Reinspire Yourself: The Art Of Being An Artist

How do you keep creating day after day? When dry spells come what do you do? Do you do nothing, just waiting for lightning to strike? Drink a lot of caffeine? Listen to music? What is the art of being an artist?



There is a difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation can take the form of financial need or, maybe, you're friend simply wants a portrait. Motivation is the need, inspiration is the want. If you indeed want to do the work, want to be inspired, then you have the need, the motivation, already. But you can have drive to create art and still not see a direction in which to go.

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The Art Of Being An Artist

Self Portrait by Anna Feldhusen 1899

There are very practical things the artist can do to help with getting inspired:

  • cleaning up your studio
  • acquiring new tools
  • studying nature and exploring new places
  • looking at great works of art

Below I offer The Four R's--a few deeper considerations for making yourself available for inspiration.

  • Renew: make yourself available for inspiration by removing barriers—depression, anxiety--anything that creates dysfunction.
  • Reclaim: live your life boldly and unashamedly. A free heart will open your mind.
  • Revere: dream your dreams. Meditate on the artist you want to be, where you want your art to take you, and the importance of your journey.
  • Replenish: fill your head with the new--art, places, people. Listen to what artists themselves (not the critics), have to say in their work and writings.

Take The Poll - How Do *You* Find Inspiration?


Most importantly, the art of being an artist means, you don't wait for inspiration. Work. Work now. Work begets inspiration. The very act of engaging in the process inspires. Live your life as what you want to be. If that is as an artist then be an artist everyday in mind and in action. Regardless of how you feel, do the work now.


MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at mtmcclanahan.com.

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