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Unmotivated Art: 10 Ideas

Sometimes I'm just plain unmotivated. It's been that kind of summer so far. Don't get me wrong, I've been doing stuff - reading, walking, driving the kids to swim lessons. I simply haven't been making that much art. I'm going to contribute this art laziness to a really hectic spring and, in general, a kooky crazy year overall. It was all so busy and at times overwhelming that I made it to the end of the school year (art teacher by day) and took an art break of sorts.


But when you work as an artist, it feels wrong to not make at least a little something everyday - even when I'm unmotivated. Here are my10 simple ideas for making art when you really don't feel motivated to make art. And these are good for every artist at every level from starting out to expert - we all need some easy art days sometimes.


1. Basic shapes: Do exactly this: draw basic shapes such as squares, circles, and triangles. Layer them on top of each other, color them in, use solid lines or dotted lines. Just. Make. Shapes.

2. Watch paint dry: I prefer watercolor for this. Use lots of water and varying amounts of paint. Slop it on your paper and watch how it mixes as it dries. Relaxing and free-ing. Not a care in the world about what it looks like in the end. Be curious.

3. Mix your medias: Watercolor then color pencil. Ink followed by gouache. Collage and then acrylic. All of them at once. Mix medias and make a mess.

4. Faces: Realistic or cartoony. Happy or sad. Basic or extra. Draw your own mood or the one you're reaching for.

5. Plants: You can't really do plants "wrong." (In my opinion you can't really do art "wrong," but that's a story for another day). Make up your own plants or draw what you see out the window.

6. Outfit of the day: What are you wearing? Now draw it.

7. Motivational quote: Yours or someone else's.

8. Use glitter: Needs no explanation. Any type of glitter and any type of material. (My house is a loose glitter free zone, so I prefer the kinds of glitter that exist in a glue or paint format. Less mess. But you do you).

9. Let the kids help: Let them scribble and then turn their scribbles into something else. Or just color them in like they made you a coloring page. Better yet, ask them to make you a coloring page and then you color it in. What fun!

10. Draw what's on your counter: Leave a breakfast mess and then draw it. Personally, I love to draw food labels and coffee cups. No need to think too much; draw what you see.

Basically, when you are unmotivated for art you want something that doesn't require much planning or brainpower. This list should take the thinking out and allow you to simply make some stuff. Process over product as I always say. Have fun!


And that's all the motivation I have for this blog post. Back to my summer reading.

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