i thought i would share it here also if anyone is interested, maybe there's something in it for you
hey tyler, question for you, how do you go about staying motivated to draw? any particular exercises? im finding myself getting distracted.
A couple of ways really - first and foremost, and I cannot stress the importance of this; avoid the internet, and if you're not capable of doing this, surround yourself somewhere that makes it a chore for you to walk across your house / apartment to check your email or youtube or whatever. Do whatever it takes, no sacrifices. Drawing is fun, but it's also work, you have to work hard to keep going, and giving it all you've got is the only way to take your ability to the next level.
Another way I've found myself appreciating is the time away from drawing. Being able to sincerely, purely appreciate that time has increased my work ethic tremendously. I've realized that having any hobby outside of Illustration, whether it be a jog when you wake up, or when you devote half a day to watching movies you like, or reading a book you enjoy an afternoon will impact your work for the better. I truly believe this, and I've found myself being inspired by the things I come across when I'm out having 'me time' that I can bring back and apply to my ideas later.
A handful of people I know have it much easier, all it takes is looking at a couple of pictures of paintings or illustrations and they're set - this is how I used to be. However, given the resources we now have, I find it to be more like a black hole. There's just too much information... I feel like I'm sending my creativity into a whirlpool to be something it's not when I'm forced to stand in front of an unlimited supply of images and knowledge that, albeit wealthy to know, will be never ending and unlimited in influence.
Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good art book as much as anyone else, but right now I feel content with my direction, and although I am always open to new things, I'm not about to go and spend hours upon days upon weeks worth of time (and work) to go about hunting this 'new' thing down - instead I'm going to keep creating and let 'it' come to me. I believe one day, 'it' will.
It's a dangerous slope not knowing what you want your work to be and what message you want to say with your drawings - being sucked into so much knowledge without seriously asking yourself; "what am I trying to say with this?" is dangerous I've found. You get inspired by something that your mind tells you is a good place to start, but what you really should be looking for, is a better place to start, and the only way you can find that is by looking at yourself objectively and critically, and asking yourself "what am I trying to say?".
My best friend, (and fellow illustrator) told me once when I asked 'What should I do when I'm not motivated enough to keep drawing the things I currently am?', the answer was obvious to me (to stop), but I wanted to hear it for the sake of curiosity, he said to sit down and ask yourself what do you define as enjoyable, as true unadulterated fun ? I sat down, made a list of things that I truly truly love and find unlimited enjoyment in, and whenever I get personal time to sit and draw I unload my imagination onto the paper without any care in the world about line quality, color, whether its good or not, what have you. It's time for me to have fun, and I dont limit myself by worrying about such nonsense like that.
Sometimes that's all it takes for me, when I'm working on something that I'm not too excited about, I put it aside for a bit and have fun drawing while I warm up. Everything from funky architecture, to mutant animal combination's, to Superman and Batman or famous musicians or what have you. Other times I find it motivating to take whatever I'm trying to draw and make it interesting for me, the way I do this is by making it more challenging. Every solution has an idea that everyone has thought of already, and it's easy to go that route, but challenging yourself to 'figure it out' is fairly addicting (to me), it stretches your creativity and could produce something that you once thought was utterly beyond your potential.
Distractions are one of my enemies as an Illustrator-to-be, it's a relentless cold hearted bitch with no compassion or morality, but its something we all need to conquer eventually. I'm still fighting the good fight man, I think all of us are.
Figure out what you want to say with your drawings, figure it out enough to fall in love with it, and when you've gotten there, you'll never want to put the pencil down.
So anyway man, I hope some of this helps. If it doesn't I'm sorry, but it's what I do.