Motivation Part 2 - Alice Harpel

Posted on | Tuesday, October 25, 2011 | No Comments

Last week I listed several ideas on the topic of motivation for artists, keeping in mind that motivation involves a challenge, a process, and a feeling of progress. This week I will share more on the process and a feeling of progress. 

Process Cont.:
Work on projects to achieve quick results. Paint miniature paintings. Commit to a 6 x 8 painting to finish in 1 hour. You will be impressed at the progress you can make. You will be amazed at what this does for motivation when you see quick results. Also, because oil has a slower drying time, artists can lose their motivation for the subject. However, if you paint 80% of your painting with acrylic (for quick drying) and then paint oil over the entire painting, you will see quick results. As long as the entire canvas is covered with oil, it is considered to be an oil painting, not mixed media. However, if only parts are painted in oil leaving other areas of the image in acrylic, then the painting is considered mixed media. Finally, one can add “liquin” to oils for quick drying. Of course, there are “fast drying” oils available. I find the quick drying oils do not have the same flow as traditional oils. However, I do use a fast drying white since white dries so slowly. 
Visit an art supply store for new materials. 
Paint one painting per month based on a monthly theme. By the end of the year, you will have sufficient work to print an art calendar. 
Display “motivational quotes” in your studio. 
Use mind mapping as a visual aide for creating new ideas or as an organizing tool. While lists are great, since we are visual artists, I find mind mapping works for me.
Check YouTube for motivation for artists. 
Interpret your work in another medium. 
Selling some artwork is a great motivator to create more. There are numerous good selling sites on the internet for free or small fees. But keep in mind, that you often have to be the one to bring in clients through social media channels, etc.
Ask others for painting ideas though groups, online blogs, Facebook etc.
Post your goal(s), commit on line.
Have a go through ritual such as cleaning brushes.
Give yourself time to reflect.
For my small art (6 x 6), I use colloquial or famous quotes as ideas for paintings. Rather than paint and then title the work, I often come up with a title and paint based on the title. This is one of my best motivators for ideas. Also, one could use song titles, novels, lines of poetry, Bible verses, etc. 

Feeling of Progress:
Use a reward system such as a trip to the art store
Think about how you will feel when you accomplish your goal
Work hard to get results. One builds on motivation by getting results. The more results you get, the more you will be motivated to get more.
For a feeling of progress, we must continually read about art and continuously be looking somewhere else for ideas (i.e. We need to read about art, artists, art techniques, art processes and events that get into our very heart and soul. 

To the readers of this blog, please share what you do to be motivate yourself to create new art. We would love to hear from you. 

Alice Harpel is a studio artist at Athens of Indiana Arts Studios & Gallery
Stop in to see her work on the upper level of the gallery.


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