Art Discussion

What do you do when you are uninspired to draw? How do you motivate yourself to start creating again?

By B Wolf


  • Reece139 artist
    Reece139 (@ReeceArt139)
    04/13/2020 @ 1:21pm

    I never force myself to do art. If I force myself to do it, it makes me hate doing it and my art is dry and sloppy. Usually I go to a place where I feel inspired to draw, like the woods. I get so excited to draw the nature around me and then i’m able to draw. Looking at my old art helps me realize how far i’ve come and I usually have a drive to want to do even better after looking at it.

  • Bleu Hope artist
    Bleu Hope (@bleuhope) Plus Member
    04/15/2020 @ 6:30pm

    Simply put I take a day or two off and work on something else that isn't drawing, which is normally photography in my case. I work on other creative things too, like writing verses and so on to include as part of a future artwork. You find after a little break you get back into it a lot hungrier than you ever imagined, at least I do.

  • Rhoda Chan artist
    Rhoda Chan (@CrimsonLair)
    04/15/2020 @ 10:14pm is where I go. I am into figure study, and I do draw a lot of portraits, so that is a perfect site for me to go to every night. usually when I don't draw it's because i'm uninspired, or i don't have enough time. what's great about this site is that you can set a timer, let's say if you me and you just want to spend 10 mins drawing after work and before bed, i just go there, select what i want to draw and the duration before they switch up the pictures. So i would set my time for 2 mins per sketch, and in 10 mins, i can do 5 sketches. the purpose of this is to train my brain, it gets me think faster of how much i want to draw in 2 mins, and what i want to focus on, nothing else. I think everyone should give it a shot. I also keep an agenda/planner. and I doodle on there as well.

  • Lexi McMaster artist
    Lexi McMaster (@PandaCat202)
    04/17/2020 @ 10:53am

    I dont like to force art. I usually take a weeks to think of an art project by doing other creative stuff, like the video game Minecraft, and I like watching TV to give me ideas about character shape and personality in pictures. If that doesn't work, I just draw some random pictures of stuff that has a theme (i.e. good luck) and put it all into one picture.

  • Caroline Rodriguez artist
    Caroline Rodriguez (@carolinerodriguez)
    04/20/2020 @ 1:53pm

    I look at this site for a previous drawing challenge for a bit of inspiration or unique ideas. The daily feed is also a good place just to see what others are doing and that sometimes sparks something.

  • Ilga Jansons artist
    Ilga Jansons (@Ilga) Plus Member
    04/21/2020 @ 11:55pm

    @CrimsonLair What a great site! Thanks for mentioning this in your response, I did know of this. I shall surely avail myself of their service!

  • Ilga Jansons artist
    Ilga Jansons (@Ilga) Plus Member
    04/22/2020 @ 12:28am

    I almost always have a need to make marks on paper. Alas, as we all probably do, there are days when I'm at a bit of a loss about WHAT to draw. I'll do one of three things: 1) I make some "continuous-line-blind-contour" drawings of anything that is in front of me. Literally anything: the salt and pepper shakers on the kitchen table, the houseplants on the dining room sideboard, the toothpaste holder in the bathroom, my messy jars of pencils and brushes in my studio, ME in the mirror, anything. 2) I make up some silly challenge for myself. e.g., Do a quick drawing for each letter of the alphabet; redraw an existing drawing/painting in another media (pencil to ink, ink to collage, block print to paint, etc.); open a favorite book to a random page and illustrate it or any other "prompt" that sounds interesting at the time. 3) Scribble, tangle, make random marks until something "arises" out of the exercise (as Hannah mentioned above). One of these strategies usually gets me out of the doldrums and gets me going again.

  • Rhoda Chan artist
    Rhoda Chan (@CrimsonLair)
    04/23/2020 @ 1:00pm

    I think we have to know the difference between forcing Art/forcing an idea to come out vs having a discipline to grow our skills. It’s all about balance! Everyone has a different approach and ways of doing things but I just want to share my thoughts between the 2! I consistently practice my skill (my art doesn’t need to convey any message, doesn’t have to be pretty, doesn’t need to be “unique”) , I practice 2-10 mins per drawing to train my hand movement, my attention to details, and my technique on different medium of that day. But I do creative art whenever ideas come flowing through! Most of the time I’m just copying objects I see, I call that “developing skills”. I only do seriously canvas paintings when I actually have something creative and unique to put down. So what I’m trying to say is, doodle everyday! Because if I only do art when I’m inspired and feeling creative, then I’m only making art 5 times a year

  • Dietrich Adonis artist
    Dietrich Adonis (@ArtNinja2000)
    04/27/2020 @ 8:31pm

    I challenge myself to remember everything I notice when I step into a new environment. Noticing obvious as well as subtle details. Plus I read everything I can get my hands on, and listen to any kind of instrumental music (jazz, Bossa Nova, movie/TV soundtracks. Keep a Sketch wallet and draw something that interests me.

  • Kelsey artist
    Kelsey (@artysketchyconfusion)
    04/30/2020 @ 8:24am

    I have a "mood board" that I make that basically is just a bunch of pintrest photos that liked when I am feeling uninspired I have a look at that when It works that's great but if it doesn't that's just your brain telling you, you need to get away from art for a bit and that is OK! take a couple days get inspired and get back into it :)

  • Abby artist
    Abby (@Abbygabby)
    04/30/2020 @ 11:29am

    you should poop and pee on the floor or on your dog or cat

  • B Wolf artist
    B Wolf (@SedonaEquineArt)
    04/30/2020 @ 12:36pm

    Wow these are all such good ways... I usually just don’t draw for love ever long I’m uninspired for. Lately I haven’t been motivated at all to draw, which is annoying because I have so much time.

  • Brandon Stevenson artist
    Brandon Stevenson (@Blackninja2004)
    04/30/2020 @ 3:11pm

    Hmmm, a couple of things tbh...i start with playing some videogames or watching a movie for the "cinematography" like a faux cinephile lol. If ive just about HAD IT with screens then i just get in my car and walk around somewhere around town or get some Starbucks and maybe do some sketches there. If i genuinely dont feel like drawing sometimes ill just take a little time (however much is needed) off because, who knows, maybe im just mentally exhausted from being creative. Forcing yourself to do art isnt any fun. Ive tried it with semi-successful results but i hated the artwork cuz 9/10 i didnt have any fun creating it at all.

  • JON Washington artist
    JON Washington (@Starbrained)
    05/02/2020 @ 5:09pm

    When I was in art school and was around creative people all the time and always had time to quietly do something when I was held hostage in a classroom, it was pretty easy to just doodle or sketch out an idea that I’d been thinking about. But since then I’ve gone through a rough patch where I just didn’t have much inspiration to draw anything. Sometimes it can feel like “what’s the point, I could draw anything but it doesn’t really matter, I’m not going to use it for anything, nobody’s ever going to see it”etc. But I’ve come to realise that there is always a point in doodling something, even if you have to force yourself to spend 10 minutes drawing 3 cartoon leaves. The point is that it keeps you in the habit of drawing. Recently, I haven’t had much inspiration to draw anything significant, so I’ve just been drawing the same thing everyday, experimenting with different contours and shading techniques, adding in various elements to explore the possibilities of what this one scene can be. And who knows, maybe those lame leaves I copied into my sketchbook from a birthday card will become inspiration for a happy thanksgiving post or something.

  • Derek Lowes artist
    Derek Lowes (@nervepixel) Plus Member
    05/07/2020 @ 6:47pm

    Move to a different medium. Do some writing. In most cases I FORCE myself to draw and just put no expectations on it - freeform it and think as little as possible about the first few lines. This usually gets me going. If you want to improve you need to relentlessly work at it - I find it the only way. AND to get around the monotony I just change mediums or sketchbooks. But there are days when it just gets to be too much and i ignore all of it and play video games.

  • Derek Lowes artist
    Derek Lowes (@nervepixel) Plus Member
    05/07/2020 @ 6:48pm

    @Abbygabby can really do that as dog and cat move too fast...

  • Rebecca Johnston artist
    Rebecca Johnston (@drawntodwell)
    05/09/2020 @ 1:24pm

    I like drawing colouring pages so if I am lacking inspiration I colour them in until I get an idea in my head.

  • Anne Hill artist
    Anne Hill (@Whitepyne)
    05/09/2020 @ 4:01pm

    @CrimsonLair these are wise words, and they check out with my own lived experience as an artist and from observing the practices of many other artists in my family and social circle, over many years. Which isn’t to say that I have personally mastered the art of living by the principle you’re describing here!

  • Anujalika artist
    Anujalika (@innerhues)
    05/18/2020 @ 9:07am

    Hi, What works for me sometimes is to simply sit in a comfortable place, it could anywhere in your house especially the case that has been during the confinement! Sit with a sketchbook and your favourite pen or pencil that you haven't used for a while, in a way reconnecting with why you had bought it :) Simply start to doodle on the blank page and at times the free approach leads to a visual worth considering or else simply you had fun with your favourite tool! At the same time, you reconnect with the joy of creating something! Hope it helped! :) Stay safe.

  • Lara Kulpa artist
    Lara Kulpa (@ArtByLara) Plus Member
    06/23/2020 @ 7:09pm

    I've been known to doodle on the back of a store receipt just because my brain needs to create *something* all the time. I've drawn on my hand with gel pens. I've squished up my daughter's play-doh into a bowl shape and then destroyed it. And yes, the drive to create, for me, is almost always stronger than the lack of inspiration to.

  • beanspr0ut artist
    beanspr0ut (@beanspr0ut)
    01/06/2021 @ 12:30pm

    Just generally take a break and do some things that inspire you, basically catch up with everything outside the world of art, and when you feel motivated again, don't go diving in immediatly, just take it slow and steady.

  • David Corkery artist
    David Corkery (@DC2021) Plus Member
    03/14/2021 @ 9:08am

    For me, as an artist inspiration is rare. The last time I was inspired was after reading’’ Mans Search For Meaning’’ written by a holocaust survivor. I did some pieces in acrylic paint and I started to cry. Other than on these occasions I just get on with the job. I think that sometimes you just jump into the act of creation and inspiration comes. If I waited around then I probably would never complete any work.

  • Joer_B artist
    Joer_B (@JoerB) Plus Member
    11/29/2021 @ 5:18pm

    I jump from medium to medium (ink>pencil>charcoal>pastel>oil>digital>vector>graphic design>photography). The bad part about this is that people think that I have no set 'style' that I work in. Or I just sit down in a quiet place and draw my hand(s). Or read a book. Or go for a hike in the Rocky Mountains.

  • Lora Sager artist
    Lora Sager (@HappyWallz) Plus Member
    03/19/2023 @ 10:09am

    If I'm ever in an art slump I'll take my kids cave exploring, hiking with our without the kids (off the beaten trail), again with our without kids I'll go fly fishing or hunting, and sometimes we'll just go to my parents farm and take care of the cows, goats, chickens, ducks. Basically I do things not at related and they have to be activities that are very active. Stuff like these are best for my ADD to kick in and make my brain comes up with amazing ideas for my art, since my mind love to wander bout.

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