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What gives you the motivation to draw?


Love is the message
As the title suggest, what motivates you as artists to constantly crank out new drawings on a daily basis? Do you find motivation in anything in particular? Also, while we're at it, why do you post your drawings online if you do? Is it for the critique you can get almost instantly or just to flatter your ego? Or something else entirely?

For me, it's nothing but the thought that if I practice hard enough I'll eventually get better, and to be frank it's not working very well. Whenever I start drawing something, it ends up looking like shit and my motivation goes down the drain. And anyway when I think I could draw something, the usually thought it will look like crap as usual gets to me and I'll give up before even lifting my pen. And that's if I even know what to draw, and that doesn't happen often.


Well the question of what gets me motivated isn't all that easy... I guess its the want to be a better artist. Sometimes I will draw people to express feelings, just draw to practice and get better, maybe draw something to understand what I'm seeing/thinking. Sometimes its just random and spontaneous. I tend to just put my pencil on paper and start drawing a basic head position and work from there.

Inspiration comes from different places for me but its more my want to understand the basic figure of people makes me want to draw people. I keep pushing there and work towards it.

I can't honestly say that I draw every day and pump out drawings like crazy. I get into slumps. Some that take days others that take months to get back into the swing of things.

I'll be honest when I put stuff up its mainly to flatter my ego more than anything else. I rarely get a "good job" any other way, I'm more or less ignored otherwise so its something that I can get people's attention (though that is rare). I have a few people I ask about opinions and critiquing and they are really reliable but I'm always up for more critiquing its just I like my critiques to be blunt and to the point.

Anyway getting to the topic at hand. It is true the more you try the more you will get better at it even if it doesn't seem that way. Art is like any other skill. Anyone can learn the basics and understand the more complex things its just weather they have the drive and determination to get there. When you are talking about art the term "better" is more of a personal question than a fact because art is so broad. We all have our own opinions on what is "good" and what is "bad".

Sometimes I find myself needing a pick me up for when I start getting annoyed that my art is not getting "better". Sometimes its a slow process getting better and that's something you have to think about. In a way its like trying to lose weight. People usually stop because they don't see the results quick enough and I'm no better. That really doesn't solve problems it just adds to it.

When I start getting down on my lack of improving in my mind I look at stuff of when I just started. It makes me laugh at how bad I was back then and also amazed of how much I had progressed as an artist. When that doesn't work I look at other artists and think "If I keep going I can get to be as good as this person is now". Sometimes even studying an artist's technique may give you an idea of how to improve your own.

Practice, study, experiment, learn. This I find is the best way to grow as an artist.

Arshes Nei

Masticates in Public
I draw because I love doing it. Been busy where I can't draw as often, but I make time for it. It's like asking someone why they keep playing a video game. Why do they keep listening to music? It's part of my routine.

The reason people quit at it? Most expect instant results. The other enjoy the challenge.


A boner, sometimes drugs
but im under no real illusions
i totally suck for exactly these reasons


Kitsune of the PC Master Race
I get random inescapable urges to draw. Sometimes it's a really lucid picture in my head, sometimes I just wanna try something new, and sometimes it's completely random. I wish I knew how to harness it better, since it feels like trying to run waist-deep in molasses sometimes when it comes to motivation... Especially for the time investment. But with time that should change. I've kept at it on and off for a while, and while I'm not a huge fan of my own work and I actually recently had a bit of a breakdown (negligibly related) and tore down my FA gallery, I've always found a way to bounce back into it again.

Van Ishikawa

I find its much easier to draw something if its a request/commission: they've already told me what needs to be drawn, and I'm motivated by the thought of making them happy and producing something they'll enjoy. The rough ones are when you feel like drawing, grab a blank piece of paper, and just stare at it hoping you think of something. Those are the worst...I often don't have a clear idea, so I draw and hope it just kinda works out in the end, but it never does. In those cases, I look for ideas with personal/emotional attachments...for example, recently I wanted to do some gift art for a friend who had been dealing with some rough stuff lately. I had a couple attempts that were fairly generic in pose/composition and I hated all of them. Then I went a little risky and made it much more emotional, and got a clear image in my head showing emotion, pain, and vulnerability. I had the sketch done before I knew what hit me and he loved the piece :)

My motivation to color is that I often find it a very soothing activity, at least once the flat colors are in and cleaned up. Though my shading style is pretty fast and loose, and is the one part where I don't become OCD over every little error. My desire to ink my sketches comes from wanting to have something to color when I want :p


Is not amused...
As for motivation for me...
*idea comes in* OMG I should try drawing that!
Crap -.- Looks terrible *crumples and throws*
Let's try again!
Still looks terrible >.< *crumples and throws at wall*
Maybe this will look better if I try this...
*throws entire book at wall and gives up*

Nah jk, but as for real motivation, It's the fact that there are so many other good artists out there already, and I want to catch up with them and eventually be AS good as them. I've seen incredible works in anthropomorphic artwork and I want to be able to make things that are similar.


Miss Priss
motivation comes from distraction for me. The more distractions the better. Like if i want to draw something really good, i start an argument, while reading a book and blasting some crappy music


Mr. Red Flag
It's just something I can't escape. I've tried going the other routes, tried being a vet for crap's sake, and drawing/writing are really the only things that stick out in my mind that are just...i dunno, what I do. That and badminton. I loves me some competitive badminton. It's a part of who I am, and honestly, i couldn't be happier.

But the reason i draw as...often as I do, is that if i'm not working on commissions, I don't eat. It's amaaaazing what that does for your motivation.
I make art on a daily basis, not because I want attention. The person who does it purely for that isn't going to get to far. The people I see get far are the people who are doing it for a sense of accomplishment,are competitive, and are having fun doing it. If you're doing it just to make something that looks good.. its no wonder you're getting frustrated and wanting to give up. You need to do it cause its enjoyable - that you take every improvement in stride and get your high off the sense of accomplishment however small it is. If you feel you're going in circles then perhaps its cause you're information pool is to small. Try buying some books that have anatomy in it such as muscle structure and talk about techniques of approach. You can hypothetically learn by ' just observation', but why relearn the wheel when you don't have to ? My best jumps in improvement came from learning the musculature and bone structure of humans and animals. If you just need motivation in general? I Just look through art of those that are better then me and try to get ideas.

Art book authors i found the most useful if you do buy books, Andrew Loomis and Jack Hamm. Alot of people like Bridgman but his books lacks much explanation and just a ton of example drawings.

Anyway long story short, relax and just have fun with it. Don't worry if it looks good, cause also - not all art that's successful is due to the technical detail. A -lot - has to do with story and emotion. My art for example I used to focus on technical stuff, and I didn't get real recognition until I applied it and stopped worrying about things being perfect.


Love is the message
Art book authors i found the most useful if you do buy books, Andrew Loomis and Jack Hamm. Alot of people like Bridgman but his books lacks much explanation and just a ton of example drawings.

I've been told that too, that reading art books can really help, but all we got here are mostly the "learn manga in x days" kinds and I almost got ripped off trying to buy "Figures in action" by Loomis on eBay. Didn't get it, had to contact paypal to get my money back. And I don't even know what he's talking about in it.

Do you have any recommendations for one that has trouble drawing figures with correct proportions and angles?


I tend to draw just to vent emotion or put down an image in my mind, not much more than that. If I randomly think of a pose/situation that I like, I'll draw it. Or sometimes I just feel like drawing out of boredom, or have a request/trade/commission to do, and have to force myself to think of something appealing to draw.
Anddd I'll go ahead and be honest and say I pretty much post most of my work for ego wank. I do love critique too but I rarely get any even if I ask, except for really vague "this part looks weird" kind of critique sometimes.


I guess there's lots of reasons and motivation behind why I draw. Watching lots of cartoons helped out of course, I think Anime in particular kind of got me even more interested in drawing. And with that I went through that awkward "Anime Style" phase in art, which I've successfully abandoned in favor of a more original style.

Video games give me some motivation, I want to eventually get into that business and playing new games and exploring them gives me the feeling of "I want to do something like this". Music helps out a lot sometimes, hearing a certain track will often give me an image of something in relation to what I'm hearing and helps me put it down on paper. I think my biggest motivator is a really close online friend, we've known each other for a few years and her art is amazing, looking at her stuff and her telling me that she really respects my art gives me a lot of the push I need to crank out drawings.

So I guess it's a culmination of all sorts of factors I suppose.


My drawing inspiration is usually... i don't know, actually XD I'll just start doodling and it'll spew onto paper or a Sai window...

I post it online... i don't know why. I don't post as much because i see no point. I guess the few i do post is because i want people to see i'm okay at it. And maybe make friends. I dunno o.o.


Music tends to be my motivation. Sometimes a catchy tune sends me wondering what kind of crazy ideas I can make out of it...or lyrics to a sad song will hit me in such a way that I want to put my own twist on it and draw a visual version of it. :3

Sometimes it's just the thought of making another person happy with drawing them/putting an inside joke into pictorial format..Yeah, I've got some pretty simple motivations tbh. lol

I post online for a bit of ego stroke/self confidence boost (hey i'm honest at least :p ) and to try and improve more :3 If someone comments on my stuff saying it's cute, when I intended it to be cute...then score! If I don't get the point across right, then I want that to be noticed! I wanna get better afterall :p


I draw because I enjoy it, but inspiration comes in many forms, music, something I've seen, pets, other artists, conversations etc.

I post online because it allow me to be more active in the art communities that I have learnt a lot from, so in a way it allows me to improve and in fact encourages me to improve, especially when I get a positive comment from an artist I admire. Not because of the attention they're giving me, but because it's an artist I look up to, the compliment holds more weight if the people liking it are people I see as being better than me.


I draw because I love doing it. Been busy where I can't draw as often, but I make time for it. It's like asking someone why they keep playing a video game. Why do they keep listening to music? It's part of my routine.

The reason people quit at it? Most expect instant results. The other enjoy the challenge.

I couldn't agree more. If you're not into art for the love, the quality will suffer a lot, I think. It's okay to make some of your stuff commercial, but you often shine at what you do for yourself, on your terms, or from your imagination.

In short, I am motivated to draw the most when I am bored or stressed.

As far as where isnpiration comes from? Well, I've got a rather vivid imagination, and sometimes if I get to listen to more than 10 minutes of music or more, I can come up with ideas left and right-- almost like my mind is writing a music video for that particular song or something.

Only recently have I got any joy in showing off what I create though, so that may change. :D
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Fay V

Lost to this world
A lot of things. Mostly I have things in my head and they need to come out, so I draw them. It depends on my mood, sometimes i do something for competition, curiosity, because a friend asked...but mostly just there's something in me that says "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DRAW!"

I will admit the attention has helped. positive comments make my day and make me feel nice. positive feedback is helpful but i continue despite that. mostly with posting online I have met fantastic artists that are extremely helpful and are very fun to talk to. So i guess I post online to be part of the community


Fresh Prince of FAF
Its like being horny, except with creative juices instead of cum.

Fenrir Lupus

Politically incorrect.
The reason people quit at it? Most expect instant results. The other enjoy the challenge.
Funny, i've never really enjoyed the challenge, but I keep coming back to it to try and figure out what i'm doing wrong... and I never do... maybe some day after I move out, i'll buy a bunch of paper... or maybe an iPad... I can use photoshop, but only for editing photos so far...