How to Deal with Artist Burnout

Artist burnout happens to all artists, so what do you do when it happens? This video provides pre-emptive measures you can take to prevent artist burnout from happening

Coping strategies are explained, which you can initiate when despite all your best efforts, you get burned out.

Discussion by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artist Jordan McCracken-Foster.

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Drawing in China: Brush Pens & Collage

Video Walkthrough

  • Take regular breaks.
  • Get up and physically walk around every 20-30 min.
  • Shake it up by trying a new art media or subject.
  • Your life isn’t over if you don’t make art for a little while?
  • Indulge yourself occasionally, make fan art or whatever you enjoy.
  • Turn off social media temporarily.
  • Stock up on content for social media, spread out your posts
  • You’re burned out if you are thinking in hyperbole. Example: “all my art sucks,” or “I will never be able to gain that skill.”
  • Creating art should be a fun, positive, experience. If it’s not, change it up!
  • Sign of burnout: making your art is a miserable experience.
  • You’re burned out if you spend more time thinking than doing.
  • Step away as long as you need to, several years is okay!
  • Get regular exercise to stay healthy and to help with mental health.
  • Make sure to do non art related activities regularly.
  • Don’t limit yourself to only art, all your experiences in life matter.
  • Listen to your body to avoid physical injuries
  • Try not to be 100% product oriented, the process is just as important as the product.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

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I have totally done a 360 on the teaching students to work super ultra hard. Part of me knows that I benefited a lot from getting my butt kicked in art school and learning how to work very intensely on a project.

Clara Lieu

I got enough experience during art school that I am now confident about meeting deadlines that if I am really pressed for time I know how to deal.

On the other hand, that’s me and my specific situation. For many students that intense way of working can be too stressful and paralyzing.

Clara Lieu, banner
Drawing in China: Brush Pens & Collage

While working intensely in art school can be doable when you’re young without tons of life commitments, it’s not a good strategy long term and isn’t sustainable.

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