By far the biggest hurdle and hardship I hear when it comes to creative endeavors is about getting started and staying motivated. The not-so-fun fact that I learned when I was toying with the idea of becoming a surface pattern designer is this: it's not going to be easy. In fact, it's probably going to be one of the hardest things I do in my entire life. But realizing this actually helped me once I embraced it. This realization pushed me to answer another hard question: do I love it that much? When the answer was undoubtedly YES, I knew there was only one thing to do. Put my head down and get to work.
It will take sacrifice, major brain power, loads of time, weekends spent working, courage, support from family and financial sacrifice and commitment. Realizing all of this just made me dig my heels in deeper. If you feel the same way, then let's go!
The best way to get started is simply that. You must start.
Dedicate a specified amount of time every single day to learning and following your creative dream (this works no matter WHAT the goal!). Maybe it's 15 minutes, perhaps it's 4 hours. Some days will solely be spent researching where to begin or what your next step will be. Google will become your best friend! Don't fret about what you'll be doing the next week, month or even year. If you dig deep TODAY, the answers will come. You will always know your next step. It just unfolds that way.
Now how to stay motivated is an entirely different subject. If you're like me, the times that I feel the least motivated is when I've been looking around too much. Seeing everyone else's beautiful work, their new opportunities, their major successes. It makes me feel defeated and discouraged. The thing is, there will always be people ahead of you, no matter how far along you get in your journey. So my best advice when you're feeling unmotivated is to stop looking around. Turn inwards again, focus on your work at hand. Grow a deep love for yourself and where you are right now. Know that there's a reason for you at your current point, and when you've reaching the next heights new opportunities will meet you there.
If you're just having an off day and feeling the funk, give yourself some grace. Leave your work for the time being and shift things up a bit. Go outside, take a trip, try a new artwork medium. Get back to the bones of what you love. Make something because you want to, not because you have to. Those are the things that usually get my juices flowing again.
Everyone is different so I want to know - when you're working towards a new goal, how do you get started and stay motivated?