Lack of motivation can often be the major reason you won’t draw. It’s the main villain of drawing. That’s why I’ve created this post with different ways to motivate yourself to draw more, daily!
The trick is always the same: start!
So how do you motivate yourself to draw?
To motivate yourself to draw, you need discipline, a schedule, and to have fun with your work. Get inspired by your surroundings and other artists, and make drawing a habit. Scribble and take breaks to stay motivated and get the creative juices flowing.
But what are some actual tricks and exercises you can do to improve your drawing motivation?
Table Of Contents
- 1 1) Stuck? Try New Things!
- 2 2) Have Self-Discipline In Your Art Creation
- 3 3) Set the Mood for Work Time
- 4 4) Create A Schedule
- 5 5) The Buddy System and Staying Accountable
- 6 6) Don’t Dwell. Start Drawing!
- 7 7) Scribble your Way to New Topics
- 8 8) Remember to Have Fun
- 9 9) Seek Inspiration, Don’t Wait for It to Come to You
- 10 Don’t Forget!
1) Stuck? Try New Things!
If you wake up and can’t find drawing motivation anywhere, it’s time to act and try new things!
It can be new ideas, new materials, or just trying a new direction with your artwork.
Here are some examples of new things you can do to get your creative juices flowing:
- Gesture Drawing: this is my go-to exercise, where you’ll draw a series of poses, usually with reference, in a short amount of time. Going from 10-second poses to 5 minutes, you choose your pace. You’re just loosening up yourself and your lines while at the same time forming ideas for new drawings. It’s also one of the first things I teach in my Figure Drawing course.
- Daily Prompts: you can find these anywhere: Google, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. This can be extremely helpful because not only will it give you ideas on what to draw, but it will also challenge you into drawing and trying new things.
- Pick up your sketchbook and go for a walk: sometimes you need a change of view and pace. Get up and go for a walk in your neighborhood, bring your sketchbook (here are a few recommendations of Sketchbooks) with you, or just your phone to take pictures of things that you feel inspire you!
- Try new and different art styles: this is always a fun exercise for you to do. Do you tend to have a very realistic art style? Awesome! Let’s try and do the exact opposite today and try a very cartoony style! You don’t tend to work a lot with shapes and geometry? Well, here’s the chance for that! Look up on the internet or books that you might have for different art styles and try them out. Like simple art styles. It’s a fun exercise and will open new horizons for you and your art.
- Experiment with new characters, creatures, or environments: A good thing to do to get out of your comfort zone is to draw new things! If you usually draw women characters, try drawing men. Or change it up to environments or animals. Experiment with new subjects!
- Use new tools: Your most used material can be your very trusty pencil of that specific brand you like. Or perhaps your drawing tablet along with your computer, and that’s completely fine! But you should try new materials and tools. Instead of a pencil, pick up some markers, or if you’re feeling brave, pick up those brushes and paints that you have at home and start drawing.
Trying new things is a great way to kickstart your motivation to draw.
2) Have Self-Discipline In Your Art Creation
If you want to be a successful self-taught artist, you need to have self-discipline! Here are some tips on how you can do this:
- Acknowledge distractions and remove them. Look around you and your working place and try to rid of anything that you think will distract you. Be it food, social media, phone, tv, or anything! It’s as simple as that!
- Don’t overthink, start drawing. Most of the times when trying to apply some Self-Discipline into your life, that means you have to change your routine. You’ll find yourself postponing it by waiting for that day that feels right to start! Well, the only way that the right day will arrive is when you decide to. So no more “Tomorrow is the day”, the day is today. So that’s the secret: Do it!
- Keep on Schedule: Remember to take breaks. If you’ve been drawing non-stop for 2 hours, take a 10-minute break, go grab a cup of water, have a snack, walk around the house, and stretch out for a bit. If you tend to forget about taking a break (I’m looking at myself right now), put an alarm on your phone every two hours. Even better: put your phone or alarm clock away from you so that it will force you to walk out of your working place for a bit and take a breather.
- Reward Yourself: if you find that it’s hard for you to concentrate for more than half an hour, make a deal with yourself: if you manage to draw an hour straight without distractions, you get to go watch one more episode of that series that you’re hooked to right now. This is just an example, but you get my drift: set up goals and reward yourself by meeting them. Treat yourself!
- Learn to accept failure and to move on: You’ll fail, this is a universal truth, failure is normal and it can and will happen. BUT it doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing: you learn from it every single time. So if you fail with any of the steps above, that’s fine, don’t be hard on yourself, and don’t let frustration win and get unmotivated! Acknowledge your mistake and move on from it, tomorrow is a new day, and you know you’ll do better this time.
3) Set the Mood for Work Time
Setting the mood is a very important element when working on your drawings! If something in your working space doesn’t make you feel good and comfortable, then you won’t feel good while working either.
There are a lot of ways to set up the mood for work time, and it will depend on you and how you like to work.
For example, I like to light up some incense in my living room while I’m drawing sometimes or instead of drawing at the table, I’ll move to the sofa.
These are little things that I do to change my environment a bit sometimes, mostly because I felt I need a bit of change around me to inspire me.
But there’s one method that will work for everyone and set the mood properly: no distractions!
If you feel you get distracted a lot by your phone and social media, put your phone on silent mode or even leave it somewhere a bit far from your working place.
As for social media, you can always mute your notifications for some time, so that their occasional ding won’t bother you or tempt you into checking your notifications.
If you find yourself often distracted by sounds around you, put some headphones on your ears so that they can muffle most of the sound.
You can even use some white noise apps like White Noise Generator, so that you have some non-distracting sounds to help you concentrate.
Once again, it’s all a matter of looking around you to see what makes you good and comfortable to work, making the changes you feel you need to, and starting drawing!
This will help you stay motivated on drawing.
4) Create A Schedule
I know, we’ve talked about schedules, and schedules can be boring!
Bear with me. This won’t be very complex.
When I say build a schedule, I mainly mean: set some time in your day to draw.
If you want to motivate yourself to draw but find the lack to do it, the best way to go for is to schedule it.
Grab a piece of paper or even put an alarm on your phone, let’s say at around 6 pm and when the alarm goes off you go sit down and sketch and draw for a bit, even if it’s for just 15 minutes!
5) The Buddy System and Staying Accountable
Let’s talk about the Buddy System for increasing your motivation.
Friends are essential, be it either in real life or online. Find people that enjoy drawing and you can support and motivate each other!
You can also join Facebook art groups or even Discord servers, where people will post their art.
You can share yours as well and then you have a place where you can talk and give or ask for tips and help as well.
Having someone to share your things with, especially if you enjoy the same topics, like drawing, you’ll be looking forward to creating art more often and seeing what others do as well!
Also, sometimes you might feel frustrated with your art and how you view it.
And interacting with someone else can always help you give another perspective to your drawings! Share your art with the world!
6) Don’t Dwell. Start Drawing!
Like I said before, don’t wait for tomorrow, the day after, the next week, or…or…No! If you want to start, start today! There’s no need for fear!
Most of the time, when trying something new that we’re not overly confident in, our mind will try and find different ways to avoid doing that out of fear of failing.
Well, I have news: it will happen.
Even when you’re a veteran at drawing, there will be times where you want to draw something and it won’t come out as you want and that’s fine!
Be confident and start drawing right now. (it’s hard, I know!)
Even when you feel like your drawings aren’t as good as you wanted, you have to remind yourself that you’re improving every day.
And one day you’ll look back to those drawings from one year ago and surprise yourself with how much better your drawings are right now.
You’re always learning and changing the way you perceive things and that means that your drawings will change as well.
Practice every day, and the most important thing: Remember your end goal but love all the processes to get there.
7) Scribble your Way to New Topics
Some days it feels like you can’t have any idea good enough for you to draw about.
Or if you do, it seems like your hands are against you and won’t do the lines and drawings like you wanted them to look like. “Well ok,” you say “let’s leave this for another day and just have another kind of fun today!”.
Grab your sketchbook and just scribble on it aimlessly. It doesn’t need to have a concrete shape. Let it be abstract today.
You can also just practice some circles, squares, or straight lines, this is a great way to improve line quality.
And the act of moving your wrist and arm helps your brain get into a momentum that keeps you going, motivating more and more!
So just empty your mind and scribble away, who knows, maybe at the end of your practice you’ll even end up with a nice sketch that you can work on later!
This is an excellent exercise because even if you’re not doing something specific, you’re still improving your art and your lines.
8) Remember to Have Fun
Drawing is FUN! Art is FUN!
If it’s not fun right now, relax for a bit, take a walk around your house or go to the park, and come back later.
Draw a silly face, draw your angry face because you couldn’t draw the second eye even though the first one looked perfect (okay that might be just me)!
If you decide to draw, even if it’s just as a hobby, you must remember to have fun and not let frustration take place. You’re creating new things! You have to love what you’re creating!
So yes, the most important thing you’ll read in this article, and that I always speak about in my courses, is this: have fun with drawing.
There’s no point in doing something that you won’t enjoy.
If you’re feeling annoyed with what you’re doing right now, take a break and come back to it later, and even if that doesn’t work: start over or draw something else.
Don’t feel guilty about taking a break, it will only make you lose motivation and you won’t want to draw anymore.
9) Seek Inspiration, Don’t Wait for It to Come to You
Don’t wait for inspiration to come to you, or you’ll die waiting. Find inspiration, go to an Art Museum, look up your favorite Artists online.
See their sketches and super old posts where their art wasn’t so good.
Everyone has been there before!
So look up inspiration in things that you like and get some motivation to draw today!
Look up books and comics that you love and that always inspired you, look for movies, series or even music videos.
The style, fashion, and music might inspire you and your art. Look for things that you like and people that you like to see, and that will give a lot of the ideas and resources for your drawings.
It’s all about patience and working towards a goal. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
Motivation is the first step to starting drawing. Wanting isn’t enough.
You have to do it, and for that, well, you’ll need to give yourself a dose of motivation every day. Follow these simple and easy tips, and you’ll see how much you’ll improve and how much happier you’ll be with your art!
I hope this has helped you get some motivation to draw. If I can leave you with another tip: Set up some art goals to follow, and you’ll improve your artistic skills much faster.
Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!
Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!
10 thoughts on “9 Quick And Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself to Draw Right Now!”
I’m not an illustrator or graphic designer, but I love your tips, the artwork is adorable, and my corgi-mix pup is now 13yr old. Keep up the good work!
Thank you Chef Kibby! You’re far too kind. Anytime is a good time to become an illustrator, even if it’s just a hobby! And I hope your corgi-mix lives a long and happy life.
I love this post.
Thank you Calico, glad you loved it!
Thanks that was really helpfulllll! <3
You’re welcome Julia! I’m very glad that it was helpful!
Thanks, it was helpful
No problem! I’m glad it was helpful.
I see a *lot* of artists intermixing “motivation” with “inspiration”. I kinda understand where that comes from, but it’s still a bit puzzling. As I understand it, lack of inspiration is not having an idea of what to draw or how to go about it. Motivation is pulling through to actually go forward to completion once that idea or inspiration is found.
My issue isn’t a lack of inspiration. I have 40+ things on my list to draw. But I have an excruciating time sitting down and working on them. Some days I will touch up on something for 10 or 15 minutes, feel like I need a break, and then I don’t draw for the next 5-6 hours. Some days I sit down and draw for 4 hours straight. And other days, especially a few weeks ago, I just look at a drawing and my motivation just dies and I have to go do something else. Even when I only have maybe 20-25 minutes left of actual work, it can take me days or a week to get over and just get myself to the final push.
Hi Mark, I agree!
Inspiration can help (that’s why I’ve included it as number 9 on the list) but it’s something that won’t get you working by itself.
I’ve been in the exact same situation as you did and it still happens now and then but in much shorter timeframes. In my honest opinion, I think just having a schedule and self-discipline to work day after day on something, is the way to go and keep yourself motivated.
Work towards a goal. Even if it’s just 10 minutes a day, your goal just got that much closer.
Thank you for your comment and sharing your experience!
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