Art Maintains Momentum

Corbett Barr asked in a comment on When Is It Time Enough how to help maintain momentum when you’ve started something.

Slacking off mid-project is a big problem for all of us.  I know it is for me and I’ve left many projects unfinished because I didn’t have the motivation to really stick with it.

These days I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep myself focused when my energy dwindles and one that I really love is using different forms of art to keep myself motivated.

Here are a few of them and why they work for me.

1) Sufjan Stevens – You Are The Blood

Listen to it on my Blip.fm station.

This song just strikes a chord with my creative center.  I plug in my headphones and put this on loop and next thing I know two hours have passed and I’ve crunched through a ton of work.  It shifts tone and style throughout the song which I think helps keeps me shifting gears and moving forward.

It helps me enter a state of flow when I’m working, keeping me focused and dedicated to the task at hand.

Find a song or an album that resonates with you creatively.  Often times when you are hitting a wall putting on an aural creative trigger will help you push through it and get on to the next step in your process.  Even better is that it will keep you engaged with your work and focused so you don’t slip out of the process.

2) Flobots – Handlebars

Handlebars Art Maintains Momentum

Not only does this song resonate with my creativity but the music video has such striking motion graphics and imagery.  It inspires me to action far more than the song would on its own.

It is full of revolutionary images and the theme pulls out of me that drive to create change in the world.  As a liberation artist who wants to spread the passion to create a life worth waking up for this music video hurls me towards that goal.

Find images or video that resonates with your goals.  When your motivation wanes hit the play button and feel the rush of inspiration.

3) Walt Whitman – Song of the Open Road

Nothing says motivation to a vagabond like this poem by Walt Whitman.  While it isn’t necessarily a quick read or a quick fix it definitely helps me keep me on track with my goals as a vagabond.

The imagery that Whitman conjures has played out for me in as I travel and when I’m feeling stuck or that persistent ennui from a late night spent alone it keeps the fire stocked with fuel for the long run.

Find a poem or series of verse that resonate with your lifestyle.  When you find yourself slipping from your desired life take a moment to reconnect with what helped spark those dreams in the first place.

What types of art do you use to keep you motivated, focused and inspired?

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  • This is the perfect response to my question, Carl. I wish people would talk about the role of art as inspiration and motivation more often.

    I can't tell you how many times I let a couple of days go by without listening to music, only to wonder how I got anything done without it when I start listening again. It's really like a drug without side effects, isn't it?

    As for inspiration, whenever I feel like I don't know what I'm doing anymore, I like to turn to art. Whether it be fine art, theater, music, film, literature or whatever, art is a constant fountain of inspiration just waiting to be tapped.

    Thanks for the great post! I'm off to listen to some TV on the Radio!

  • I use music as a way to re-frame my mind and re-focus; I used to listen to music while studying in university, and by now I'm simply trained to tune in and concentrate when I listen to the right music; the key is selecting the right music for the task. What kind of music fits different tasks for you?

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