Learn how to tackle your clay sculpt systematically, stage by stage in order to keep a strong mental focus.
The first thing to conquer is always your own mind.
Make no mistake, clay modelling is a hard thing to do well.
It can be a truly gnarly pastime, so your mental approach is key.
You need to be relaxed and confident about your work, and look forward to the challenge.
When I taught classes, so many people went wrong with the mental approach - perhaps just through fear of the unknown.
People started a piece, were disgusted with it, threw it away and started again. Wrong! Just keep adjusting until it starts to come right.
Clay is infinitely adjustable.
So when it goes wrong, don't worry, just have a cup of tea, and a go at it again after a rest.
My clay pieces need a perfect finish for demanding clients. So I need to be precise and measured.
I am not thinking 'artistic'. You can't just attack a lump of clay with a set of tools. You can't rush or get stressed and go at it like you are attacking a bear with a stick.
Artistry, in this case, comes with precision. Think 'Swiss watch maker', rather than 'Jackson Pollock'
Roll up your sleeves, focus, and have these following instructions in mind and know the tricks of the trade. :-
Example 1 - Faces
Example 2 - Hands
Each problem has a solution.
A series of solved problems adds up to the 'whole' - the finished project.
A figurine in clay suitable for using as a master-sculpture for a commercial bone china product is just a series of solved problems. Probably, any creative project could be described in the same terms.
The nature of human beings is they have a high capacity for problem-solving. This is not to do with intelligence as such, it is more to do with a 'needs must' type of native wit.
The more motivated a human being is in terms of their self expression ('self actualization') the better their problem solving ability.
Problem solving can be fun - which is a good thing, because most of our lives are spent solving problems of one sort or another.