Stay Motivated

How to stay motivated? This is a hot topic for those starting out and for those that struggle to stay productive.

Hey all dear sentient beings out there.  I missed the update last week – sorry about that.  I have fever but damn me I won’t let this week pass by unblogged.  So here is little something that’s been on my mind..

How to stay motivated? This was one of my problems several years ago but I didn’t recognize it as such.  What I knew is I kept starting on ideas but finished very few.  I thought it was matter of technique, that either I wasn’t fast enough or just did something important all wrong.  That wasn’t it.  Rather I didn’t have proper motivation.  Motivation is what makes you productive, keeps you going and pushes you to finish.

For most folk motivation is the pay they receive from work and that’s that.  For most creative people it is the work plus the pay.  For creative people starting out there is no pay, just personal work, and unfortunately often that isn’t enough.  So, what to do?

Ways of motivating yourself

  • Don’t get discouraged.  You don’t know if you’re cut out for it or not until you give it your best shot, and you can’t do that without strong motivator(s).  Well, some rare people have discipline and faith in themselves to keep personal work rolling like clockwork just by deciding to do so.  You don’t have to be one of them to succeed.
  • Find colleagues, a group with similiar interest. For those lucky enough to have a suitable school around that is your best ticket.  Number one benefit I hear from people that have had the schooling is the connections they make while at school.  That’s networking for future jobs and those are the people that you can work and compete with – kick each other forward.  If there is no school to be had, why not join some active online community for artists?  I see lots of people making friends of sorts online and collaborating, giving each other feedback and critique.
  • Develop goals, an inside motivator.  Simply write down your short and long terms goals and then sub-goals, tasks, that push you towards the major goal.  Then do a task-list for, say, a month.  Set deadlines.  Likely you will at first have too high aims and fail, but that’ll just teach you make the next list better.
  • Join projects, competitions and the like, get outside motivator(s). There are lots of quality game and other collaborative art projects online.  Many are willing to take on people, even folks with limited experience, to help them grow and go forward.  Even better if you can have project like that with colleagues you already have.  There is nothing like a common goal with a producer breathing down your neck or team members waiting your contribution to get their task done.  If you can’t find or get any of these, try joining a competition like CGchallenge.  That gives you a goal, competition, possible rewards and critique for your work.  Or start something like a scetchbook thread on a forum with strong critique and put new work on it as often as you can.  Granted not all who comment are pros or good educators, but on the whole it helps.  And the thread and the people there are your motivators.
  • Find a mentor for the best critique. This is an option for only a few, sure, but those of you who spot the change to connect with a professional do yourself a favor and jump for it.  There is no critique like that of a pro you know.  That feedback and advice will keep you going for a long time.
  • Blog about your work. Blog is an easy way to document your work and to setup a personal gallery.  Blog also nags on the bag of your mind to keep on updating and the more followers you have the worse(=better) it gets.
  • Send your best work out to competitions, galleries and such and hopefully get accepted/rewarded.  Some recognition goes a long way in keeping your creative engine eunning.  And if all you get is no reply at all, perhaps it will piss you off enough to make you try harder.
  • Find someone to share your life with, the significant other.  There is hardly any better motivator to improve your craft and to find a job than having someone to take care of, possibly also financially.

Certainly there is many other ways to keep your motivation up, but that’s what I got right now.  Feel free to add what I forgot or critique things listed.

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