Motive is the Root of Motivation

I had a wonderful realization today.

Motive is the root of motivation.

Not only for the word but in actuality.

Let’s begin with a quote from Robert Henri.

“There is an orchestration throughout the whole canvas. Nothing is for itself, but each thing partaking of the other is living its greatest possibility, is surpassing itself with vitality and meaning and is part of the making of a great unity. So with the works of the great masters.

Do not tell me that you as students will first learn how to draw and then afterwards attend to all this.

It is only through such motives that you can learn to draw. This kind of thought is drawing, the hand must obey the spirit. With motive you will become clairvoyant of means, will seize and command them. Without motive you will wabble about.“

Before that quote, on page 22 of Robert Henri’s book The Art Spirit, he explains all the details that goes into making a meaningful piece of art.

He uses words such as relationship, movement and sensitivity.

Painting or drawing to vitalize and describe a state of being.

All of which transcends technical skill, yet are hard to define because they are based in emotion.

I repeat

“Do not tell me that you as students will first learn how to draw and then afterwards attend to all this.”

Most creators now days put technical skill before our passion.

Maybe we make a promise to come back to the passion later, but most of us forget it entirely.

Then we wonder why we’re not motivated to keep working.

The problem is that motive is the root or motivation.

It’s through our motive, also known as purpose, passion, impulse or intention that we can move beyond the technical into our master works.

Our motivation grows from our motive, our ideas, our thoughts, feelings and wants.

Let’s get a good grasp on what we want to communicate first THEN find the means to do that.

Back to you…

What is your motive?

What feelings, emotions and ideas do you want to communicate in your work?

How can you focus on that a little more today and then find the techniques to communicate your motive?

Chris Beaven

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