8 Ways to Stay Motivated to Create

May 25, 2020 | Guest Post, Inspiration

It’s easy to fall into a loop of un-inspiration during these pre-post-apocalyptic-pandemic times. Quite simply, it’s depressing and who the hell wants to work right now?

The plain fact though is sometimes you really gotta get sh-t done, even if your creative juices aren’t flowing like a juice box with no straw. Here’s a few nudges that will hopefully get you up and running at Terminator levels of efficiency.

1. Go Back Through Old Stuff

Sometimes you gotta go backwards to move ahead. Dig through some old files and see if they can spark some new inspiration or remind you of a forgotten gem.

(Photo: Mark Moreno)

2. Read Something

Some of my best work has stemmed from reading a book, an article, or a comic. I think when you read you’re visualizing things and it helps grease the wheels of invention.

(Photo: Mark Moreno)

3. Do Something Else

Getting away from it all is sometimes the best help. It’s like when you’re trying to remember something, but can’t until 5 hours later when it no longer matters. Just let your mind wander for a bit and then just casually walk over and be like, “Let’s do this.”

(Photo: Clay Banks)

4. Look to Heroes/Peers/Friends

It’s good to see what others are doing. Sometimes it can be a little depressing because honestly, how is that person that good? I mean really – it’s kind of annoying! Anyways, if you can, let go of some of the stress and just be a fanboy for a bit.

(Photo: Julian Lozano)

5. Get Out of Your Normal Space

Look, your studio space is probably awesome. Mine is my basement. I call it my headquarters and pretend I’m a superhero. The fact is new surroundings can often spark new ideas and greatness. Unless I missed that issue, Spider-Man never caught any bad guys in his basement.

(Photo: Joey Nicotra)

6. Trace Something

This might get some purists yelling and screaming, “CHEATER!”, but the fact is muscle memory counts for a lot. Tracing is how I learned a lot as a kid and it’s still something I use when I’m having a problem. I’m not saying claim someone else’s work as your own, I’m saying mimicry can make a master.

(Photo: Charles Deluvio)

7. Get Back to Your Pinterest Board

You don’t use Pinterest? Thought it was just for that annoying neighbor that keeps asking if you’re going to pull up that garlic mustard weed because, “ it’s really invasive.” That’s cool. You probably have books from artists you follow, right? Or even a folder on your computer with stuff you like? Whatever it is, go back to it and see if that can add a few drops of psilocybin to the old brain stem.

(Photo: Mark Moreno)

8. Draw Without Purpose

This may sound a bit too new age, but if you can just sit down and make something, even if it’s bad, that can often lead to something. Remember, just as the great master Yoda often says, “Fear is the path to the dark side.” Hmmmm… so thoughtful he was.

(Photo: Markus Spiske)

What other activities keep you motivated to create? Share with me in the comments below!

By Mark Moreno ('Mark Sarmel')

By Mark Moreno ('Mark Sarmel')

A graduate of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI., Mark Sarmel’s work often deals with diverse people and cultures. By mixing mythologies from differing societies and re-presenting them in a hybrid form, he seeks to reflect the world he sees around him. For more info visit Mark’s website here.

(All photos except those by Mark Moreno taken from Unsplash.com – royalty free.)

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