A lot of my inspiration comes from my passions and interests. As much as I love to create my own art and works, I find more pleasure in creating fan art images and drawings based on some of my favorite characters. Lots of my subjects are based around video game characters or some of my favorite musicians. Some subjects I have drawn in the past include Red XIII from Final Fantasy VII, Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko, and Yolandi Vi$$er from the South African hip hop group Die Antwoord. By creating art from existing fields, you rarely run out of motivation, can have multiple reference images, and can find pleasure in seeing your own interpretation of the person or character come to life, as well as putting a character in a situation that you would like to see. (For example, drawing a picture of Severus Snape from Harry Potter baking cookies in a frilly hot pink apron).
When I run out of inspiration and motivation to create art, I like to find new interests and forms of media that I think would be fun to make art of. I also look at online tutorials of things that I struggle with and try to refine my art style (something I am still struggling with is making my art look consistent and make it seem like it was all done by the same person). Recently, I have made a Pinterest account and it has helped me so much with artist’s block. I have several reference boards. One for clothes, one for tutorials, one for possible drawing subjects, and one full of art that I find beautiful to look at when I lose motivation and to inspire me.
To help me stay motivated, I make sure that I am in a comfortable place and mindset before I start on an art project. Forcing myself to draw or paint when I am in a bad mindset often leads to me putting myself down. It’s actually kind of difficult for me because art is a favorite past time of mine and is somewhat of a form of therapy for me, but when I draw when I am upset, I am guaranteed to be unhappy with my work, even if it looks good. To combat this, I will take a break and look at art tutorials and practice certain skills as opposed to creating a new project. Another thing that I will do when I am trying to draw with a negative mindset is I will multitask while I draw. I often put on something lighthearted and humorous to have on in the background while I draw. This can be anything from watching fun fact videos on YouTube or starting my millionth time re-watching It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. These are things that are always guaranteed to cheer me up, and are very easy to follow and require very little brainpower, allowing me to watch these things while retaining my focus to my art. This method is something that I do in other areas too, like cleaning, organizing, and doing homework and I always find it to help my “study stamina”, allowing me to work for longer periods of time, as long as I make sure that I stay on task.
Another thing that I find that helps me stay inspired is to just dive in. Hesitating, over-thinking, and second guessing the subject does nothing to help you. Planning the piece can even get in the way. I always start my subjects with a simple gesture drawing and nothing else. Adding too many bells and whistles and spending too much time thinking about the final product does not help either. I find it best to just jump in and wing it as I go, and let the inspiration come to me as I start to see the piece come together.
Over working yourself does no good either. You need to realize when you have overworked yourself and when too much is too much. After a certain amount of time, our brains lose focus and start to act inefficiently. Whenever I struggle with anything, be it art, academics, or even a video game; I take a break for a period of time and when I come back to try again, I always have an easier time and effectively execute whatever it is that I am doing. It is so important to take care of yourself and push your limits without breaking yourself.
Overall, there are so many things that one can do to find inspiration, whether it be something from watching TV, listening to music, to making Pinterest boards. To keep inspiration and motivation from fading away, it always helps to take care of yourself and to never give up, and to just start without hesitation. Anyone, not just artists, should know their limits and make sure that they are succeeding without causing damage or harm to their self-esteem or mental health.