Burnout and Pushing Forward
Well it's been a hot second since the last blog entry, and for good reason. I found myself on a good stride with doing art for work, and art for fun pretty routinely, as well as keeping up with this blog and social media. I even decided to take on way more commission projects than I should have for April. However after good while I found myself in a deep burnout rut. Like most artists and people in general really, I'd had some creative burnout before, but this one was pretty rough. I found myself with absolutely no energy, or drive to do anything with art for at least two weeks. So what happened exactly? Well it's simple really: Bad Time Management.
During that period of routinely putting out work, I wasn't really giving myself a break. I would start working as soon as I'd wake up, and find myself still on my computer by the time I had to go to bed for the night. Lots of the hours spent not on work were mostly spent surfing social media (particularly Facebook and Twitter), which is an easy trap for all of us to fall into and it can be infuriating. Eventually all of this poking around on social media and making myself draw constantly without many breaks came to a breaking point where my mind and body just called it and said "No."
Thankfully I've been recovering pretty smoothly this past week. So what should you do if you find yourself in a position such as this? The answer is also simple: Turn off social media and give yourself something else to be preoccupied with. I decided to step away from all the social media apps for about a week (though admittedly I had a couple of moments where I caved and decided to check in on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). And instead of forcing myself to draw, I picked up playing some video games I hadn't touched in a while, as well going back and reading books again. Going for walks, and exercising/working out has been a great alternative as well.
Now I keep my time on social media very minimal, and make sure to have a set list of work objectives to accomplish for the day, while also keeping a strong self-awareness of taking 10-15 minute breaks after every hour or so. I intend to stick with this regiment as it's been very beneficial thus far, both for my mental and physical health. And you don't HAVE to do these same things I'm doing, these are just what have been working for me. If you have hobbies or interests you'd like to pick up in your spare time, go ahead and do it. Learning to draw, reading, cooking, writing, exercising and so on will do you a lot more good than constantly checking your apps to see what happened on social media. And taking time for yourself to just relax instead of working yourself nonstop will help keep yourself from hitting a hard burnout.
The month of May has been a steady recuperating period for my work, and catching up with all the leftover work from April. Next week will be my first Caricature gig for 2019 at a local festival, so I'm glad things are getting better now instead of later. Hopefully June will be nice and clear, because I have a couple of things ready to share that I'm excited about, and I hope you'll like them!
I know this post was a bit of a ramble (yet again), but I hope you find some of this advice helpful, and I'll be back again soon with more!