When you feel stuck
People always ask me where I find motivation to draw, where I go for inspiration, or how I come up with ideas when I’m feeling stuck.
When I’m stuck (with anything in my life) I have to reconnect with feeling. Inspiration isn’t just an ephemeral experience, it is totally about feeling things and seeing the beauty in them.
What better way to feel things then to dive into whatever you’re obsessed with?
I’ve learned how to game my own inspiration. For me there are key things that get me feeling and seeing beauty. I go to the movies. I listen to music. I drive around with the windows rolled down. I watch my favorite shows like Xena: Warrior Princess.
If nothing seems to be inspiring, I like to return to the things I love.
- Painting beautiful faces
- Abstract double exposed art
- Scrolling through Instagram looking at musicians
- Watching random music videos
Feeling stuck as a beginner
Okay, seriously, though: sometimes your greatest strength is your inner fan. My obsession with Xena isn’t integral in my current creative process, but it fueled me intensely when I was a young artist. I was totally enthralled by the show, and it gave me endless feelings to draw from. I spent a lot of time trying to draw Xena.
Xena got me through a lot of early “stuck” feelings and helped me to break some plateaus in my art.
How I get unstuck
I get through “stuck” feelings now by leaning into obsessions and feeding them with doodles. I have a two phase process.
Phase 1. Consume everything in sight and sometimes return to old things you love.
Phase 2. Whenever you have feels, draw.
Phase 3. Sometimes the feels are weak or almost non-existent. Uh, draw anyway. (I’m going to need to write a whole blog post on that.)
For those of you looking for inspiration, let me give you a little of my own. Here’s Xena then and Xena now.
What do you love? Watch me live on Twitch and share your fandom art with me.