I find that sometimes the most frustrating thing about being a designer is the gap of knowledge and experience between me and other designers around the world. Now I’m no prodigy but I’m not about to let myself become just another mediocre artist. As such, there are a few things that I do to keep myself motivated.
1. Remember where you came from
Your experiences are unique to you and that is something to be proud of. Whether that be the awards you’ve won, the school you graduated from, or the painting you did when you were 5 years old. The combination of experience and knowledge that you have gained are yours and yours alone. Despite the other 500+ other students out there, your degree, certificate or what have you demonstrates your unique learned experiences. Remember that where you go are based on your past knowledge and what you decide to do with it.
2. Find art that inspires you
This doesn’t have to be paintings or drawings; these could be music or even a recreational sport. Don’t limit your ideas of art to the traditional thinking. Art is about thinking outside the box and it can come from anything from as simple as a conversation with a co-worker, friend or family.
3. Surround yourself with others who you look up to
Nothing can be more inspiring than being around those who have accomplished things you wish to do. Now this may sound counter intuitive to motivating yourself as sometimes you may feel like you may never catch up to them, but it’s not about catching up. It’s about learning and motivation, those that you look up to should be motivating and have a willing to teach. They can help you achieve you goals faster than you could ever do alone. They are also your colleagues, your network…your friends.
4. Indulge in media
Although all the stories you may hear about great artists like Picasso sound like they sent all their time isolated and alone doing their art is a skewed perception of the life of an artist/designer. It is in fact very social and highly involved in the media and social happenings around the world. Get yourself out in parties and social events and talk about the world around you. It will inspire and motivate you more than you can imagine. Not only that you’ll learn something new every day!
5. Form your opinion
This is a big one. Some of the most inspirational art stems from a single thought, a single opinion about something that someone wanted to share. I used to be the one with the least opinions of everyone in my class. I thought that remaining neutral and being un-opinionated would allow me to make the best decisions and ultimately put me ahead of everyone else. It sort of did in wisdom as I could now see two sides of every argument, but at the same time I lost out on two things. I couldn’t build my creativity nor could I ever build an audience who would want to listen to the wisdom I had to share. Form an opinion and share it with the world. You’d be surprised the ideas you’ll come up with when you know what your own opinion is.
I hope this has been insightful and given you ideas on how to help that motivation return and what you are truly capable of. Peps talks are always the best aren’t they…