What’s My Motivation?

I’ve been having some trouble with my mental focus these past few weeks. This a common problem when working on my own projects but it rarely comes up when working for “the man.” I am very productive when working for for someone else but when working for myself, I guess I just don’t respect the boss. When I need some creative Viagra, I usually just look at great artwork on the internet but that backfired on me this time. There is so much fabulous work out there that it leaves me feeling strangely inadequate! Inspiration can be a double-edged sword when it makes me want to throw out everything I’ve done.

Mind you, I am quite capable of chasing my tail without any outside distractions. My personal form of mental blockage is usually a case of having a lot of ideas and not knowing which one to use. I’ve heard this called “analysis paralysis” but I prefer the term “IDEA-rhea”. Too many ideas is as bad as none, sometimes. Convincing myself that what I am making is even worth the effort can be a strange mental game. I’ll draw something I’m very happy with and then after a break for lunch, I come back and hate it. The reverse happens as well; I stumble upon some scribbles I did a day ago and have no idea why I threw them away.

With me, that ridiculous internal chit chat can go ad infinitum… I know that all of this is a tempest in a tea cup but when the tea cup is my skull, the tempest can be exhausting none the less. The artists who I really admire have, in addition to good drawing skills and original ideas, the ability to focus themselves and produce. Self-discipline is an invaluable quality in anyone but it really is essential for people creating things, especially when doing the creation solo…

OK, that’s enough of my whining; gotta go do some drawings. They don’t throw themselves away, you know!

8 thoughts on “What’s My Motivation?”

  1. This happens to me a fair amount. I fall into the same trap of looking for inspiration and then when I look at a bunch of amazing artwork, I’m flooded with a tonne of different directions to go. I stand there and do nothing. Usually after a day, I can calm myself and get the focus back

    Hope you can beat the cycle. Does this mean the mini is not going well?

    • John>> The MINI is going OK. I started one, abandoned it, started another, put that down and now I’m back the one I started on first.


      My goal in this MINI was to try something that I hadn’t tried before, both stylistically and in terms of content. So I went around and around on what that “difference” might be.

      I’ve had it in mind to do a straight (ie: not goofy comedy) epic SCI-FI comic for many years, and I thought a mini might be a good place to experiment, but I couldn’t hit upon a story that I could wrap up in a few pages…

    • Epic Sci-Fi would be cool, but yeah, epic is tough to achieve with a small page count.

      I’m trapped in that same cycle of abandoning and returning to.

  2. You can still plan your epic and for the mini create a short intro for it; like a teaser. Or do a mini focused on one of the main characters.

    Derek T. did this very effectively in his Afterworks 2 story; that character is part of a much larger world he is creating.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  3. yep! for that very reason, sometimes i intentionally go w/o looking at other’s sites for stretches.i find it easier to shut off the internal chatter. i agree, it’s harder when you work for yourself, though. one needs to have inspiration if you’re in your home office.
    “the tea cup is my skull” don’t throw that one away!


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