Welcome to the Achaea Forums! Please be sure to read the Forum Rules.

Emotion, Inspiration, Motivation — What drives you to create?

WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
People have often been advised and have used a form of creative art, be it painting, writing, carving and so on as a form of therapy. It is their way of escaping into their own little worlds, to do what they want and that "thrill" of seeing one's efforts and muses be given life on to the page relieves one of their anxieties and fulfills the soul.

I can't do this.

Not because I do it as a side job with my technical abilities, but because in order for me to create art, as in pieces that only I ever see and are lashings of my heart on to the page or plate (I do linocuts, digital art is just one aspect of me), I simply cannot be under stress. I need a specific mindset of wanting to create something and then letting it happen. When I do, what I want to see on the page depends on my emotion at the time and it really does affect my colour palettes and subject matter. If I'm going through a manic stage there's a lot of reds and sketches are rough and more lively; depressive is darker greens and blues, cleaner lines, subtle, precise. I can channel a certain emotion if I need to depending on the subject matter (I was jovial when I drew Wyst teaching Silvalum decapitate in my post), but regardless, if I am under extreme stress and anxiety, I can't do jack crap involving my art. I can't vent on this perfect medium as therapy like other people. I could end up with maybe 10 in-depth sketches in three hours, a proper linocut in 5 (hey cutting and drying times vary) but then nothing for two weeks and it wracks my brain.

And yet, art is still my medicine, my go-to when I am and want to be left alone as I while the hours away.

So I ask of you all, what is it that drives you to create your works? How to you find that motivation, if needs be, force it so that you can do what you do best? What sends that spark in you to create? And moreso, how do you react when someone sees these pieces of you and judges you negatively on it?

This applies to all mediums so writing, drawing, carving, roleplaying etc.


ps - Yes, I may or may not be in a corner of woe right now with some things.

"Faded away like the stars in the morning,
 Losing their light in the glorious sun,
 Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
 Only remembered for what we have done."


  • SybillaSybilla LondonMember Posts: 503 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'd recommend "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron, it's one of those less obnoxious self-help books and I've dipped in and out of it for the past few years and find it's really helpful in writing/drawing/creating when you decide to, rather than wait for elusive "inspiration" or "the right mood" to set in.

    Having said that, I do tend to do huge bursts of creativity all at once, then a long, unending lull where nothing feels worth it. I think it comes in waves.
  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    My creativity is always there, but it just comes in drips and drops instead of waves.  I can work consistently on something for ages, but it's a very slow, methodical process with -incredibly- rare flows that see something done in any length of time.  Writing is my medium, but roleplaying is different - my character's minds are distinct from my own, and I can get into them with ease most of the time. It's not even a matter of flipping a switch or anything, it's just one minute I'm me and the next I'm Nell or whatever character I'm running.  There's no conscious thing I do for it.

    When I'm stressed, I can't write at all. It pains me to even try, due to working at trying to get something out and possibly inducing a panic attack (which have been thankfully rare the past several months, since Christmas passed by) so I have to be in a low-stress environment to even think about it. My emotional state doesn't truly matter, there's a filter of sorts between what emotions I feel and what I write and do.  But, writing is an exhausting process for me as well.  I write, ironically, when I -don't- want to think and instead just work on creating something, doing something, being constructive and then go back to see what I wrote later. Most of the results are simply thrown away like trash, but a few are kept and changed and edited and expanded upon. I have one world that I've been writing and creating consistently for close to ten years now, but I've been ignoring it lately (which is a shame).

    I rarely choose to consciously write, but when I do, I tend to explore my own thoughts at the time.  Anything that's bugging me, or itching at the back of my mind, any sort of conundrum, I write about and try to needle at a solution through another's eyes, a character's eyes.  It may sound odd, but the slightly different perspective helps solve the issue sometimes.  And other times, it does nothing but make me tired and want to sleep, but sometimes that's all that's needed to solve something, right?

    And the few times when I wanted to write, but the creativity refused to even give me the slightest drip? I forced it, by writing in a vastly different style than I normally do.  It's like twisting a pipe or similar.  It worked sometimes, and while the format or language experiment may be a failure, I always come out with something unique, something I always kept. And sometimes, by just thinking and working at it from that alternate perspective, I come away with something fresh and different that I incorporate into my usual methods.

    I need to create.  I need to.  It's a base desire in me like sleep and food. Even when I don't have access to my writing tools, I write in my head, or on my hands or arms sometimes.  As much of that decade long story is mental as it is just written down. I don't know, perhaps I'm a bit mad about words, but since I was a child and learned to read, this has always been here.  I loved my games, my books, my fantasies. I wanted to make something like them, something that made people as happy as they all made me (or sometimes sad, or angry, or any other emotions - I want them to feel, putting it simply) and that's why I want to be a fully published writer.  I throw some of my work anonymously out on the internet, just some minor things, and I don't know if anyone reads them. I like to think that they do, and maybe they smiled or laughed, or even cried. Feeling something is infinitely better than feeling nothing.

    And this was way too many words while I'm exhausted.  I probably didn't make any sense to anyone but me.
  • RuthRuth SingaporeMember Posts: 2,700 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Wysteria said:

    So I ask of you all, what is it that drives you to create your works? How do you find that motivation, if needs be, force it so that you can do what you do best? What sends that spark in you to create? And moreso, how do you react when someone sees these pieces of you and judges you negatively on it?

    Hm. Frankly, it varies based on the reasons why I want to pen something down. If it's to capture memories in the form of poetry or prose, then the motivation that is apparent to me would be how strong I want to preserve that memory, or if it had a large impact on me. If it's to express my thoughts, emotions or explore the feelings within me, then my motivation would be the act of writing itself because it would appear to be as a form of release for me. Once it's written out/on paper, it gets easier to take a look at the emotions involved and analyze the writing for the reason why I might have felt that way. If it's for fun (bardics, in-game works, etc), then my motivation is to get it written out so that I can share it with people who it was intended for.

    I'm willing to take criticisms as feedback for further improvements, of course, but there is a line to draw when it comes to accepting criticism. If it touches too much on the style I enjoy writing in and if the criticisms/judgements pick on that, I wouldn't necessarily change because that's what makes my pieces uniquely me. Otherwise, I do accept negative judgements in my stride. The main thing that matters to me is whether what I wrote accurately presents what I'm looking to write for.
    "Mummy, I'm hungry, but there's no one to eat! :C"


  • TarausTaraus The Gypsy WindMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 890 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    First, an explanation - my 'art' is widely varied in type and format, I do and have done a little of everything, but more often than not, mine comes back to woodworking in some fashion or another. The 'artistic' painting (and which I freely admit, I'm no great shakes at) I've done has never been on canvas, but odder mediums, and that's only done when a whim strikes.

    Writing is, simply, enjoyed and emotionally cathartic, this I do without even thinking about it.

    The majority of my -creative- focus, my outlet, and working with my hands, is and ever has been woodworking and clay modeling- carving, whittling, burning, 'making'. I'm a miniaturist, as well, generally working in 1/16 scale (dollhouse/railroad size, for a rough reference) - and the majority of my enjoyment of it, and the reason I keep returning, is the -challenge- of it. New techniques, new methods, experimentation - how can I do this? How can I do it better than I did last time?

    The attention required is generally mentalling consuming, -forcing- me to focus on the task at hand -- not to mention the concentration required. You -have- to pay attention, I've learned the hard way on more than one occasion that mind wandering and the slip of a carving knife or well-sharpened gouge can be utterly devastating to one's hands. That it's so consuming serves to both stimulate -and- clear the mind, it literally shuts down external distractions (including stress!) and the satisfaction that comes with having been successful at the attempt is soothing - a slight mental reset, allowing me to return to whatever problems later with a clearer mind and a refreshed perspective.

    Will contemplate the latter question and answer when I have more time to devote to proper wording!
  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,202 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    For most of my art, I think I do it because I like the results. Generally I find that drawing and coloring or painting or charcoaling everything is time consuming and an absolute pain, but I enjoy it after it is over because I am proud of what I created.

    I draw a lot of cartoons, in part to vent, in larger part because people like them enough to ask for more and it's a nice ego boost, and in some cases because I have found them in some cases more effective than actually talking in some ways. A professor who doesn't have time to hear how I'm really sick and that's why I'm not able to participate in class is actually often much more happy to be handed something like this:

    I write as well, though not nearly as much as I draw. I really don't know why I write. I think I enjoy it more than art, but I do much less of it and I very rarely finish anything.

    I don't know. I've been drawing for as long as I could hold a marker, so I feel like there must be some deeper pull of art for me that I'm missing, but I don't know what it is.
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."

    (Clan): Ictinus says, "Stop it Jiraishin, you're making me like you."
  • WysteriaWysteria Member Posts: 1,826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I'm really appreciating the responses in this thread guys, thank you :)

    I guess I'm just trying to work out why I'm in such a rut right now with trying to get anything down on paper. When I took my vacation it literally opened up so many ideas and concepts in my head, and I still have a good now 20 pieces I can create...but not the want to actually do them. Lately my inspiration has been Achaea (well of course) and I channel a lot of my feelings and reactions to things through Wyst as my muse. I doodle her at work in different scenarios not relating to Achaea. Even though I can't seem to develop her proper, I seem to be able to write a complex ritual involving her in about 10minutes flat without a hitch.

    A bit like @Taraus, the hands-on medium of woodcarving and linocutting/wood engraving/etching requires incredible concentration so you don't gouge your wrists out (yes...I have done that once with etching followed by the acid dumping once). I liked that feeling of switching off when carving, but it's hard for me to do that if I feel like wanting to punch someone. Knives and anger don't mix!

    On criticism, I appreciate receiving crit where necessary for commissions and such, but I don't like the kind where I'm drafting a landscape in crayon that's going to be transferred to a linoleum plate so I can start carving, and be judged on why the sketch looks like crap and it's in crayon and to be told to change it, them not releasing that the work in progress will look nothing like the end product and to please just observe the development. Watch it chop and change and grow, then analyse from there. They almost always change their mind at the end.

    Maybe my reason for this ranty thread is I lack time and the right environment to just let loose, so am looking for methods to manage this D:
    "Faded away like the stars in the morning,
     Losing their light in the glorious sun,
     Thus would we pass from this earth and its toiling,
     Only remembered for what we have done."

  • JiraishinJiraishin skulkingMember Posts: 2,202 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2014
    Cartooning is seriously great venting.
    It can also be done quickly, without many materials, and even on paper that is being used for something else. Would definitely recommend.
    The soul of Ashmond says, "Always with the sniping."

    (Clan): Ictinus says, "Stop it Jiraishin, you're making me like you."
  • EllodinEllodin HawaiiMember, Seafaring Liason Posts: 951 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Music is my "real" art, so what drives me is the constant stretch for the unreachable ideal of perfection - trying small adjustments with every little piece of my technique, like the amount of tension I run through my fingers as a quick physical benchmark just before I begin, the mindset of how I'm going to approach things as a whole and what I'm going to prioritize in terms of tempo, whether I breathe entirely through my nostrils or use some of my mouth as if I am singing.  There is no absolutely correct answer, though there can be many wrong answers.  Searching is about trying to understand everything that goes into non-verbally conveying a particular thought or feeling.

    So for me, I suppose it's kind of like the woodcarving.  I can spend hours working through a single line with unwavering focus, and it only takes an instant for me to snap into that state of mind.  No one judges my work more harshly than I judge myself, and the drive to improve is not cathartic but a necessity, because self-improvement is not a lofty ideal but a constant effort.  Doesn't matter how I "feel" otherwise.  Otia dant vitia, after all.

    As for dealing with criticism, I always have to be confident and decisive in what I am doing.  It's performance art - and being hesitant as a performer is rarely something that should be conveyed.  If it is, it must be done intentionally.  If I don't have confidence in what I'm doing, if I am not interested in what I'm playing, why should anyone else have confidence in me or be interested?  Fides facit fidem.
    And as he slept he dreamed a dream, and this was his dream.
  • JurixeJurixe Where you least expect itMember Posts: 1,750 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    edited March 2014
    I have been meaning to reply to this thread, but I needed to think about my response.

    In the case of Achaea, which is by far and away the largest source of my inspiration, it's fairly simple: I see scenes, stories in my head, and I want to bring them to life. I want to pull them out of my head and trap them on paper, watch as they grow and change and take on a life of their own through me. It is absolutely fascinating, to me, to watch how carefully chosen words, carefully formed sentences, can evoke images and feelings and have such an impact on people. I also enjoy the reactions of people to my work, for obvious reasons. I constantly fine-tune my work because the effect I want to achieve is very deliberate, and it's a very fine art in terms of picking the right words - something too general might not convey the desired emotion, but being specific runs the risk of being wrongly specific, if that makes any sense.

    Other reasons include just wanting to experiment. Thinking of an exciting new technique or style, wondering if I can pull it off, if it would be worth the time and effort, or be well-received. Some of my more recent stories are perfect examples of that - Bal'met, Fallen Gods, An Honest Prophet's Return and Sacrifice were all written in very different styles to let me experiment with them, and I had a lot of fun with that.

    For criticism (I don't know if this was a question in your original post, too lazy to scroll up) sure, I'm open to constructive criticism if I think it will make my story better - typo, perhaps flow, factual inconsistencies etc. But obviously pure opinion like 'wow this story is boring it sucks you're a terrible writer' doesn't help anyone at all besides being a downer. If you don't like something, either try to be constructive, or just don't say anything.

    Edit: I missed the most important one - motivation. This one is very difficult for me as well - sometimes for especially long pieces, I can lose inspiration/become demotivated, particularly if I know it's going to be a long piece. But what absolutely drives me to create is the thought that I am the only one who knows exactly what is in my head. If I don't finish the piece, nobody will ever come close to being able to visualise what I see - and I suppose, at the end of the day, that's the crux of it. I'm a storyteller, and I want to tell a story. So I force myself to finish it because I want people to be able to see what I see, and I delight in making my thoughts come to life.
    If you like my stories, you can find them here:
    Stories by Jurixe and Stories by Jurixe 2 

    Interested in joining a Discord about Achaean RP? Want to comment on RP topics or have RP questions? Check the Achaean RP Resource out here: https://discord.gg/Vbb9Zfs

  • AnedhelAnedhel Member Posts: 2,367 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    To be quite honest, the driving motivation behind my doing anything artistic- doodling in notebooks or writing, mostly, comes from wanting to give a scene or idea I've got stuck in my head a more fully-fleshed out form, for lack of a better word.

    When it comes to Achaea, it generally boils down to wanting to give a scene, a conversation, or a character a more satisfying representation. Which is why all of my stories are, invariably, very specific in scope and generally short. And while I generally try and give things a more satisfying form for my own sake, I sometimes share, because I absolutely love figuring out how different people see the same thing- some of my favorite conversations have concerned the differences in perceptions with people regarding, say, how they view a certain place/denizen in Achaea, or how we see each others' characters.

    In the end, I love having something tangible that helps me envision Achaea as a more 'real' place. And, generally speaking, the desire to possess 'real' bits of Achaea mostly comes from interesting things that stick in my head for more than a moment!
  • LelielLeliel Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Generally for me it amounts to wanting to put a feeling into a more tangible form.
    As long as it means something to someone, then that's enough, whether it's my music or writing.
    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh hurty, duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh fighty, hurty, fighty, hurty, fighty, slicey, slicey, facey, kickey -

    art stream / twitter / ko-fi
  • LelielLeliel Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent
    Generally for me it amounts to wanting to put a feeling into a more tangible form.
    As long as it means something to someone, then that's enough, whether it's my music or writing.
    Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh hurty, duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh duh fighty, hurty, fighty, hurty, fighty, slicey, slicey, facey, kickey -

    art stream / twitter / ko-fi
  • XenomorphXenomorph Member Posts: 389 @ - Epic Achaean

    Q: I am loving and intelligent, I'm furry and walk on four legs. I'm a fighter. Sometimes you might spot me leaving a block party at Michael Vick's. Sometimes you might spot me -not- leaving a block party at Michael Vick's. When Sarah McLaughlin sings sad shit and shows you beaten and miserable furry friends of mine are depending on you to do the right thing, and donate before another animal you caused to shiver in a cage in slow motion has your full attention when they do a close up shot and you can see an almost "Wtf dude? Donate!" In the poor bastards eye, and turning that channel in panic will seal your fate and the full wrath of nature descends upon you the next morning, and every animal abusing sadist shows up to a crack at the sick fuck who they draw a line when they saw you sitting there on the couch eating pizza while they look back at you and you just don't donate like some sort of sick murderer. Let's just say even if you awoke in prison in utter terror, and Jesus walks up and tells you.

      "It is all over now, child. You are to be forgiven and loved."

    "Thank you Jesus, I have been horribly scared and feel like I'm going to die and go to hell. I just...I didn't think much of the commercial, I was just not paying attention on what seemed like an average day....Jesus, hello?"

    Jesus snaps his head up. "Hmm? Oh sorry I was paying attention, I was too busy thinking about what kind of sick bastard purposely takes pleasure locking eyes with these defenseless creatures you toying with and just mindlessly eats pizza while they shriek in terror for you to make a payment and help them out by end their agony. 

    The misery those abusers did to them was bad enough, but still aren't as bad you!! Didn't you see their slow motion, how would you like to be stuck in slow motion, or deal with someone that is permanently slow in the mind, because of special effects, or reading an email from Xenomorph. It's sadistic and everyone loses. Some people just necessitate hell, and he's Lucifer if inconvenience was a dimension he loitered in like a derelict unicycle with a flat tire and you engage him in dialect. Then he handcuffs you to his wrist and like that, you are stuck in a dimension of hell that no sanity would allow any matter of particle he deficates on like shit flavored Lysol in full plate."

    The completely out of context voice slashed into the air confuses you. You stare at the fourth wall.

    The stars of the heavens stare back to you, lonely and with no reply. The vastness of the emptiness leaves you feeling cowed and insignificant. 

    He is alive and he is out there...

    Angrily prodding you in the chest and not allowing nonsense to steal his show, Jesus is getting quite fed up. You stand your ground and prepare to strike him if need be

    "The guitar and the sad shit survey team want to know why your recalcitrant conduct is intolerable when we are trying to help these animals, save lives, and encourage morality and peace. Now if you know what's good for you, give us your fuc*ing MCI calling card, your linen, and offer me your shoes or you won't make it out of the shower tonight. You owe money. We played sad guitar music and had to pay her to perform you evil freeloader, it's like I'm getting a stripper and you eyeball my woman and Its my dubloons, I'm gonna strap on my poop-cuffs and offload some obedience nuggets in your garden salad, cowboy. I run the kitchen here, ya dig? I know you heard that guitar! Stop fucking with us you cheapskate Visa card taunting show-off! I'll beat you over the head with it and maybe then you'll stop playing f**k  fu*k games and pay up like everyone else, you see where you are?! You are in prison and you won't last a day for what you have done!!!" Terrible wrath burns in the eyes of Jesus, his hands at his sides and smoke rising from his hands, God's wrath has been stoked by Nature's wrath, and a foreboding sense of despair visits you like the chattering bony hand of the cloaked death descending upon you at any moment, harbinger of fuckupery, 

    You cannot help but to be quivering in wholesale shock and spiraling doom, as you hear only your heart pounding in rhythmic thuds and  the massive room of barred cells grows busier as the argument between you and Jesus has caused the inmates to investigate. You didn't do anything wrong, and you just did as you always do, I was just watching tv. And Jesus hears your thoughts.

    "I change my mind, I'm finished with you." curtly dismissing you with a disgusted wave of the hand, kicking up a cloud of dust turning direction. 

    "I wish most people good luck. But most people don't piss off Mother Nature. The shivering animals forgive you. They just..." 

    Jesus eyes flash dangerously as you meet his.

    No, it can't be. Don't drop that bomb and plant that lie. But they do. And this is what happens to people who don't donate.

    "..they were just scared for you since child molesters aren't well liked."

    "And you just said you'd fight anyone here and dare them to step up. See ya."

    And irreconcilable scarring burns your reputation to the core at once and the damage is done. Strutting off, you never see Jesus again, but his words echo in your mind painfully. 

    And with that, he leaves the room with a wicked grin.

    Angrily mumbling the crowd aggressively swarms in at the prognosis Jesus agitated the crowd with, like a cat-o-nine-tails being sautéed in red chili powder and aggressively lashing, but once, the proverbial bare scrotum of society, eliciting a built up raging cry of pain heard throughout the prison. It's gonna be a looong ride. 

    A tear slides down your cheek. You will not make number two normally ever again. Your mind is reduced from here forward, falling to the towers of stress crashing around you as your psyche dissipates into nothingness. Closing your eyes one last time, you see a pained flash in your minds eye, of the puppy you didn't help and shivered because you ate pizza and didn't pay attention that you must have cosmically had sex with God's aunt or any other exotic ray of logic it's come to this.

    The room spirals and you hear the hungry voices of the Bulls and man-lady gropes of the frustrated crowd who all wants a piece of sugar-britches; they call you, and the treasure betwixt your nether regions of enlightenment that will at first show great hope for the attention craving long timers, only to exchange their epic glory with all the joys of greatness being dashed and feeling like Chris Columbus landing on Haiti and wishing he left with his poop-cuff to pass the time, what a bad day to be stuck on the wrong island and with no internet, just like the horror of prison wracked on your mind in the days ahead. What horror indeed. Yarr Matey.

    Hands upon you, and sucking your thumb as hundreds gather 'round you, resign to infantile posture, and are but a flailing man-sized kidney bean laying on the cold dungeon floor. The inmates begin to gather around one by one, the camera pulls back above the scene, growing higher and away from the scene and continues to pull back until all fades to black in this place of death. You should have helped the animals. You cannot tell if the animals were real, or clay disfigured beasts that hellishly stare back at you and even draw arguments when you yell at their shadows when you accuse shadows of being muppets of betrayal that you've sunk a butter knife or two in, rupturing the eardrum of a cabin boy and iron bars are welded in its place to prevent septic shock or backsassing an elder with some heavy handed donut hooks I use to tear into a carton or Panda Express, or angrily reject prison commissary food like an enraged toddler with level 3 swords.

    You die never knowing that was Jesus of Gibraltar, by way of Guadalajara Mexico, son of Carlos DePana, Sheetmetal Engineer and Distillery. No animals were harmed in the making of this sandwich. 


    I -am- the Cataclysm Switchblade.
  • XenomorphXenomorph Member Posts: 389 @ - Epic Achaean
    Thank you for listening. My motivation as an Artìstê began with my agrian economics tutoring when preparing for my parole hearing aboard the SS Minnow in Glasgow Shire on the Abernathy. I was six pence quid and my seventh fife and I bit hard in the semi's to achieve roundabout and took first place on my dive, mastering two hex quids on the vig. Mum was proud, but me pa walked out and we haven't talked since.

    still fume about it when I go back on long walks in the talk machine. Can I get a wool tunic would be the only respectable answer for a boy my age, not so much back talking the chief inspector cookie woofs when I haven't had my first pumpernickel shot since me Tonka went tubes up last tea time
    I -am- the Cataclysm Switchblade.
  • DeladanDeladan Member Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭ - Eminent

  • CynlaelCynlael Member Posts: 3,257 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    A wild Xenomorph appears, unleashing his unholy necromantic powers.
Sign In to Comment.