Ramblings

Intro: Hunting for Motivation

(Complete with hastily drawn cartoons.)

meet-the-artist
Meet the Artist meme

Hi there 🙂

My name is Jess and I’m an artist and graphic designer. I’m introverted and a bit of a geek. My interests include video games, comics/graphic novels, manga and anime, Dungeons and Dragons and British crime dramas. I like drawing, storytelling, reading, music (except pop and country), food, beagles, ginger, tea and (plus anything in the meme above that I’ve missed).  Most of all I love learning!

This blog will basically be about my art adventures as I attempt to boost my motivation and productivity through learning new things. Here I will post my progress as I improve on existing skills and learn new ones, in the form of sketches, WIPs, writings and links to helpful resources such as tutorials, articles and references.  Most of all it’ll be something I can come back to each week and say “This is what I’ve achieved”. It is more for my own benefit, however, if anyone else finds it educational then that’s great!

I Have a Problem…

I know I’m not the only one who’s experienced this either. I’m stuck in a job that isn’t that exciting, plus the added frustration of searching for a new job (long distance).  When I’m not doing those two things I have the bad habit of sitting in front of the TV, half watching shows that aren’t really that interesting and are probably rotting my brain. I’m doing it now in fact, as I write this.

should-n-shouldnt
Hastily drawn cartoon of what I do with my time vs what I should be doing (I’m not left handed btw lol)

I know what I should be doing, the challenge is finding the motivation to do it. For ages, I’ve been coming up with excuses but if I’m really honest with myself, the only thing or person I can blame is me. I’m responsible for what I do. Granted, a long-term struggle with depression hasn’t been helpful, but the only way I can improve that is to be proactive!

First I did some (very quick) research, because I’ve been told I’m good at researching things. There are plenty of articles out there on how to increase your motivation levels. Here’s three I got in my Google search that I found interesting:

9 Steps to Staying Motivated, for Artists, Makers and Creative Freelancers

How to Start Making Art Again

5 Ways to Rediscover Your Art and Reclaim Your Passion

Reading these articles and hearing other people’s experiences gave be a fair idea about what I want to do next.  I’ve picked things that I think will work for me, but different things may work for different people.

Plan of Attack!

For now I’m going to focus on:

  • Working with my strengths
  • Monitoring my mood, so making my workspace as inviting as possible.
  • Breaking bad habits bit by bit. I’ll start with not sitting in front of the TV as soon as I get home.
  • Removing excess baggage. Letting go of projects I haven’t worked on for a while.
  • Setting goals and participating in challenges.
  • Being accountable (which is what this blog and social media is for!)

I’m already happy with my workplace, so it’s just a matter of keeping it clean and tidy (and switching on the fairy lights because I’m easily amused :D).  Breaking bad habits is just a matter of persistence and willpower, which I think will get easier as I get better at the other points. Because of the isolated nature of the place where I live I’ll have to rely on the internet to remain accountable, (although I may explore the option of starting a local sketch jam if I get the courage).

My greatest strength is my love of learning (hence the main premise of this blog). I’m already due to start AIE’s online 3D Animation Foundations course tomorrow (can’t wait!!), but I would like to work on my current skills too.

As a start, I’ve made a list of strengths, weaknesses and new things I’d like to learn. Please note that this is my own personal assessment of my current skills. Just because I’ve marked something as a strength doesn’t mean I’m terrific at it, just as I may not be completely useless at something I’ve marked as a weakness. It’s just what I’m comfortable with and there is always room for improvement!

strengths-and-weaknesses-table

To keep momentum going (and so I don’t have the excuse of “I have no inspiration”) I’m going to set goals and participate in different challenges (and competitions if I have the courage) throughout the year. There are heaps of artistic challenges out there, and I’ll go over the ones I want to do later. For now, I’m just going to set myself my own personal goal; to clean up my hard drive. By the end of the month I’d like to have gone through all the half-finished projects I have and either finish them, decide to keep them as a sketch, or delete them entirely. Hopefully that’ll make my workload less daunting and open up my time for projects that I really want to do.

Hopefully all of this will keep me on the right track.  I’ll find my motivation again, learn new things and break bad habits! Sound like a plan? I hope so, or I face remaining in this rut forever (and looking like a loser on the internet :P). Got any other suggestions or your own experiences? I’d love to hear from you 🙂

2 thoughts on “Intro: Hunting for Motivation”

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