There was a time when you were passionate about drawing.
You were so excited to get your supplies and start learning with so much enthusiasm.
But over time, you’ve lost that passion and that spark.
You don’t understand why and you’re almost panicking because you want to draw, but you just don’t feel like it.
So now, you’re looking for inspiration or tips to help you overcome this problem and get back to drawing again.
In this post, I’ll cover:
- Why drawing feels like a chore sometimes
- How to draw when you don’t feel like it
But before I get into the post, please take a moment to subscribe to my weekly newsletter, where I send all kinds of drawing tutorials, drawing worksheets, and drawing resources like courses and books:
It’s the perfect opportunity to get inspired and be consistent with drawing!
Why do I feel like I don’t want to draw anymore?
Every artist goes through these stages of not wanting to draw.
It’s totally normal and nothing to worry about. Even the best illustrators and artists lose inspiration and don’t feel like drawing. But drawing every day is more to do with discipline than inspiration.
Every successful artist you see online draws even when they don’t feel like drawing.
There are obviously different methods that they use to draw even when they don’t feel like it, and I am covering them below.
Let’s dive in.
How to draw when you don’t feel like it? 13 Reasons to draw right now
1. Consistency is gold
The only way we can get better at drawing is by producing 1000 pieces of garbage.
Nobody draws beautifully right at the beginning.
It takes a lot of effort to go from the starting point to where you want to be.
And the only way to get there is to draw even when you don’t feel like it mercilessly.
So, work on something.
It doesn’t have to be big, just pick up the pencil and draw.
The key to becoming a better artist is to be consistent.
And if you are lacking inspiration, I suggest reading these drawing books.
Just watching other artists create can really inspire you.
I keep these drawing books on my table to inspire me to draw. Here are some I genuinely love flipping through when I am lacking the inspiration to draw:
Reading about how these artists got started and going through their tutorials really makes me want to try it out for myself!
2. Flip through drawing and art magazines
I absolutely love CDQ.
They are my favorite magazines.
CDQ magazines are for hobbyist artists and students who want to draw beautiful characters and get better at drawing professionally. They include:
- Interviews of artists in various fields
- A detailed look at the artist’s process
- Tutorials that really go in-depth into drawing and sketching
- Multiple images of sketches and illustrations in big beautiful prints
You can either get a subscription to one, or you can just buy the previous issues on Amazon. If you buy the older issues on Amazon, you get them for a big discount.
We aren’t always surrounded by art.
And when we don’t have inspiration, it’s difficult for us to muster it to draw.
So, flip through beautiful drawing magazines.
3. Read inspiring stories
I think Disney and Pixar paved the way for drawing.
I have no idea how many people got into drawing and animation just because they grew up watching these beloved movies.
So, when I am usually lacking inspiration, I go through my books and read about how they got started. I also like reading the journeys of people who got into drawing and animation and what their lives are like now.
When I am free, I even go through books by Disney and Pixar.
Reading about how they got started and how they built each movie really inspires me to draw and get my pencils on paper.
I also like watching their documentaries on Disney+.
Here are a few books I recommend reading:
4. Make a plan
Another way to help you draw when you don’t feel like it is to plan in advance what you’ll be drawing.
Ask yourself what you want to draw this week and what you want to get better at.
Maybe you’re learning light and shadows, so you can plan to draw your coffee cup tomorrow or something more complicated like a vase.
Perhaps you’re studying color theory; that way, you can keep your textbook aside or your online course ready so you can breeze through it the next day.
When we plan what to do, we are more motivated to follow through with the plan.
So, instead of wasting time thinking of what to draw, you’ll already have a plan to follow.
This will make you a more organized and self-disciplined artist.
I have a notes app and planner that I use for my blog and my drawing projects – it really helps me stay on top of things!
5. Know your why
Ask yourself why you want to draw.
What is the purpose of your drawing every day?
What are you gaining from this skill?
Maybe there is a certain type of art you want to be able to make.
Maybe there is a certain level of skill you want to possess in the future.
Or there are goals you want to accomplish like:
- Being able to illustrate your own children’s book
- Being able to make a living purely from drawing
- Building your own merchandise business
So, find out your purpose.
This will be your number one reason to draw every day, even when you don’t feel like it.
6. Do a fun project that still involves drawing
There are many times when I don’t feel like working on my illustrating projects.
During this time, I will work on a fun project that is absolutely for my own personal entertainment.
For instance, I’ll make a comic from scratch and share it on Instagram.
It not only makes me happy, but it also brings others joy.
Or, I’ll just make some homemade stickers on Procreate to stick on my planner.
The idea is to work on a cute and happy project for yourself!
Or you can take a month’s sabbatical and work on your own website or a graphic novel.
The ideas are endless if you sit down and think about them.
You are still drawing and you are still creating but you’re doing something entirely different!
So, it’s okay to branch out a little as long as you are still working on that skill.
7. Use Pinterest for inspiration to draw
Whenever I don’t feel like drawing, I open Pinterest.
Create a free Pinterest account and just have multiple boards of images that inspire you.
I like drawing characters, so I save any unique photos and colorful images onto different boards. This helps Pinterest curate a nice bunch of images on my home feed.
And just going through those photos motivates me to draw a new character.
I also like browsing through magazines too!
The idea is to just look at things you like, and then automatically, you’ll feel like drawing something.
8. Learn something new
Whenever you’re tired of drawing, just focus on learning something new.
I usually do this when I cannot muster the strength or willpower to draw.
I just buy an online course and start watching a nice online course on drawing or illustrating.
It really motivates me to pick up pencils and get to work or try out what I just learned.
I like hopping on Domestika and getting an online course.
The best part is that once you buy a course, you own it forever! So you can watch it whenever you’re free and complete it at your own pace.
These are 2 of my favorite courses: Check them out.
1. Drawing female characters in Procreate
This course by Natalia is one of the best courses I’ve taken. She breaks down how to draw beautiful feminine characters in Procreate step by step. You just need drawing software, and you can begin. You can even use Photoshop. Check it out here.
2. Drawing appealing characters with personality
Another beautiful course by Magdalina – this course goes more in-depth with drawing characters and poses and just infusing lovely personalities in them so that your drawings don’t look so stiff and forced. I love how easy this course is for beginners. Check it out here.
9. Stop forcing yourself to draw something you don’t like
Maybe you’re working on a project that you now find boring. Or maybe you’re studying something, and you’re just tired.
Either way, take a break by drawing something different.
Our brain loves challenges.
So, if you’re constantly drawing cars, take a break and draw a field instead.
Or, if you’re always drawing human characters, take a break and draw an animal instead.
Mix it up!
This will help your brain focus on something new while still doing the same activity – drawing.
10. Use different tools
Monotony can decrease that dopamine hit we are so used to.
So, change your tools once in a while just to startle your mind and give it something new to learn.
If you’re usually working with traditional media, pick up your drawing tablet and work on digital art for once.
Or if you’re always drawing digitally, take your Moleskine and try to do a new sketch.
In short, mix it up.
The best way to draw when you don’t feel like it is to try to incorporate new exercises.
This will also help you become a more well-rounded artist, and you start developing expertise in both – traditional and digital art mediums.
11. Use drawing exercises
There are many books you can get that will give you daily drawing exercises.
You can use these books to help you build a daily habit of drawing.
These books will help you not only improve your art but will also help you get into the habit of drawing – this is very important if you want to become a serious artist and make a living from your art.
12. Just do it for 10 minutes
When I was trying to build a habit of exercising, I followed this tip, and it worked like a charm.
I’d get on the treadmill for just 10 minutes every day even if I didn’t feel like exercising.
I told myself, “Just 10 minutes, and I can stop after that if I don’t want to.”
I’d usually finish my 30 minutes on the treadmill even if I intended to get on for just 30 minutes.
We usually have difficulty starting.
But once we’re in the flow, it’s actually easy to keep drawing.
So, today, just pick up your pencil and draw absolutely anything for only 10 minutes.
If, after 10 minutes, you’re still not interested, then take a break – it’s okay.
But try to attempt to draw for just 10 minutes daily.
You can use this hack for just about any habit you are trying to incorporate. I’ve used this for writing, playing the piano, drawing, exercising, you name it! It actually works.
13. Take a break
If you are honestly burned out and just not feeling like it, take a break.
I’ve been drawing since I was 3.
There would be some weeks or months I actually went without touching my art.
I just didn’t feel like it.
But at that time, my career or livelihood didn’t depend on drawing, so it was okay to take such long breaks.
Now, I do draw every day, but it’s mostly for myself and my business, so I genuinely enjoy my work and drawing.
If you’ve tried everything and are still not feeling like drawing, maybe your mind and body are tired.
So, take a break.
And by taking a break, I mean doing something you genuinely feel like doing.
Listen to your heart and mind.
Here are some activities you can try:
- Journal (writing down your thoughts will help you figure out why you’re tired of drawing)
- Play a musical instrument (maybe your brain wants to explore creativity in a different field)
- Read a book (a brilliant way of exercising the mind)
- Take a walk (to clear the mind and get a better perspective)
Doing a different activity will help you relax.
Take it easy and come back to drawing after a while.
Don’t worry. Your passion for drawing isn’t going anywhere; you just need a proper break.
I’ve taken loads of those, and my drawing hasn’t suffered in any way.
Wrapping it up – How to draw when you don’t feel like it
I hope this post was helpful and you were able to use some of these tips.
Like I said earlier, don’t force yourself.
Sometimes, our brain just wants a genuine break. So, take it easy.
The world isn’t going to fall apart if you take a break from drawing for 1 day.
You can always get back to it tomorrow.
And if all else fails, just go through these blog posts – they’ll definitely inspire you to draw some more!
- How to respond to compliments as an artist
- How to draw without a reference
- How to get better at drawing (for beginners)
- How to find your art style when you’re a beginner artist
- 13 signs you were meant to be an artist
- How long does it take to learn how to draw? (Explained)
- How to become a full-time artist without a degree
- 13 drawing mistakes most beginner artists make
- 9 drawing books for beginners
- Fun drawing gifts for children under 10 years old
- 13 easy ways to make money online as an artist
- 13 reasons why people like drawing + drawing benefits!
- 13 Ways to be a more Confident Artist