PKYoung Art

Patty Young

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Blog - 1st Quarter 2023

Louis Pasteur's quote "Chance favors the prepared mind" has always served as motivation for me. It reminds me that I'm more likely to be successful in my endeavors if I can be present and prepared when inspiration strikes.

But motivation can wane when facing a challenging task like painting. Lots of times I find I don't really feel like doing the work. It seems too big. Or my belief in myself can be at low ebb.

The question then becomes "what am I to do to move forward?".

When I don't feel like painting, I begin by breaking down the entire process into simple components. This way I can take the small steps that eventually will help me initiate my work. These actions provide me the push I need to get in front of the canvas because they point me in the direction I want to go.

At the most basic of levels, I first change into my painting clothes. This sets the goal for the day. It prepares me for the work ahead and establishes my desired trajectory. Today, I paint.

Next, I open the door to the studio. I break the seal and cross the threshold. Perhaps just seeing my paints and "works in progress" will be enough to get me to pick up a brush.

You might find that other prompts are needed, however. At this point, I have found that cleaning brushes or emptying the trash are the additional types of purposeful tasks that can make me more inclined to work.

I truly believe that showing up is the most important part of the process for any artist and sometimes getting to that point can take some effort. This being the case, I'm glad to report that I've never failed to get to work after going through this set of steps. The painting may be brief, but I have accomplished my goal.

I imagine I'm not alone in my low motivation days. I'm curious about how you motivate yourself to get to work. What has worked for you?

I'd love to hear from you!

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