Thursday, July 2

15 Ways to Motivate Your Art Mojo During the Summer

Today’s Image

I've used Today's Image before, but it fits today's blog, so I decided to re-use it until I get motivated. The summer doldrums and heat have set in, at least in my corner of the northern hemisphere. At this time of the year, I become a little lethargic and need motivation to keep the old art Mojo and artistic juices flowing.

I’m assuming this happens to you and all artists some of the time. If not, count yourself as one of the lucky ones.

When this happens, I do one or more of the following things:

1. List everything I’ve always wanted to paint someday (even if it’s only a mental list), and then tell myself, “this is the day,” and see what happens.

2. Pull out my set of pastels because I think I really like to paint with pastels, only it’s not an easy medium to quickly become good at, so I just stare at all the nice colors until I get tired of doing that.

3. Get the book, The Impressionists, down from my art bookshelf and find a nice cool spot to casually look at all the beautiful paintings.

4. Following on to no. 3, pretend I’m Claude Monet and think what it must have been like to invent “impressionism” and to be able to paint like that.

5. Mix as many colors as I can with watercolors or acrylics using only cadmium red medium, cadmium yellow medium, and ultramarine.

6. Draw my hand; if you’ve taken anatomy for artists, it will re-new your skills, and if you haven’t it can be a catalyst to do so.

7. Go to an art museum; it doesn’t matter if it’s contemporary or fine art or whatever, just go there to get some inspiration.

8. Re-organize my art studio bin again

9. Go physically to my favorite art supply store and stroll up and down the aisles.

10. Same as no. 9, except I do it online at Cheap Joe’s, Daniel Smith, etc.

11. A big time-waster, but while I'm online anyway search for an art-y thing that interests me, such as gouache, Edward Hopper, Cubism, encaustic, Conte crayons or whatever; you’ll find more than you ever wanted to know about any of them, but it will pass the time until you feel like drawing or painting again.

12. Figure out what my next three motifs will be; this will either motivate you or have the unintended opposite effect.

13. Pretend how I would have painted my last painting in the abstract style.

14. Explain to anyone who will listen long enough, why I'm drawing and painting.

15. Finally, I do nothing – this works for a while, then I see that it’s not solving anything, but by then I've forgotten what the problem was.

Happy artistic summer.



  1. Some good ideas here. Thanks!

    Stacy Alexander
    AKA "ARTISTstacy" on Twitter

  2. Funny list! I especially like number two, I do that a lot!

  3. I do that with my colored pencils, too, although they're much less intimidating than pastels.

  4. I, too, love to look at books to get inspiration. The library has come in real handy for that purpose. Thanks for the ideas!