I feel the happiest when I have a project that I’m continuously working on and I feel the most accomplished when what I’ve completed has had an impact on someone else as well as my personal growth. I’ve been lucky enough to have had creative opportunities through connections and people who have recognized the value in my work. And I’m incredibly thankful to have grown from these experiences. These projects are done during my free time and I find myself devoting full-energy into its completion. That’s how I know I’m passionate about the things that I do.
Between projects though, I sometimes struggle with pushing myself to produce new work, build new skills, or just to maintain productivity. I felt the most pressure from art classes in high school and college when students were required to produce a certain amount of artwork without any given requirements. For some, it’s really easy to create a new sketchbook entry everyday while others pick up a pencil and struggle with blank pages staring back at them (this is me). Sometimes, I’m in the mindset of always wanting to produce finished, shareable work that I stop myself from even starting something if I know it won’t go anywhere. I forget that ideas may start small and develop beautifully over time.
It’s not easy to be continuously inspired, but it is easy to continuously appreciate. I’m the type of person to come across a hand-drawn chalk sign on the side of the street and stop just to stare at it for a bit, not necessarily to read its content (unless it involves a deal on food), but to look at the way that it was drawn and to pick up hints as to how I could recreate my own. And then I would take a picture and add it to a folder on my phone of random signs, patterns, and designs that have struck a chord in my heart in some way.
Scroll through your Instagram feed, Pinterest, or whatever your favorite platform is, and soak up as much as you want. Expose yourself to everything you can and open your mind to learning new things. Ease the pressure to produce and let that motivation grow naturally on its own.