How do you stay motivated?

Dashboard Forums Drawing Questions How do you stay motivated?

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    David Wade

    I’ve always been interested in figure drawing since my days as a young boy reading comics but I do not always draw. Until last year I had not picked up a pencil for around five years and now that I’m back, I want to stay drawing. Would people mind sharing how they keep motivated Year on Year.
    I’m loving all things drawing at the moment but fear burn-out somewhere in the future and the inevitable loss of hand-eye coordination.
    I don’t really have a comfort zone as all drawings are a challenge and my ultimate goal is to be able to draw likenesses mainly through gesture drawings.
    Thanks for looking,

    Marjan Van der Donk

    Hi David,

    Keeping motivated was a challenge for me too. In my case it was a lack of direction: I lacked real skill and didn’t kwnow ‘what to draw’ but at the same time felt the need to go on drawing. Firstly, I let go of ‘form’ completely and painted large, loose, intiutive tonal canvasses. Next, I became a member of DTO and seriously started to improve my drawing skills through the (original site) Step by Step tutorials – and this is where I took off! I found, to my surprise, that really thinking hard about what you like and sticking to one or two mediums and subject matter (Matt has some great articles on finding your true North) my creativity was triggered. Motivation hasn’t been an issue from that point on. I love working in series, and new ideas pop up all the time. For me it is important to keep reminding myself of my True North, for all kinds of ‘good ideas’ want to side track me – spreading myself thin is demotivating for then you don’t finish anything to a good standard, if at all. Hope this helps!

    David Wade

    Thanks for Sharing, Marjan.

    Matthew Archambault


    Listen to tonight’s podcast.


    Magnus Burén

    I have had much help from the old motto “Not a day without a line” – such a simple, obtainable goal just to make sure that every single day I make sure to draw something – it may be a doodle during a meeting, or studying an old master for hours. Been drawing daily since 2009 now and frankly couldn’t imagine a day without drawing. Actually using the same motto for my Karate practice, adjusted to “not a day without a kata”, but that’s another story 😉

    Best of luck 🙂

    Alexander Shunko

    Hi, David.

    English is not my language, but, nevertheless, I’ll tell you something.
    There are thousands of things that can hurt motivation, but there is one practice that always motivates, even if things are bad.

    Stop, calm down, turn off mobile devices. Spend some time dreaming.

    Do not walk along the tiresome road of “I must”. Calm down and wait for the bus “I want”.

    Because “I must” is the reaction of the mind. The mind does not create anything new, the mind is full of fears. Don’t just think that you want something – it is wrong, it is an attempt to force yourself.

    “I want” is a feeling of the soul. Dream on until you feel it. Soul is a source of love, love is the power of creation.


    David Wade

    Thank you all for taking the time to add your comments to this discussion.

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