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Tips for Overcoming Creative Burnout

Wednesday 20th November 2013

Creative burnout is the dreaded spectre that hides somewhere in the back of every artist's mind, and every once in a while climbs out to scare the living daylights out of us. All of us have felt it at one time or another, and coped with varying degrees of success. Sometimes, we really do just need a break - but other times, that's simply not an option. Fortunately, with a bit of careful thought, it's possible to overcome it with a minimum of fuss and get back into the the spirit of doing what we love: creating.

Creative burnout can come from a number of different sources, but in almost every case, the ways of coping with it are similar. It all starts without finding out just what's troubling you. Creative blocks are almost always directly attributable to something, even if it's just that you've been in the studio for 20 hours a day for the last week (actually, that one's pretty obvious - get more sleep). Take a break, do something completely unrelated to your art, and come back later with a clearer head.

In many cases, that's not an option, unfortunately. If you find yourself constantly coming up empty in the inspiration department, try reaching out to other artists. Many artists are introverts, and that makes us a bit more shy about reaching out to other artists, but not only can they be incredibly inspiring, sometimes it's also nice to realize that you're not the only one who's had a creative burnout period - and they may have some other advice on ways to overcome it.

While we all love to sell our work, a constant focus on artwork that will sell can seriously impact our creative inspiration. Don't ignore the monetary side of things, because 'starving artist' shouldn't have to be your lifestyle, but don't overemphasize it. Consider dividing your creative time into two streams, one that is purely self-expression and another that is intended to bring home the bacon.

No matter how you wind up dealing with your burnout - and this is by no means an exhaustive list, just a starting place - remember that perseverance is the key to overcoming any kind of creative problem. You won't get anywhere by not trying. Trying using your frustration as a tool to inspire you, and you may find that your creative block becomes your most useful creative asset.

Posted on November 20th 2013 on 08:01pm
Labels: inspiration, tips

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