I was talking the other day with a friend of mine about the artistic process; when and why does it start and end? This was especially important because she´s finishing her first book in a trilogy series. She was telling me that she is not looking for recognition or for people to like her work, she’s doing it for herself. I asked her if she was doing it for herself, then why publish it with either an independent opportunity or with someone else. In the end, she’s is convinced she´s doing it for herself. She answered me with the whole artistic process timing, referring me to the last step of it being to share it with people and closing the cycle by doing so.
In my own very opinion, if someone is doing something solely for oneself, the sharing to the world is not a necessary step. I’ve seen people doing amazing things in painting and writing and not sharing it with anybody. You only know about it because you know that person and you ask to see the work in question. Otherwise it goes unnoticed because that’s the way it´s meant to.
These two examples made me wonder about the motivation behind any kind of work, either if you consider it creative or not. (I think every work requires some degree of creativity but´s that a topic for another post) Sometimes the motivation is obvious, you need a job to get money to pay the rent. Motivation is simple and easy, it can be to get you out of bed, well, for most people anyways. What thrives us and motivates us in more general aspects of our lives are very straight forward with no side notes or something special about it, you just need things.
Need. This word that came up often when I was thinking about motivation and realizing that motivations are fuelled by something we need. We all need something that might be right in front of us, like the need for money or food or care. Sometimes in creative and artistic works, the use of the word need is forbidden and restricted to the selfish and egocentric people. I think it is wrong to avoid the fact that we need something to be for us in any kind of activity we are doing or want to do.
No matter which path we choose to take, to share it with the world or keep it in a safe at home, there is the fact that we need to get something that creates a sense of wellness to keep us going. Realizing this is the first step and I would recommend being truly honest with yourself and accepting that you need to get “whatever” you find inside you out. This needs to become the essence of what will fuel your motivation.
Finding what we truly and honestly need, about any project we are about to venture into, will help us by focusing on ways to obtain it. Either with the help of a daily job, being an entrepreneur as an independent worker, creating a personal project or maybe developing some artistic work, we fuel our needs. There is nothing wrong with being honest on what we look to obtain, especially if it is something creative or artistic, that’s the motivation we need. Let´s say, with my friend’s example; her true need is to share it with the world to finish her own artistic cycle of her writing. At this point, the motivation she need goes directly into that, the mere act of sharing it without looking for some feedback whatsoever. She wants to share it without worrying if people like it or not.
It´s perfectly fine to accept that we need some encouragement and the usual “palm in the back” to keep going. Sometimes people mistake this with motivation and it´s not the same thing. I agree, when people like our stuff and we receive encouraging comments or critiques, we feel fine and we think we are achieving something. On the other side, when we receive bad comments or critiques that make us feel down, we feel this lack of motivation. I can tell you it’s because we confuse what we need to obtain, it all depends on being honest and true on what we really want to achieve.
How creative or highly motivated we can get, depends totally and absolutely on the satisfaction of obtaining what we are looking for. If you are doing something for the “likes” then work for the likes and accept you want that. The reason why you want those likes is a whole different story. If you are doing something to satisfy a necessity, then you work for that and that´s going to be your motivation. If you want your hobby to become your business, then you are already doing something you love and receiving that satisfaction. If it´s a hobby then supposedly the mere fact of doing it it´s the reward, right. So, venturing into starting a business with your hobby only requires adding the other “need”, to make money. Doing business with the things you love can be very tricky if we don’t mix the motivations of each individual thing.
The business is business and the hobby is the hobby, simple as that. If people buy a product or service from you based on something you love to do, you are obtaining the satisfaction of both separate needs. The motivation to do something resides in oneself. If you love what you do and you are making a business out of it because you need money or maybe want a little extra, remember that in every action there´s an opposite reaction. In everything we do we have something we need, and there is where your motivation lies.
We don´t need to go into a spiritual search to find what motivates us. One does not need to be doing some rituals to ignite the creativity and fuse the light of inspiration. What we need we already know, it´s a matter of digging deep into what brings us a sense of satisfaction by doing what we love. I really don´t think there is anything wrong with painting, writing or even knitting and saying that we want people to like our stuff. It´s a very valid and honest way of looking at one’s own work. I have one thing that works for me and I hope it could work for you also, and this is it: whatever kind of project you do, first you must remove from your mind the uncertainty of “would someone like this?” You must take that of your head and instead realize that whatever you are doing there is someone else out there who will like it. Maybe, while you are doing what you love that one person already likes what you do and is just waiting for you to share it. Even if your purpose is to keep it to yourself, then already one person likes what you do and that is YOU.
Who’s Leo Bojalil?
“So far, I’m a human with a very imaginative mind, huge and demanding imagination that has a great sense of curiosity and thirst for stuff that amaze…I’m a Graphic Designer and Illustrator that has been immersed in the fiction writing world with some incursions in the Entrepreneur environments.”
Some say every mind is a different world, I say: – Every mind is a different UNIVERSE.