Being a creative person can come with all sorts of doubts, questions and anxieties. I’ve put together a list of things that I personally find useful to get myself out of a mental block, to clear my mind and to motivate myself. These are 100% my own battles and ways I deal with them, they might not work for you but they might give you an idea of how you can build things into your day to keep you motivated.
My motivation tips
+ Social Media Break- I'm on a mission to cut out my aimless scrolling habits!
Social media is great for some things but not when it comes to comparison or building motivation. I recently realised that I was spending up to 3 hours a day on my phone which doesn't sound too bad until you add it up to 21 hours a week! When I started to think about how much I could achieve with that extra time, I quickly found a feature on my phone that notifies me when I've spent an hour on it throughout the day. Cutting back on aimless scrolling and being distracted by notifications has made me really aware of what i'm achieving with my time.
+ Exercise- This one is a lot easier said than done and don't get me wrong, you will NEVER see me out for a jog. Since the evenings have started to get lighter and the days are warmer, I am inventing new ways to squeeze exercise into my day. Riding my bike to the studio takes longer than it would to get me there on the bus but I always feel awake and ready for the day. This 20 minute journey lets my mind wonder off, I usually find this is when I get my best ideas.
+ A change of scenery- When I find myself feeling stuck with my work, uninspired, feeling a bit lazy, I force myself to get up and go for a walk, even if it's just to the local shop to get a piece of fruit (creme egg). Sometimes i'll book myself onto a Life Drawing course or evening event where I can be around other creative people. Exhibition preview nights are always a great way to have interesting conversations with other creatives. Even changing my own scenery can be motivational, having a good old clear out in my studio space, updating my wall of inspiration or just nipping into someone else's studio for a quick brew can really help.
+ Plan- this one sounds fairly obvious but how often do you plan your day out? I try to start the day with a list of things i’d like to have done by the end of the day. I then break those things up and think about how long they take to complete (I always factor in half an hour faff time). I find that I don’t waste time if I have a plan to follow but also it really motivates me to be able to cross them off the list with a highlighter, being able to see what i’ve achieved in the day is hugely rewarding.
+ Draw from real life- I’m a bugger for drawing from my laptop, images i’ve found online or photographs that i’ve taken. The issue with drawing from something that you can re-visit is that you can revisit it. You can go back to that image and overthink the drawing, constantly being able to compare images can be destructive. Drawing from real life situations can be much more rewarding, it’s all about how you capture that moment in your own style. Once you have moved away from the object or setting that you’ve drawn, it’s likely that that scene will no longer exist. The only thing that will remain is your impression of that moment.
+ Have an ongoing project - I find that having a project on the go that's completely different to my usual work helps me to focus. Embroidery helps me to be more mindful and to think about one thing at a time, it also keeps my hands busy and takes my mind away from anything else that i've been working on. My mum uses a pattern colouring book for the same reason. If you can find something like this or crochet, knitting, weaving... have it on the go as a separate thing that you can escape to.