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Art is a two step process.  Step 1: Inspiration. Step 2: Creation.  Sure, there’s more to it.  A lot more. Each of my over simplified steps contain a number of sub steps. I don’t like sub steps. Research, refinement, structure, appeal…ughh. All that stuff sounds like a lot of work. This work saps the motivation from the moment of inspiration preventing the act of creation from happening. That’s a problem.

The problem of creation’s process sapping inspiration’s motivation is less pronounced when new to an art medium.  If you don’t know all the steps you can’t dread any of them.  On the other hand, when you’ve sculpted hundreds of works, you know the process so well that you can almost visualize the entire process.  That’s where the actual problem occurs.  The feedback loop your brain needs to invest in creation has already been realized in your imagination, leaving little reason to go through the actual work.

How is this problem combated. Lot’s of ways. Some are good, some aren’t so good.  Money plays a role for many artists, especially those who are employed by a studio or enjoy a stream of commissions. I prefer to be motivated by a reversal of thought. Instead of thinking what the art will do for me, I think about what I am contributing to the craft.  Am I adding anything new or personal to the conversation of craft.  When you invest in the craft, there is opportunity at every sub step to add a little bit of yourself.

In that way, every part of the creative process can be an act of inspiration.  This whole post could have been summed up by a comment I hear my daughter say after many of her drawing sessions. “Dad, I learned a new way to do eyes.”

Aaron Robbins

Greetings! I'm Aaron Robbins, or one of them anyway. I write interactive fiction for adventurers of all ages. Hear me compete against my daughter in first reads of Choose Your Own Adventure style books on the podcast Pages of Peril.