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How to motivate yourself to keep drawing

Apr 26, 2021
My Goals

No matter where you are in your artistic journey, it’s important to set goals for yourself. Sitting down to draw something every day without a clear goal, might work in the beginning but you will eventually lose motivation and passion if you don’t know where you’re headed. That’s why it’s important to have a clear intention before sitting down to draw.

If you’re not a planner or goal setter, that’s okay. Try visualizing what you want instead and find your way through your visualizations.

Why set goals?

  1. Motivation: reminding yourself why you want to improve your art will help you stay determined
  2. Progress: having your goal in mind will help you move forward 
  3. Productivity: it’s hard work, your goal will remind you why you need to keep showing up
  4. Fulfillment: once you achieve your goals, you’ll feel happy and satisfied

How to set your goals

Writing your goals down will make them feel real, just as if you already achieved them. This will give you a taste of success and help you move forward. Effective goals should be realistic, challenging, and achievable

Step 1: Think of something you want to be able to do or work towards. While thinking of a new goal, try to step outside of your comfort zone.

For example:
- be able to draw a realistic portrait
- draw accurately from a reference photo. 

Step 2: Break your goals down. Smaller goals can be achieved faster and will be more fulfilling, 

For example:
- get better at shading
- draw accurate proportions
- understanding highlights and shadows

Make a Plan

Making a plan creates a sense of commitment to follow through. Try not to pressure yourself to meet an unrealistic deadline or to fit everything in within a set amount of time. You can follow at your own pace whenever it fits into your schedule. 

Ask yourself which small steps you can take and create a plan:

  • What do I need to practice to work towards my goal?
    (practice with basic proportions, practice drawing eyes in different angles)
  • How specifically can these tasks be done?
    (practice drawing basic shapes, practice with highlights and shadows)
  • When do I want these small actions to be accomplished?
    (every week or day I will practice for at least 10 minutes)

Reminders

Making a plan for your goals helps but you also need regular reminders to stay motivated and stick to your plan. You can create daily or weekly reminders for yourself.

  1. Write your goals on a piece of paper and post them on the wall or mirror. Write it in a notebook and leave it on your desk in clear sight. Put it on your desktop so you can read it as a constant reminder
  2. Review your goals weekly. Go back and read over your plan to motivate yourself and so you don’t forget about them.
  3. Write down 2 successes each week/month. Motivate yourself by celebrating your smallest goals. Remind yourself of your smaller goals and write down when you achieve them.
  4. Have patience. Learning something new can take time. Real progress can take place over a long period of time. Learn to enjoy the journey and trust the process. 

Share your goals

Having others involved in your artistic journey can be very motivating. Whether it’s a friend or a family member you need someone who can remind you of the positive and encourage you to keep going. Without this, you might improve but not even notice it and lose the motivation to continue.

Make it essential

Try not to think of your goal as something that you "have" to do, but rather, try to turn it into a habit. If you draw something every week instead of a couple of times a month you’re much more likely to turn it into a habit. When drawing becomes a habit it becomes part of you instead of a “have” to do task.

Don’t feel guilty

There may be days or even months during the year where you will fail to stick to your goal. If you realize this, don’t feel guilty! Try to gently remind yourself of your goal and pick up where you left off. Stopping for a month doesn't mean you failed or you aren't good enough or strong enough to stick with it. Just pick it up and continue.

Remember: Progress takes time and slow progress is better than no progress.

Emmy

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