Stopped Drawing? Here’s How to Start Making Art Again

Stopped Drawing? Here’s How to Start Making Art Again

Are you wondering how to start making art again or trying to figure out where your creative side has gone?

Perhaps you feel guilty about those boxes of pencils and art materials sitting gathering dust in a drawer?

Don’t let your talent become a distant memory – we’ve got some handy hints that’ll show you how to start making art again and have you dusting off your drawing skills and enjoying your artistic talent in no time!

So where did your creativity go to anyway? To understand why your artistic urge took a one-way ticket outta town, we need to go back to the start…

When Life Gets in The Way of Your Art

Picking up a pencil is one of the first things any child does – perhaps you can even remember the first time you did this? It seems the desire to create stuff is with us from an early age and drawing and painting are viewed by many researchers as essential ingredients in everyone’s development.

However, as we get older, that pesky thing called life kinda gets in the way. Those pencils and paints you once cherished sit unloved and gathering dust. How come? It seems many people just outgrow their creative side and focus on other subjects instead.

And it’s not just people who aren’t naturally geared towards art who abandon it either. Some studies have revealed that a large number of people who studied art at college put their brushes away once they’ve finished their course. Sad, huh?

So when did you stop drawing? Do you want to get your creative streak back and learn how to start making art again? Creating stuff can be hugely rewarding, whether done as a hobby or with a commercial goal in mind, so it’s no surprise that in later life, many people want to re-ignite the spark of creativity they enjoyed so much as a child.

It’s not always so easy to get started, though. College work, lack of time, careers, and family life are just some of the reasons people give themselves for not getting back into drawing, but if you’re serious about becoming an artist, it’s time to take action! And, that’s where Pencil Kings can help, as we give you some helpful tips for getting back into art.

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” – Pablo Picasso.

This quote from the famous Spanish painter probably sums it up best – in order to feel inspired, you need to be creating!

One of the reasons many people give for not exploring their creative side is lack of inspiration, yet it’s probably easier to be inspired now than ever before. It also helps to believe in yourself. Put all those nagging self-doubts about your ability to bed once and for all.

Have fun with your creativity and, really, do not worry about achieving perfection – this is just another of those pesky stumbling blocks we make for ourselves. Fact: Most artists never achieve the perfection they’re looking for – it’s what spurs them on to make even more art!

Take a look through popular sites such as Pinterest, Behance and Deviant Art and subscribe to as many art-related blogs as you like through Feedly or other RSS feeds.

These will provide you with a limitless source of inspiration in every category under the sun and should help you discover how to start making art again.

Can 15 Minutes a Day Really Make a Difference to Your Art Skills?

It may sound like a dodgy sales pitch, but trust us on this one – setting aside just 15 minutes each day really can make a huge difference to your creativity!

So, what are you waiting for? No matter how busy they are, everyone can spare 15 minutes, right?

Begin by just making marks on the paper and let your mind flow freely. We’re not talking perfection here – just let your ideas develop and make these sketches as rough as you like. This is a great technique to help free the mind and release the creative side of you that’s been hiding for too long!

Try this technique for a week and see how you get on. Need inspiration? Check out this great blog Inspiring Sketches. Our hunch is that your creative ‘itch’ will return and inspire you to carry on making art.

How to Start Making Art Again - Get Social!

Still struggling to pick up that pencil and learn how to start making art again? We’ve all been there. It’s one thing deciding to get back into making art again, but it’s quite another to take the plunge. Sometimes, you just need a few supportive words from others to get going.

That’s where our regular community art challenges and workshops can really help. Recently, hundreds of Pencil Kings members took part in our character design intensive course and made amazing progress in just three weeks.

Social media is another great way to meet fellow creatives. There are heaps of artists all over Twitter, Facebook, and just about every other channel you could mention, so don’t be shy – follow them, get to know them, and don’t be afraid to start the conversation!

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how supportive other artists can be, and there are all kinds of events to take part in over the year to give you something to work towards.

A great example of this is Inktober, where artists all over the world upload their pen and ink sketches and swap ideas. Don’t worry about feeling like an inexperienced newbie – many of the people who show their work online are just like you.

Remember, it’s not a competition and it’s definitely not an ego trip. It’s just people enjoying their creativity and that ‘punch the air’ feeling that getting back into making art gives  you. Try it – you won’t be disappointed!

Retail Therapy For Getting Back Into Art - Invest in a New Sketchbook!

How about using some retail therapy to kickstart your creativity? Invest in a nice new sketchbook and make sure you only use it for drawing in. Doing this will help you see your drawing as a special part of your life – something uniquely yours that you can take real pride in.

Perhaps you’ll choose a nice Moleskine number or a hardback sketchbook with a funky cover – either way, treating your new sketchbook with pride and care will really help get those creative juices flowing. So, head out to your nearest art or stationery store today and treat yourself – here’s one good example of how retail therapy really can work!

Oh, and don’t forget to take your sketchbook with you wherever you go. You just never know when inspiration will strike, so you’ll want to have everything to hand when it does.

Learn How to Fall in Love With Art Again

Remember the first piece of art that made an impression on you? Wouldn’t it be great to feel that inspired again? Well, a great way to do this is to visit galleries and learn to open your eyes and your heart to art once more. Try visiting a gallery in your lunch break or take a good look at images you see around you – you’ll soon find your love affair with creativity has been rekindled!

Stuck for which art exhibition to go to? Art Rabbit is an awesome guide to art events taking place all over the world. Just enter your location and choose some dates, and you’re away. And, if you’re putting on your own art show, you can even get listed right here!

We hope these tips have helped you pick up your pencils. You might also want to check out this great new podcast with Pencil Kings founder, Mitch Bowler which has already helped lots of people start making art again.

Why not also take a look at some of our free tutorials for some more artistic eye candy? See you soon for more creative awesome sauce!

41 Responses to “Stopped Drawing? Here’s How to Start Making Art Again”

  1. Hank

    Chris, I just read your article and it has inspired me. I love drawing but I have stopped due to time and now I will use these techniques in your article everyday to see where it leads. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Hank

    Reply
    • Chris at PencilKings

      Hey Hank, thanks so much for your feedback – it really means a lot to me! I love writing these blogs, but do know what I love even more? Hearing that I’ve inspired someone like you to start drawing again 🙂 Good luck with your art and thanks once again for your comments!

      Reply
  2. Tarique

    Hi Chris.
    I needed this.This has really inspired me. I will also start drawing again after almost a decade. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Chris at PencilKings

      Hey Tarique, thanks so much for your feedback! It’s awesome to hear my article has inspired you to start drawing again. Have fun and feel free to share your work with us on our Twitter feed or Team PK Facebook page 🙂

      Reply
  3. Natalie Adams

    This was inspirational and get me trying to draw again.

    Reply
    • Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Natalie and thanks so much for your feedback! I’m so glad my blog post has helped you get back into drawing. Feel free to share your work with us and ask us any questions about art 🙂

      Reply
  4. Erin

    It so good to see how many other people are struggling to find creativity again. Typically thinking ‘its just me’ I stopped after my art course stopped, so the structure of projects and creating regularly just disappeared. ‘inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’ this quote has literally sparked my attitude into gear and makes so much sense.
    Thanks everyone

    Reply
    • Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Erin and thanks so much for your feedback – I really appreciate it 🙂 Like you say, it’s all to easy to grind to a halt when your art studies finish. It’s like you’re thinking: ‘What do I do next?’ And, because you can’t always find an easy answer to this question, you just stop creating. I’m really glad you like the quote. For me, it’s one of the most important quotes on inspiration, because everybody can take something from it. Good luck with your art – why not share your sketchbook in our new community when you feel ready? Lots of other artists have done this already, and it’s great to see everyone else’s creative process 🙂

      Reply
  5. Marianne

    Thanks for the advice! I loved drawing when I was just a little girl but then people started noticing it and for some reason, I got embarassed and stopped. I never got the chance to properly nourished the gift. I’ll try and bring it back by following these tips! Thanks for this

    Reply
    • Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Marianne and thanks so much for getting in touch. I hope my article helps you pick up your pencils and start enjoying art again. get in touch anytime if you have any questions or just need some advice 🙂

      Reply
  6. Kristen

    Thank you for posting this article, I stopped drawing ages ago and needed this. I don’t know why I stopped maybe just lack of belief in myself with a huge does of life in the way. Since I read this I dug out a sketchbook I bought and decided to doodle and it felt amazing. Like I found a piece of me that was missing. I felt my stress melt and weight fall off my shoulders. Thank you for these tips, it brought back a small piece of my heart and soul back <3

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Kristen and thanks so much for your feedback! As the writer of this article, it means a lot to me when someone tells me how much it helped them start drawing again. Feel free to get in touch any time if you have any questions. You’re also more than welcome to upload your work to our community when you’re ready and share tips and advice with lots of other supportive artists 🙂 Once again, thanks for your feedback – you’ve made my day too!

      Reply
  7. Carina

    I haven’t drawn in almost 6 years
    Maybe it was depression or work in general that made me stop every once in a while I would sketch something then I would just throw it away. I used to be decent but I feel so gross looking at my work from years thinking well that’s really pretty good lol I just feel kind of dead inside and when I look at other peoples art work even or even my own I feel excited to begin… maybe I’ll start drawing again.

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Carina and thanks for reaching out to us – we really appreciate it and we love hearing from all artists 🙂 There are all kinds of reasons why people stop drawing or making art, and I think many people will be able to identify with yours. I think we’ve all had times when we just think ‘What’s the point’ etc, and I hope our community helps get you out of that rut and start enjoying art again. I’m more than happy to give you all the advice and encouragement you need when you’re ready to start drawing again, so feel free to give me a shout when you do 🙂

      Reply
    • Harley

      Hey, i too stopped because of depression. It’s been 6 years for me as well, but one day on a whim I splurged on art supplies because friends found my portfolio and made me feel kind of bad about wasting my talents.

      I miss drawing and painting so much, but I feel that nothing inspires me- that’s why I’m here!

      I really hope you get the inspiration you need and your love for art back 🙂

      Reply
  8. Rob

    Thanks for such an AWESOME article it has really helped me to start drawing again ☆*・゜゚・*(^O^)/*・゜゚・*☆

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hey Rob, thanks sooooo much for your feedback – I really appreciate it! For me, there’s only one thing better than great feedback…and that’s hearing that one of my articles has helped someone like you pick up their pencils and start drawing again. Here’s wishing you all the best with your art 🙂 Feel free to get in touch anytime if you get stuck or just need a bit more motivation

      Reply
  9. Eric

    Hello there,

    I just want to thank you for a wonderfully written article. I too, am one of many artists that had all the grandeur and fire of become one of the greats but then life hits us with a one-two punch. My one-two punch that hit me was depression and becoming a father. Being diagnosed with a degenerative spinal condition and know that many things that daddys do normally with there kids are things that I have to be careful with really hit hard but I am working at my art everyday, with good days and bad days, and art will be one of the things that I will pass on to my boys.

    Thanks again and keep the lead burning.

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hi there Eric and thanks so much for your feedback – as the writer of this article, it really means a lot to me. I’m really sorry to hear about the setbacks to your art career, but I feel humbled by the way you’ve taken these problems in your stride and bounced back from them. I hope everyone else on here finds your story as inspiring and courageous as I do. Take care and feel free to get in touch anytime – we’re always happy to help and support all artists. Like you so rightly say, let’s keep that lead burning! 🙂

      Reply
  10. Nathaniel

    Hi,
    Thanks for this article I really needed this to get back into drawing. I’ve stopped due to just being afraid to learn the skills needed to get from point A to B. Now I’m ready to get back into it.

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Nathaniel and thanks so much for taking the time to contact us. I’m really glad my article has helped you get back into drawing. Like you say, that initial fear of starting can be a real obstacle for many artists (we’ve all felt this at some point), but the more you draw, the easier this will become. Most importantly, have fun and don’t hesitate to shout if there’s anything I can help you out with 🙂 Here’s to your art!

      Reply
  11. Holly

    Thank you so much for sharing this article. I used to be talented at drawing anime and fashion illustration, but since I started my career and had my son, it feels like I never have the time to practice. I’ll doodle at my desk at work, but it’s been years since I attempted a complete drawing. The most helpful tips for me are the 15 min a day and buying a special sketchbook. Also discovering an artist that inspires me has been really helpful. I just found fashion illustration artist Megan Hess surfing the web yesterday. Amazing! That really made me want to get back into drawing so I have something to be proud of rather than being jealous of the super creative people I work with.
    I’m also trying to get a different job and some new sketches in my portfolio will help move me toward that.

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hey Holly, thanks so much for your feedback! I’m really glad my article has helped inspire you to start drawing again and I hope you’ll treat yourself to a special sketchbook very soon 🙂 Thanks for the heads up on Megan Hess – her work is superb, and I love the fact she uses just one trusty Montblanc pen to draw everything. A lot of artists get bogged down in which materials/brushes/software to use, but just one favorite pen/pencil etc can be all you need! Good luck with your art, and don’t hesitate to give me a shout if you need any more advice 🙂

      Reply
  12. Lester

    Hello there. I am really glad that I came across your article it is truly helpful. I just stopped drawing for the past year due to some of the things you’re mentioning. It is good to know that there are many artists out there who are in the same boat as I am . I WILL definitely be drawing at least an hour a day. To all NEVER give up on your God given gifts!

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris at PencilKings

      Hi Lester and thanks so much for your feedback 🙂 I’m really glad my article has helped inspire you to start drawing again, and I hope this is the start of a rewarding and successful creative journey for you! It’s great to hear you’ll be spending at least an hour drawing each day, but don’t worry if you don’t always have time to do this – just 15 minutes can make all the difference and help keep the ideas flowing 🙂 Happy Holidays and a very happy New Year to you and all Pencil Kings members! 🙂

      Reply
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  16. J

    I’m currently an art major and this article was much needed. Thank you!!

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris Davies

      Hi J, thanks so much for your feedback. I’m really glad my article helped you, and I wish you all the best with your creative studies 🙂

      Reply
  17. Manu

    Hi, I just stumbled across this article, as I’ve been looking to rekindle my love for drawing after over 6 years. It’s a great piece, although not quite fit for my situation. I actually found, I struggle less with creativity, than more with actually picking up the pencil and drawing. I know it doesn’t have to be perfect and that after such a long break my former skill will have suffered, but I’m actually scared to find out how much. 🙁 I don’t want to be discouraged by the possible result, but I know that by not even trying I’m losing out already. It’s so daunting though… Any ideas?

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris Davies

      Hi Manu and thanks for your feedback! I’m really glad you liked my article 🙂 I’ve recently started getting back into making art in a big way, so I hope my experiences will help you. Like you say, actually picking up that damn pencil is the hardest thing at first, but the way I got around it was to discipline myself and say: “Today, I’m going to spend at least 1 hour drawing. If I don’t, I’ve failed in my goal.” You can write this in big letters and stick it on a wall or set a reminder on your phone if you like – basically, anything that forces you to do it. Initially, drawing again was weird. It was like I was dusting down some old item from the attic. However, the more I stuck with it, the more my old skills slowly started to come back. You know how bodybuilders talk about your muscles having memory so you can soon get back into shape after not training for a while? It’s exactly like that with drawing/painting etc. After all, the brain is another muscle, right? So, set yourself a goal and stick to it. Even if you only draw for 15 mins, it’s a start (and I can pretty much guarantee you won’t want to stop). If you don’t know what to draw, just draw your favorite movie star, pop singer, do a self portrait, or just draw whatever is in front of you. What you draw isn’t important – it’s the act of drawing itself that’s going to kickstart your brain into gear and get those ideas flowing. Sure, your first few drawings will be hard and you won’t be happy with the results…but after a few more sessions, your old skills will start flooding back. Hope this helps 🙂

      Reply
  18. Nabanika Sharma

    just read this article it has inspired me throughout… I still love drawing sketching but I have stopped it as i failed it making a portrait and more because my boyfriend has criticised my works I felt demoralised… but I guess I will start as soon as my exams gets over. Thank u

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris Davies

      Hey Nabanika, I’m really glad my article has inspired you. Never let anyone else’s criticism stop you from doing what you want to do – just keep practising, keep improving, and you’ll soon be getting the results you want 🙂 So what if your portrait didn’t go so well? It doesn’t mean you’re no good at art – it just means you had a bad day (and we’ve all had plenty of those). Keep the faith and feel free to reach out to us any time – we’re always here to help 🙂

      Reply
  19. Nichola

    This is so helpful! ?
    I really want to get back into drawing, with work and kids and I haven’t really had the time. This article is very inspirational and I’m looking forward to doing some drawing again thank you

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris Davies

      Hi Nichola, thanks so much for your feedback! I’m really glad my article has helped inspire you, and I hope you get to do some drawing again very soon 🙂 Why not post your work in our community? It’s a great place to make new friends and get inspired to make more art 🙂

      Reply
  20. Jeremiah

    Thank you for the article, I used to do pencil work replicas but stopped abruptly some 8-10 years ago. The techniques here are very helpful. Thank you.

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris Davies

      Hi Jeremiah and thanks for getting in touch. I’m really glad you found my blog post useful, and I hope this helps you get back into making art again 🙂 On the subject of pencils, I got my hands on a pack of Faber Castell recently – if you’ve never used these before, they’re amazing to work with! I seriously recommend treating yourself to a pack – I reckon you’ll be hooked on drawing again before you know it 🙂

      Reply
  21. Eleanor Carter

    Great article thank you! Really down to earth practical advise, looking forward to listening to the podcast and getting back into exploring my creativity! Many thanks.

    Reply
    • mm

      Chris Davies

      Hi Eleanor and thanks so much for your feedback! I’m really glad you enjoyed my article and I hope our podcasts help inspire you to explore your creativity again 🙂

      Reply
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