Motivation To Draw
….A new struggle!
I have never struggled with finding the motivation to draw. I am a naturally energetic person who jumps out of bed and races through a to-do list with the enthusiasm of a Duracell bunny…until recently.
14 weeks on from the beginning of ‘lock-down’ and I have ground to a halt. I am finding it comforting to read some other peoples experiences and so i’ll add mine to the melting pot. Maybe it will be of interest to someone.
Being self-employed, I am used to creating my own structure. I have always done my best to sleep enough, eat well, exercise regularly, work productively and allow time for relaxing. The problem with this recently is the uncertainty of the end result. With everything postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future, finding the motivation to draw or generally be productive just feels impossible. The whole point of being productive is that there is some kind of end product in sight, right?
Drawing has always been my escape.
…It’s one of the few things that puts me into a flow state where I can forget about time and worries and get totally immersed in something I love. Recently this has not been the case. I have felt regularly anxious, unsettled, and full of energy but with no focus to use it. I will sit for 10 minutes to draw and feel the need to get up, for no reason what so ever. It seems the ‘ants-in-my-pants’ syndrome from childhood has come back to haunt! Ultimately this results in it taking days to complete anything and a lot of frustration.
It’s taken me a while to learn to be ok with this. Our generations have never experienced anything like what we are living through, and there is no roadmap of the best way to handle it. Therefore it’s not reasonable to expect the same levels of productivity from ourselves. In times of difficulty we have to make sure we give ourselves time to deal with the emotions we are feeling. I have been mindfully trying to listen to my intuition and learnt a long time ago that forcing myself to draw (or do anything creative) when it doesn’t come from a place of inspiration is never good. Many a sketch I have ruined by pushing myself into it. All that bad energy comes right out the pencil tip, I swear! Instead of a cute cat portrait, it ends up as a scribbly mess of frustration…and then in the bin.
Slow down. Relax. Lower your expectations. Give yourself a break. Try to find inspiration in new places and remember why you enjoyed drawing in the first place. (Note to self).
PS. If anyone has found any methods that have helped them, I would love to hear from you!