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Hit a wall in your studies? Or maybe you’re suffering from a creative slump? Don’t worry – it happens to the best of us!
Let’s go through some of the reasons you might be feeling that way, as well as some great ways to boost your motivation and get your head back in the game!
1) Think back to why you started learning to draw
This is a big one! Whenever you fid yourself in a slump, try to think back to why you started drawing in the first place. Maybe re-watch that one anime that first made you want to become an artist yourself, or look back over some of your old work, trying to remember how you felt when drawing it. Not only is this a good way to remember why you fell in love with anime art, you’ll also be able to see how much you’ve progressed over the course of your studies!
2) Don’t be discouraged by artists “better” than you!
Have you ever looked at another artist’s work, and instead of feeling motivated, instead felt hopeless? “I can never reach a level this good….”
Don’t think like that! Instead, praise yourself for being able to recognise other artists’ talent. This means you have a good eye for art, and will be better at critiquing and improving your own work too!
3) Incorporate your hobbies into your studies
And try to make new hobbies that compliment your art studies!
If you’re feeling a lack of motivation, or find yourself straying away from art to other hobbies, you should think about how you can incorporate those hobbies into your art studies to make them more interesting.
For example, if you’ve found yourself addicted to a new Netfix series, try drawing one of your favourite characters from the series in anime style! This way you can use the passion from your new hobby to reignite your passion for art!
If you are looking for a new game to play, try looking for one with an art style that you enjoy – this way, you’re more likely to feel motivated to draw some of the characters and elements from the game.
4) Minimise distractions
Keeping your phone on mute, and not opening social media while you study might seem obvious, but it is an important factor! If you find yourself tempted to touch your phone every few minutes, it might be a sign that your need a break. Try giving yourself a full 5 or 10 minutes to browse your social media, return some messages or watch a video. Set an alarm to make sure you don’t lose track of time, and then once the allotted time is over, turn your phone off (or even put it in another room) for an hour or so while you study without distractions.
And it’s not just phones and social media that can be distracting! Ever find yourself jumping between projects, and never quite finishing a full piece? This is a problem too – you should aim to finish every single piece of art that you start on. Seeing every piece through to the end will force you to confront areas you are not comfortable with, which is excellent practice. Don’t skip from unfinished piece to unfinished piece, because this will allow you to avoid hard areas and only draw the parts you’re already comfortable with.
5) Find yourself a “rival”
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you start any fights, or challenge anyone to a manga duel! In fact, it’s probably best that you don’t let this person know they’re your secret “study rival”.
Just find someone (or several people) of a similar level to you, either in the same class as you, or online. Watch their progress, and use it as a yardstick to measure your own progress.
Especially for more competitive students, this can be a really effective method of keeping motivated! You could turn it into a secret game, where you refuse to let yourself be outdone by your manga rival. You’ll feel proud if you progress at the same level or faster as them, and if they start getting better it will spur you on!
Of course, don’t get too wrapped up in this rivalry to the point that it frustrates or upsets you. Just think of it as a fun game!
6) Keep your final goal in mind
“Manifesting” has become a popular meme over the past few years – the idea being that if you want something and imagine something hard enough, it will become real. Whilst this is often used with farfetched ideas as a joke, when it comes to studies, “manifesting” really does work! Keep your final goal in mind, and take the time to really imagine what life would be like for you when you achieve it. Write your short-term and long-term goals on a board or poster and hang them in your room. You could even make inspirational mood boards featuring art you love (both your own work and other artists’). Place these somewhere where you’ll see them every day, so that you can always keep that final goal in mind!
7) Take breaks when you need to, and reward your hard work
Be good to yourself! You’re doing great! Set small, regular goals, and reward these goals when you complete them.
If you’ve had a busy day at school or work, even just sitting down for 15 or 20 minutes and sketching is a huge achievement! Praise and reward yourself for keeping up with your studies, even if it’s just a short session.
Don’t force yourself to draw for hours on end when you’re too tired or really not feeling it. This will only give you more negative associations with art and studying, which in turn will cause your motivation to drop even more. Not to mention the fact that practicing while distracted or tired is much less effective.
Try out all the tips above to raise that motivation, and get you in a positive frame of mind before you start with your studies! And remember, short, regular study sessions are the key to making steady progress!
Hopefully these tips will help you keep motivated, and keep your passion for art alive even when studying gets tough! Our teachers are always there for you at Anime Art Academy, so be sure to check out the lessons, and drop us a comment whenever you need advice or a pep talk!