Nearly everyone loves to look at a good painting. Very few actually enjoy the process of making one.

As artists, our love of the craft should be focused more on the process than the end result. I love making pretty pictures as much as the next guy, but it’s not the results that drive me. It’s the process. Sitting there throwing pixels or paint around—that’s why I do this. If, at the end of the day, I’ve got something nice to look at then that’s great. But even the worst day of painting is still great because I’ve been doing what I love.

When artists focus all of their attention on the end product they often struggle with motivation. So they ask how to get motivated to practice. They groan and complain about all the practice. About the long hours. About the countless studies. They constantly wonder how long it’s going to take to get good. They enjoy art. They don’t enjoy making art.

If you’re going to become successful at art, you need to love making art. Thankfully, this is a love that can grow over time. I’m not the sort of artist that can’t go a day without painting. Never have been. There are plenty of artists like that, and I’m honestly a bit jealous of them. But I’ve found that if I almost force myself to work on a regular basis I start to become more dependent on it. The more time I spend on it, the more I love it. I just need to push myself in the right direction. Maybe you do too.

Always do the work you love to do.

all posts

2010 Books Every Artist Must Read (that have nothing to do with making art)
20What failure looks like
20Minimum Wage Artists

26Don’t go to art school
6Review of the Yiynova MSP19U tablet monitor
1It’s just piracy

30Stop Overthinking It
25Fake it
24Find more time
5Remove negativity
3Stop waiting for inspiration
2Start often, finish well
27Do Impossible Things
14Do one thing
21A year, a month, and a day
6Consume, Create, Recharge
14Love the Process
7It’s Dangerous To Go Alone

8When in doubt, return to the basics
25I Hate Your Portfolio
24Noah’s 2-Step Program to Being an Awesome Professional Artist
15How to be an Artist Without Going to Art School
308 Great Anatomy Books for Artists
287 Things I Hated About Art School
277 Things I Loved About Art School
23Stop Whining, Start Working
1510 Books Every Artist Must Read