What Moves You Forward? Internal vs. External Motivation [91]

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This week, we’re discussing the ways in which we motivate ourselves and move our work forward. Sometimes that comes from external input such as workshops, groups and one-on-one coaching. Sometimes we find the inspiration within ourselves.

In this episode, we share our experiences of workshops, discuss how we choose the right teachers, and make suggestions on how you might evaluate a course before signing up.  

Questions to ask about art workshops include:

  • whether you prefer learning in a group
  • will this cover what you next need or want to learn
  • how much instruction you want (vs exploring on your own)
  • do you enjoy listening to the person leading the workshop?

Or perhaps the answer is yours to explore?

Alice makes the point that when we are drawn towards a specific workshop, it can often be a sign that we should explore that topic on our own. Often it’s worth asking whether you can teach yourself what you need to know, either from online videos, books, or just through practicing in your studio.

We also discuss finding the motivation internally – how can you ensure that you feel good about your work so that you want to go into your studio? How can you find the motivation to show up regularly? And how can you create the right emotional state for yourself so that you can move your art forward? 


Trust by Jonathan Hall https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mb2k

Ghosts – BBC –https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/m00049t9/ghosts

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“Monkeys Spinning Monkeys” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

1 reply
  1. Jane Brannigan
    Jane Brannigan says:

    HI Louise and Alice

    Another thought provoking discussion thank you.

    Louise on sleep, agree with Alice a hot bath and maybe put some lavender essential oil with the carrier oil, or epson lavender salts in the bath.
    Maybe get a fan if your room is too hot stay off social media late as the blue light tricks our body clock rhythm into thinking its day time.
    Lavender on your pillow helps me sleep well too.

    Speaking on the subject of having to like the tutor to join a class , this is so true!.

    Two years ago I found a fabulous venue/Arts Centre not too far from where I live and was excited to see printmaking drop in classes. The first class I I arrived ten minutes early and the tutor told me off repeating and sighing how very early I was, tut, tut, far too early!!
    She seemed rattled that I had loose ideas rather than fixed and that I was happy experimenting, I used my own printing inks and paper as could not stand her standing over me and felt so limited using her materials that were supposed to be included in the price. As she only worked in black and white the colours were inked over in a frosty tube so you could not identify what colours you were using and mostly dried out and empty.

    The tutor had a military presence, i found her energy terrifying and after a few classes I had to call it a day. Such a shame as such a beautiful building. The prints I produced in her class were pretty dark to say the least though one was quite powerful.

    Previously I have been lucky and had some great tutors and I took it for granted that all artists who taught were cool, after this experience I would not part with my time or money without researching or getting an idea about the tutor.

    Thankfully I felt a good connection to you throughout the FYJ taster class and knew I could develop my painting skills and enjoy myself at the same time with your fabulous painting and teaching skills. The journey continues and I am learning so much and have so much more to learn.


    and Stop skimming on your sleep!

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