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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanked 75 Times in 53 Posts

    What motivated you to continue with art?

    Have you encountered moments in your development where you felt like giving up, but instead persisted?

    I remember back in 2005, my friend did a drawing of my favorite character for me. I wanted to do a drawing for her in return, but found myself struggling. I spent more time on it than any other drawing, and she liked it, but the poor quality and unoriginality of it made me want to give up. Instead, I became motivated to learn the figure and attain the capability to draw characters from my imagination in original poses.

    After about 2 years of drawing the figure from photos, I found out about this site and started going to actual life drawing sessions. My initial attempts were truly horrendous. Nothing was in proportion, modeling of the form was harshly applied, terrible line quality. I actually stopped doing any drawing for several months until one day in Barnes & Noble, I had seen a painting by Bouguereau in a book. At that moment in 2008, I became motivated to strive to become a great painter like the academic ones from the 19th and 18th centuries. I got a job a few months after that, and alot of my money has been spent on classes and books in order to develop my artistic abilities. I can actually draw somewhat decently now, a far cry away from those 2007 drawings.

    I think this is the importance of art education. I have talked to so many people who used to draw when they were younger (into their teens), but stopped for no reason. Introducing younger people to a variety of artists and styles could have a profound impact on the direction of their life. Sadly, the arts are usually the first to endure budgetary cutbacks in schools.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Thanked 209 Times in 171 Posts
    Becoming less emotional and more rational helped me.

    I recommend people prone to giving up try reading, especially the parts reason and emotions.

    You (artists) need good ideas about learning and enjoying learning. Which means not getting hang up over things not coming out well. Be delighted when you find mistakes in your work and when others criticize your work, not just cringe and take it, but be truly delighted. Let me make this clear: The thing you should happier about in your life is when somone redlines the shit out of your work. Why? Because finding mistakes in your work means you can correct them. It means you can learn and improve. Before the mistakes were found you were already crap. Finding them means you have a chance at not being crap. Perfection is impossible, improvement is indefinite.

    Do art because you enjoy doing the work. People don't cook just to eat good food (actually judging by some skinny chefs I've seen in shows, cooks are not eating their own stuff!) It's not just about the finished product. It's the making it.

    Giving up is dying.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Thanked 163 Times in 144 Posts
    Just stop doing it.. It will come back when you have a reason for it! In my case I just kept on going. drawings lines in shapes just for the sake of not giving up my line-quality.. But lines are lines and if you don't have a reason to put these on paper it feels like you suck. This means you need to stop drawing or painting and start studying. Start thinking about what you really want to draw and what you need to achieve it.

  6. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Thanked 153 Times in 137 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Gibi View Post
    Just stop doing it.. It will come back when you have a reason for it! In my case I just kept on going. drawings lines in shapes just for the sake of not giving up my line-quality.. But lines are lines and if you don't have a reason to put these on paper it feels like you suck. This means you need to stop drawing or painting and start studying. Start thinking about what you really want to draw and what you need to achieve it.
    I've found this is true for me at times. When I'm drawing, sometimes I seriously need a break. It means I need to be looking up artwork, studying the "big names" in the fields I'm interested in (and the not so "master" names), and filling my tank with ideas and inspiration. I'm usually doing something with art - whether it be studying it or producing it. Painting works that way for me too - even though I don't like doing it (probably because I suck at it. And I have to wait for paint to DRY before I correct the damn mistakes I made.. Mostly because I have NO clue how to fix mistakes when they're done with wet paint other than adding more paint. The end result is more of a headache than anything.)

    Long story short - take a break now and then.

    Oh and as for "budgetary cutbacks" - more like sometimes complete removal from curriculum. Schools aim to give all students a quality education, yet cut out subjects like Art and History which are the favorite class, and sometimes sole reason some kids enjoy going to school for whatever amount of time the class happens to be. If I couldn't have taken art in high school, I'd have asked my mom to enroll me in a different school.
    The usual staples for anatomy:
    George Bridgman
    Joseph Sheppard
    Andrew Loomis

  7. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Thanked 164 Times in 106 Posts
    I've never stopped drawing. Probably because I started taking it seriously like two years ago and didn't spend as much time on it as some people here. But whenever I abandon pencil or stylus for more than two days i feel uncomfortable and have to draw something as soon as possible. Some kind of urge for improvement and process of creating motivates me to keep rocking.

    Also quick glance at my dA favourites folder always cheers me up.

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Leicester, United Kingdom
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
    There's a chance that this may end up being a double post, if so...i apologise

    I stopped painting/drawing almost entirely for a very long time, pretty much from my very early teens until just a few years ago (i'm 30 now). This was mainly down to depression and a complete lack of confidence (The latter is still a big issue but i'm trying to work on it). I had basically just lost the passion for art, and pretty much everything else. A couple of years ago though I was looking around deviantART for some images to use as backgrounds when I came across the work of Chris Scalf and Daarken. The quality of their work astounded me, it was pretty much at that moment that something kind of clicked and my passion for art was renewed. Since then I've spent as much time as I could drawing, and in the last few years I got a wacom bamboo tablet and a copy of photoshop. I never really spent any time studying though, so my paintings have never really been all that great. More recently I came across this forum, and a few others which seem to put a big emphasis on learning the basics, something I am really lacking in. The work posted here, and peoples sketchbooks have really motivated me to put my learning hat back on again and Try and improve myself.

    So I guess in short, there are several things which motivate me. Seeing the amazing work of others, reading the comments/advice/critiques etc. on forums such as this, and also, the desire to improve myself as an artist.

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    North Carolina
    Thanked 38 Times in 38 Posts
    I can't NOT do art. When I was in college and attempted several non-art curriculum because 1) I wasn't aware you can actually make money off of this (importance of actual art education) and therefore 2)I wanted to take the safe route and follow the path other people did because I felt that was expected of me.

    In attempting to follow the "script" I ended up not being happy or satisfied with life. Currently I'm working at a non-art related job that is a total drain mentally and emotionally. As a consequence I have significantly less time to make work and that is just stressful for me among other things. I have the desire to sit at home and draw for 14 hours a day but I just can't. At this point, I am happiest when I'm either thinking about God or in the act of drawing...not talking about drawing or concerning myself with theory but actually creating. As depressing as it can be to think about were I want to be or were I should be..all the people who are better than I am..all of those concerns just fall by the way side when I just shut up and do it.

    So yeah, the act of physically making art is the motivation.
    See my Sketchbook

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    If I stopped it would of been a waste of time.
    I could of spent the time that I didn't do art; thinking about other dreams and making it become a reality. In my art career and life I don't want to be average.
    For me I think of it this way - We only have one life, i'm not going to spend it watching others play sport or draw when I KNOW my body and my mind can do exactly the same with practice. So, I go to the gym, workout, get fit and I'm happy with what my body can do. This includes my art -
    I'm happy and motivated to draw because I want to create what I've never seen before.
    I'm just as interested and motivated to see what my imagination can do just like how my body can do flips and turns.

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Thanked 36 Times in 33 Posts
    Not sure what good my story does anyone, but what the hell:

    I actually work best when someone asks me to make a specific thing for them or just do something random or if I decide that I want to do something for a birthday or something. I like the deadlines and I like that the artwork will have a purpose. This is why I never really draw that much It's like with cooking I love cooking, but I have a hard time cooking when I know no one but me will eat it. That would be a waste and I'd get fat.

    Sometimes when I'm hungry I'll make something just for me, but I like making stuff for people more. It's just so sad when you make something and no one gets to see it. That's my problem.

    Does that make me a ? I dunno. But I don't see that there is anything wrong with being one. I think I'll do great with freelance work thanks to my hang-up. There are a tone of things that I want to make just for me though, but the urgency is just not there. I'll make things at a snail's pace, but when someone would give me a deadline for that I'm sure I'd be able to finish quickly. too bad self-imposed deadlines don't work or I'd be a pro by now. I'd love to cure myself of my nonchalance someday. If anyone has tips I'd be glad to hear.
    So to answer the question “what keeps me going?” : people do. The giant smiles of people.
    -that sexy rush you get when intensively working on something. It’s like a runner’s high.
    - great art made by others
    -random lightning bolts of inspiration I get when I see something irl and everything clicks.

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I dunno, I do art because I enjoy the process. It puts my mind at ease and I feel healthier mentally and emotionally after. Some people call it "getting out the poison".

    There's a good poem by Charles Bukowski that someone posted in another thread that was really interesting about motivation and art. Here its is:

    Charles Bukowski - “So You Want To Be a Writer”

    if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
    in spite of everything,
    don’t do it.
    unless it comes unasked out of your
    heart and your mind and your mouth
    and your gut,
    don’t do it.
    if you have to sit for hours
    staring at your computer screen
    or hunched over your
    searching for words,
    don’t do it.
    if you’re doing it for money or
    don’t do it.
    if you’re doing it because you want
    women in your bed,
    don’t do it.
    if you have to sit there and
    rewrite it again and again,
    don’t do it.
    if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
    don’t do it.
    if you’re trying to write like somebody
    forget about it.
    if you have to wait for it to roar out of
    then wait patiently.
    if it never does roar out of you,
    do something else.

    if you first have to read it to your wife
    or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
    or your parents or to anybody at all,
    you’re not ready.

    don’t be like so many writers,
    don’t be like so many thousands of
    people who call themselves writers,
    don’t be dull and boring and
    pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
    the libraries of the world have
    yawned themselves to
    over your kind.
    don’t add to that.
    don’t do it.
    unless it comes out of
    your soul like a rocket,
    unless being still would
    drive you to madness or
    suicide or murder,
    don’t do it.
    unless the sun inside you is
    burning your gut,
    don’t do it.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 812 Times in 605 Posts
    Since there's the thanks buttons are still missing, I thought I'd just say thank you for bringing that piece of writing into my life BoomSamson.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    I second what Pixie Trick said

  15. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Haha no problem! It had quite the same effect on me when I first read it

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