How do you stay motivated after art school?

“How do you keep focused and motivated to make work after art school? I’ve recently finished art school and I’ve found it really difficult to keep striving towards something that doesn’t really exist. I’m working on a local art magazine and running a pop up gallery currently, but my own work is suffering. Any tips on how to stay active?”

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Deepti Menon

Teaching Assistant
Filmmaker & Animator

Clara Lieu

Art Prof & Partner

Casey Roonan

Teaching Assistant
Illustrator & Comics Artist

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3 responses on "Staying Motivated"

  1. Profile photo of Annie Irwin

    I definitely agree! I find too that sometimes working on many things simultaneously can influence how you approach your ideas across projects. Finding things, objects, and places that inspire you is also a wonderful way to stay motivated. I am a big fan of taking walks to try and get back in the groove. Giving your mind space to think can be exactly what is necessary to stay motivated!

  2. Profile photo of Alexander Rowe

    Great advice! One of my best friends is a writer, and we talk all the time about how you stay motivated. For both of us we have to just start in the morning, or it never happens. We also found out that we worked better when we were busy, because we were afraid of not making work! When I have a few days off, I don’t make as much work as when I have to balance my art with another job. You have to “get the fear” as an old friend would say!

    • Profile photo of Clara Lieu

      This is so true that being busy actually makes you much more productive! You would think it would be the opposite, that the fewer tasks that you have to do the more productive you would be, but I’ve actually found that it’s the total opposite. When I have the pressure of so many things going on, it’s like you don’t have the time to question or think too much about what you’re doing, which is a good thing! Sometimes when I have “too much” time to think about a project I end up wasting a lot of time just agonizing over aspects of the project that really don’t deserve that level of attention.

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