How to Avoid Burnouts and Creative Slumps as an Artist

How to Avoid Burnouts and Creative Slumps as an Artist

At one point or another we usually witness in our lives a kind of burnout or slump. No one ever wants it to happen to them, but usually it does. So how can we avoid these unwanted issues when there are a lot of factors that inevitably lead to them?

We have to admit it: in spite of the blessing of having the chance to do what you love for a living, we cannot hide the fact that for many artists, life is full of ups and downs, (this does make it exciting, though).

At many points in our lives, we have feelings that we can hardly control, a lack of self-confidence, or sometimes a kind of boredom because of handling the same tasks over and over again.

Here are a few tips to overcome burnouts and slumps throughout your career's.

Ask yourself: why do I feel this way?

We cannot overcome a problem when we do not understand it and the reasons leading to it.  Often heading directly to the symptoms of the problem isn't the best approach. Instead, try exploring what's behind these feelings.  The sooner you discover the cause behind the problem, the sooner you can get your passion and enthusiasm back.

Try to abandon the feeling of shame

We as artists have a deep feeling that our creativity is what builds our identity.  Based on that, we have to beat that psychological roadblock mindset of “I cannot be creative anymore.”It will feel like an awful blow that will decrease our self-esteem. It sometimes feels shameful, leading you to worry about what's going on with you!

The difficulty to be creative can sometimes be paralyzing. Yet, changing the way you deal with the problem will often help you overcome the burnout faster.

"Creative burnout isn’t something fatal, it's an injury," says Nathalie Sejean. Nathalie adds, "you haven’t dried up your well of creativity; you haven't overworked your creative muscles. You forgot to stretch it. You repeated too many times the same movements, over-developing sections and weakening others."

Luckily, you can get back to your usual status. Try to accept the burnout you're experiencing because it's always considered a short phase of the creativity process.

So let go of that shame and throw it in the closest trash to you. If your mind is filled with negativity, then that burnout will linger longer, if not forever.

Switch to something else if you’re stuck

Creativity is an unstable thing; it does not come forcibly. When you feel as if you are beating a wall, do not give up! Switch to doing something else; such a process pushes the rest button in your brain. Work on multiple art pieces little by little.

Take breaks

Many artists that work hard feel the need to double the work process. Perfectionism often plays a key part in this; you feel in need to work extremely hard till you feel completely satisfied with the outcomes.

It should be noted, however, that the human mind is biologically in need of a break after exploiting its muscles, just like the case with the rest of the human body.

Have you ever taken a day off, then found yourself with fresh energy and enthusiasm the next day? Such a freshness has nothing to do with coincidence; it's because your brain has received sufficient rest, enabling it to be ready for more.

Never underestimate the importance of friendship

Whenever you feel burnout coming on, ask for your friends' help!  It's important to invest in your friends and companions. They will undoubtedly nourish and guide you to step forward. These can be friends and colleagues in the art world our outside of it.

Do not hesitate to ask for the help of your friends, especially those who are always willing to give you a hand.

Eliminate stress

Focusing on stress and negative thoughts will only worsen the issue of burnout. Let go of the stress that's dominating and controlling your creativity. But, how?

There are many ways to boost your positivity and release stress:

  1. Sing (even if your voice is bad).
  2. Breathing exercises.
  3. Try to smile and laugh wholeheartedly.
  4. Befriend positive people.
  5. Practice meditation.
  6. Exercise.
  7. Help others in need.

We've discussed creativity burnouts and how to overcome them step by step; now it's time to shed light upon creative slumps and how to get over them. 

Remember that creativity can never be lost, it just hides depending on the efforts you exert.

Here are 20 easy tips to overcome creative slumps successfully

  1. Choose a subject and illustrate it in many different ways for 30 days.
  2. Repurpose junk mail as art.
  3. Choose a color you usually avoid and utilize it in excess.
  4. Try to illustrate an event which you're wholeheartedly passionate about.
  5. Come up with and depict nostalgic events from your childhood.
  6. Ask one of your colleagues or friends to draw a shape and then use it as a base for a new piece.
  7. Illustrate the same thing many times utilizing complementary and analogous schemes.
  8. Turn a picture upside down and study it.
  9. Practice a continuous line drawing (the pencil does not leave the piece of paper while drawing).
  10. Try brainstorming some phrases and then make illustrations that are based upon them.
  11. Cut some images from a magazine and then combine them by tone to generate new images.
  12. Search for a subject and then draw two images while you're zooming closer.
  13. Generate anything based upon the phrases you came up with.
  14. Recreate a work created by one of your favorite artists.
  15. Illustrate a movie, book or T.V. character you've watched or read.
  16. Join a group where you can follow an art prompt that is published weekly.
  17. Go for a walk and take photos of random things and then choose one to draw.
  18. Create a painting inspired by one of your favorite songs.
  19. Draw something in detail, and then redraw it 2 or 3 times to make it even more beautifully abstract each time.