Discipline is essential. It is the key to getting through the so-called “artist slumps” that one encounters so very often. I try to feed my discipline with daily motivation from other artists around the world and with rigorous sketching routines.
Writing things down helps a lot as well. I have sticky notes all over my computer monitor at times. It has a list of my daily responsibilities as well as motivational quotes I might have picked up along the way and I jot them down to give me the extra kick while working.
I have also made a rule for myself to do at least one life drawing a day regardless of the amount of work I am facing. Not only does this help me loosen up a bit from my commercial work, but it works as somewhat of a refresh button for me. While at times I have music blaring in the background, I have found myself listening to either audio books or spiritual sermons more often lately to help me establish a mental focus as I work and get into the so-called zone.
I believe it is extremely essential to have an artist community that an artist should be part of as well. It is extremely important for me to meet at least once a week with fellow illustrators and either go out sketching or have some discussions related to art, share each other’s new work, talk about clients, share ideas and so forth.
If you look at any of the well known illustrators today: Tomer Hanuka, James Jean, Yuko Shimizu, Sam Weber, Jillian Tamaki, Marcos Chin… and so on. What do they all have in common? (except their success?)… “They all know each other!!!” They are a community. They either went to school together or they hang out on a weekly basis.
The artist community is very essential to an artist’s career.
::Tin Salamunic also writes at http://www.salamunicart.blogspot.com/::