When it comes to working and staying motivated in the studio, whether full time or part time, it can be hard to keep the creative juices flowing. While some people do not have a hard time continuing their work and staying motivated, others find it difficult to stay motivated and continue a project or start a new one. It can be hard to go back into the studio if you are feeling less creative or drained, so here are nine ways to get your energy and creativity back so you can dominate the studio.
1. Intrinsic Motivations
Focus on your internal motivations instead of outward motivations. Don’t focus on the outward rewards such as fame, money, praise, and appreciation. Instead, focus on striving to better yourself and your work. If your work has a greater purpose or meaning it will be easier to find the motivation to go back to your work during the easy and the hard times. While fame, money, praise, and appreciation are nice they won’t get you through the challenging times when your creativity is low. Finding motivation in the meaning behind your work and focusing on improving your work will be better for you in the long run. There are few things that are more motivating than seeing the physical proof that your work has improved over time and that you are getting better at you craft.
2. Setting the Mood
Find a time of day that you want to be creative and do not feel like you are in a rush to finish the project. Whether it is in the morning or late at night you should be focused, calm, and in a positive mood. For some people, it can help to think about your ideas before executing them in the studio – so be sure to make use of a Really Huge sketch book to write down all your ideas. Writing down your ideas can be helpful, and putting the ideas nearby when you work can also be helpful to get you in the right mindset when working. Taking little breaks every 45 minutes helps to keep you from feeling weary and worn out creatively – so be sure to get up, stretch, walk around, eat, and drink water regularly to keep your energy up.
3. Stay Accountable
Talk to other artists and create a buddy system so that you hold each other accountable for goals and ideas related to your projects. This will help you when it comes to crossing things off your to-do list and accomplishing goals. There is nothing better than having someone close to you who can call you out and give you a metaphorical ‘kick in the pants’ to get back in the studio. It helps to create a sense of urgency by regularly setting hard deadlines and sticking to them. Setting strict deadlines on yourself will result in a more consistent performance on top of it improving your performance overall as well. An accountability buddy will help ensure you meet these goals. Find someone to work with in our Ceramic School Community Facebook Group.
4. Fight Procrastination
It is easier to say you are going to fight procrastination than actually fighting it. However, knowing the logic behind procrastination and why it happens can help you fight it. Procrastination has everything to do with our moods. We procrastinate to delay starting the task to avoid the negative feelings such as anxiety or worry that happen in relation to the challenge. The best way to solve this is to focus on repairing your mood in productive ways. Some of the best ways to change your thinking about the task include: visualize how good you will feel when you complete your task, just start on the first two steps and go from there, stop feeling guilty about procrastinating since everyone has done it at least once, and to start with the steps you feel like doing the most. Following at least one of these methods should help you change how you feel about starting on projects and could help motivate you to do more work in the studio. Check out this great book about it – do it now… or tomorrow… or maybe next week? 😉
Disappointments, failures, and frustration are inevitable and will happen no matter what. The best thing you can do is to control your reaction to these situations. Will you sit down and cry when these things occur? Or will you harden yourself like your pottery and fight through it to the next success? There is life after failure and you can learn from your mistakes. The worst thing you can do is to not learn anything from your mistakes, not accept responsibility, and to repeat everything you did before and expect different results. We must learn and change to succeed and it is one of the greatest things that we, as humans, can do. Adapting and persevering even when you’re in a tough situation will help you to become stronger and smarter overall so remember to keep fighting and learn what you can do better in every situation.
6. Interact with the Project Daily
Interacting with the project daily doesn’t mean forcing yourself to work every day. That could tire you out and actually cause you to feel less motivation to work on the project. To interact with the project daily means to touch base and maintain a connection to the project. You don’t actually have to do anything with it every day, but consistency keeps the love for the project alive. Even just going into the studio for five minutes to see what you’ve done so far is keeping the connection alive. The important part is stepping into the space and connecting with the energy of the project. It is what will push you to stop and think while you’re in the studio. Maybe you came in to just look and see what you’ve done and now you’re adding something on to your project or moving things around? That will happen if you interact and keep the project alive in your mind. Even just looking around for inspiration and thinking about your project every day will help keep your motivation up.
7. Get Inspiration
Talk to other artists, join our Ceramic School Community group, look at another person’s work online or in person. When you are around other artists this may help you reignite your creative spark just by seeing their work. Maybe you saw someone use a new technique to pull a handle that has you inspired to try that yourself? Or perhaps you saw a new glaze that is just perfect for the idea you had in the back of your head for a while. It is good to be around other people who are creative, so take a moment to explore the Web and the world to see what other artists are creating these days. You can also get some Motivational Posters to put up in your studio 🙂
Experimenting is key to keeping your creativity alive in the studio. Constant repetition can become boring to even the most experienced artist, and trying something new between repetitive actions can help with not feeling disengaged or worn out over the repetition. Another benefit of experimenting is that you can discover a whole new idea that you want to pursue or even solve some problems that you were experiencing previously with a project. Experimenting leads to new ideas, new motivation, and solutions – so be sure to experiment from time to time in the studio! You just might discover a passion or technique you never knew about. As Thomas Edison said:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”
9. Set Healthy Habits
Be sure to keep your body and mind healthy so that you have as much energy as possible to create. Exercise is vital to improving your physical health, but it also boosts your sleep, reduces your stress, and enhances your mood. Put simply, exercising regularly can help you in multiple areas of your life on top of boosting your creativity. Getting proper sleep, ideally seven to nine hours each night, will also help your brain with energy to think about creative endeavors on top of keeping your mood up. Nobody likes to be tired!
Finally, a good diet that includes fruits and vegetables will help stimulate your body and mind, helping you excel in the studio. We recommend getting a Ninja Blender – so you can make yourself a super quick fruit smoothie before you head into the studio! Getting into the habit of taking a smoothie with you into the studio, and maintaining these healthy habits, will keep your body and brain healthy, so that you don’t have to fight against those factors to stay positive and motivated in the studio.