Quench the Burnout! 10 Tips for Overcoming Burnout as a Visual Artist

Different creatures who are burnt out from work and are banging their faces on their different projects before morphing into restful, happy beings who are prioritizing their mental health over hustle culture

Hey there, fellow artists, creators, or literally any person breathing! Thanks to the hustle and bustle of grown up life, we all know that feeling when the creative fire inside us starts to dim and flicker. It's burnout, and trust me, I've been there too - correction - I'm currently there. It's frustrating and makes me question my discipline or whether I have what it takes to accomplish my dreams. But fret not, I'm sharing my top 10 tips for overcoming burn out and reigniting your artistic spark. Let's get into it!

1. Embrace Self-Care: As artists, we tend to get lost in our passion, often neglecting our own well-being. Before my Los Angeles show, I was getting about 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night, going to work at my day job, and coming home to work on paintings. Now, I'm taking a step back and prioritizing self-care. Whether it's a walk outside, SLEEPING, reading a good book in the sun, or indulging in an apple cider vinegar bath (don't knock it til' you try it). I'm giving myself the love and care I deserve and you should too!

2. Seek Inspiration Beyond Your Medium: Don't limit yourself to your own artistic bubble. I know everyone pushes developing a consistent artistic style, but it can get old creating the same way or showing the same subject matter all the time. Explore other art forms, visit museums, attend workshops, or immerse yourself in nature. Drawing inspiration from different sources can reignite your creativity and bring fresh perspectives to your work.

3. Set Realistic Goals: Sometimes, burnout sneaks up on us when we're overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations. Folks, we can't conquer the art world in a day! Instead, break down your artistic goals into smaller, SUPER SIMPLE, achievable tasks. If you're struggling to gather the motivation to create one painting a day, set a goal to do one painting in a week.  Celebrate each milestone along the way, and remember that progress is a journey, not a race.

4. Experiment and Play: Give yourself the freedom to experiment with new techniques, materials, or subject matters. We shouldn't think of every piece as THEE masterpiece that will deliver us from the trenches. Release the pressure of creating a masterpiece and allow yourself to play, explore, and make mistakes. You might stumble upon a new artistic breakthrough that actually WILL deliver you from the trenches. 

5. Connect with Fellow Artists: Surround yourself with a supportive network of art friends who understand the struggle. Attend local art events, join online communities, or even start a collaborative project. Sharing experiences and ideas with like-minded individuals can be incredibly inspiring and rejuvenating. Make sure you indulge in social media healthily when connecting with other artists! Don't use social media to compare your art, use it to connect with the artist.

6. Take Creative Breaks: It's okay to step away from your art for a little while. Engage in activities unrelated to your artistic practice that bring you joy. Me? I like to go fishing! It gives my mind and body and chance to recharge, so when I return to work, I'll do so with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.

7. Create a Supportive Workspace: Surround yourself with a space that inspires and uplifts you. Organize your materials with cheap drawers from Walmart, declutter your workspace with DIY Tiktok projects, and decorate it with things that bring you joy. A clean, well-organized environment can help clear your mind and foster creativity. I actually cut holes in my walls to make windows in my cabin studio to bring in new light (see instagram!)

8. Practice Mindfulness: Engage in mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling. These practices can help quiet your mind, reduce stress, and reconnect with your artistic intuition. Embrace the present moment and let go of the pressure and expectations. Write about what you want to create and why, then start making it! 

9. Just Start: Oftentimes, my procrastination and burnout lies in the beginning of a task. Once I get started, I'm able to get in the swing of things and not want to stop. Nike had it right - just do it! 

10.  Trust the Process: Lastly, remember that artistic journeys are full of ups and downs. Embrace the ebbs and flows, knowing that burnout is a temporary state. Trust in your talent, your unique voice, and the creative process itself. Take it one brushstroke at a time. Your passion will reignite!

There you have it, peeps! Ten tips to help you overcome burn-out as a visual artist. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and burnout doesn't define your talent. Embrace self-care, seek inspiration, and trust in the power of your creativity. Let's quench the burnout and create art that massages our soul!

Do my tips help? Share your suggestions, thoughts, and comments below or text me on any social media platform!

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