August 15, 2016

How I Motivate Myself To Draw

by Corrina Thurston


This blog post is based on a question I received by one of my Facebook followers. Haven’t seen my Facebook page? Check it out here. Don’t forget to like it as I’m giving away a free print when I reach 1000 likes!

The question the person asked is, how do I get motivated to draw?


How I Motivate Myself To Draw

Drawing is the most fun part of having an art business, but it’s also one of the most challenging aspects.

I’m constantly pushing myself and challenging myself with my artwork. Each piece is an experiment and that means parts of each piece are frustrating. Sometimes I’m forced to put a drawing aside for a day or a few days as I contemplate how I’ll go forward without turning it into a disaster.

Ways I motivate myself to draw are:

1.) By looking at the artwork on my walls.

A selection of my finished drawings.
A selection of my finished drawings.

When I look at my framed drawings adorning my studio walls, it’s always a boost. I did that. I drew those.

What runs through my mind is that if I finished those, I can finish this one I’m working on, too.

Those drawings are proof that I have done this in the past and I can do it again. Some of those drawings were equally frustrating, but I got through it and now they’re being sold as prints on my website. So there’s no reason I can’t do the same with my current work in progress!

2.) By drawing my favorite part first.

Work in progress of my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.
Work in progress of my Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing.

I know this seems backwards to a lot of artists, but I draw my favorite part of a drawing first. For example, with the Blue-Eyed Kitten, I drew the eyes first. This is because when I’m struggling with a section later on, I’m staring at part of the drawing I’ve already completed that I really like. I love the eyes in that drawing and having them already done meant I HAD to finish, because if I didn’t, no one would ever get to see those eyes.

Finished Blue-Eyed Kitten drawing, unframed.

3.) By writing it on my whiteboard.

This may seem silly, but there’s a section of my big whiteboard on my studio wall that just says DRAW in big letters. It probably seems obvious that I would need to draw in order to keep my art business going, but sometimes when I get so wrapped up in the business side of things, time slips away and I’ve gone a week without drawing.

Having this command to draw on my wall and in my face every day helps to remind me of my priorities and remember to sit down and work on a drawing.


4.) By looking at the artwork of others.

One of the things I find most inspirational, and therefore motivating, is looking at the artwork of other artists. Whenever I feel like I’m in a slump or suffering from a block, I look at artwork online.

Sometimes I’ll go to the websites of artists who do similar work to what I do, and sometimes I’ll check out artists who do work completely different than what I do. I find both helpful and inspiring.

5.) By listening to music.

Music has the ability to change moods. So when I’m feeling depressed or frustrated with a drawing, or I’m just nervous about starting one and am staring at a blank illustration board, I turn on some motivating tunes!

Just like when I used to go running, I have a selection of playlists, plus some Pandora stations, ready to go for when I need them.

6.) By drawing.

Me working on one of the most difficult parts of my African Elephant drawing.
Me working on one of the most difficult parts of my African Elephant drawing.

Sometimes the motivation just isn’t there, but I draw anyway.

Sometimes this ends up turning out great and I gain motivation as I draw, getting more into the zone as I go.

Sometimes it goes badly and I get more frustrated as I go and need to stop after only an hour.

I never know which way it will tilt until I try.


Have questions about getting motivated to draw? Let me know! Feel free to leave a comment below, or if you liked this post, feel free to share it with others!

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