Many of us are spurred on by motivation to achieve our own personal goals. I have family who love caring for people, and that motivation led them to working in hospitals. I have friends who “could not, would not” work for someone else, and are motivated to make their businesses succeed because they want to make it on their own. Others are motivated by wanting a very decent wage, and so choose to be accountants. When I think about it, my first conversations with them have gone something like,
“So what do you do?”
“Oh, I’m an accountant. I know it’s boring, but I like not having to worry about the money!”
That is fair enough I think, nothing wrong with being motivated by money, you just wouldn’t choose to work as an artist! I imagine they might think some funny things about my choice of career, but my motivation is totally different.
My main motivation to create everyday comes from choosing to leave the primary education world as a full time teacher, due to the usual hang-ups that teachers have, and therefore having no choice but to make my art a ‘success’. The fear of having to go back to day-to-day teaching (or other work) is what drives me on, determined to make a small living out of my art and to be able to enjoy creating everyday. I knew I missed painting pictures when I was busy teaching, but I had no idea how much I would love what I do now on this larger scale. These days I teach art to adults and primary school children, work on exciting commissions, supply a gallery, am part of numerous art groups, exhibit work at a variety of venues, and have some enthusiastic followers who definitely also motivate me! Thank you guys! I go on holiday now, and actually miss the studio. I must try to remember some drawing materials every holiday break.
Next blog post (due 15th March), I shall go into more depth about how I keep myself motivated day-to-day as an artist. I hope you will be able to take some tips from that, and that it will open up the discussion between artists suggesting more ways on How to be a Motivated Artist.
In the meantime, whether you’re an artist, teacher, accountant, tree surgeon, nurse, parent, construction worker, computer fixer (sorry guys, you rescue me many times but I still don’t know what to call you), adventurer, traveller, a motivated bucket-list-ticker, or whatever, tell us what keeps you motivated. I’d love to know; often it is interesting and can also be inspiring.
P.S. I do still teach some of the regular stuff occasionally to a couple of my favourite local schools, however this is mostly just because I enjoy it and it breaks my time of art, art, art up quite nicely. My students know that I love art, but I also love to teach Maths, and I’m not ready to quite let that go. Perhaps I never will completely.