. One of the biggest reasons we tend not to be motivated, or otherwise procrastinate, is because the idea of doing anything is daunting for some reason.

Really, what you need to do is get started.

That’s the hardest part.

I found that when I have a project to get done, like my high adventure/fantasy/romance/suspense comic where dragons are an all-female species (INHALE) in which I have to keep to a strict Tuesday/Thursday deadline… this is what works best for me:

I make a five minute timer. Then five minutes goes by, and my brain goes, “Eh, I can keep doing this for five more minutes.” And then, the “one more” factor goes in, and before I know it, I’ve given up on timers completely and two hours went by and I made progress!

Find Inspiration

Give yourself a space where ideas come to you. When you go on a walk, take note of ideas you have.

If you don’t know what to create, wonderful! Now you have some idea!

If you do know what to create, just don’t feel like doing it, then looking at nature, listening to music, and creating a visual medium with colors and moods should hopefully get you to want to create.

Write a Blog Post About Not Having Motivation

I just wrote this last part just to be funny, but it actually worked out pretty well!

When writing a blog post, chances are you have to go find some links to similar blog posts that ALSO talk about motivation.

You also go to these websites to maybe learn something you haven’t before.

And there you go!

Now shoo!


3 thoughts on “5 Ways to Stop Struggling with Motivation as an Artist

  1. Some good points.

    In my particular case I also find that cutting off perfectionism is a good way to have more fun and improve. I’ll do something, then decide it’s done and call it good. No going back and fixing it even if I want to.

    Or (I think you may have suggested this too somewhere?) I’ll do a few rough sketches in ballpoint pen or similar because it doesn’t allow erasing. Make the best of the picture and you’ll learn a lot from the mistakes you see! (Plus they may still be fun to look at even if not perfect.)

    One final comment: others looking at your work are a lot less likely to see mistakes; they’ll probably just chalk most things up to the other artist’s different style. You know exactly how you wanted something to look so you can tell how it didn’t meet that expectation; they come in without really having notions of how it was going to look and see a neat picture.

    I’ve seen at least one person (I’m sure there are many) who was quite good but didn’t really share work because of being afraid it wasn’t good enough. I suggest showing it even if anonymously. You can always take credit if people like it. 😉


      1. I’d be curious to see how that turned out. I know someone who has used Blender but I personally haven’t. You can actually make stuff accurately and 3D print it, which is one of the things he did.


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