Is it Okay For Artists to Take a Break?

Many artists feel pressured to do their art non stop, when really taking breaks is extremely valuable and necessary in improving and progressing as an artist.

39 min. video

Stepping away from your artwork gives you time away to absorb your ideas, to have non art related experiences that can provide fresh inspiration, and getting distance so you can look at your artwork with a fresh pair of eyes.

Discussion by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Deepti Menon and Alex Rowe.

Lauryn Welch
Lauryn Welch

Video Walkthrough

  • The whole “artists have to draw everyday” is a myth that can actually be counterproductive.
  • While you may feel rusty after a break, there’s no such thing as losing your skills.
  • Taking a break is important for both your physical and mental health.
  • Without physical breaks you can risk injuring yourself.
  • Time away from your artwork lets you come back with a fresh set of eyes.
  • Breaks let you marinate on your artistic ideas.
  • Social media makes many artists feel like they will get “behind” if they aren’t producing constantly.
  • For artists who are parents, remember that you won’t get that time back with your kids!
  • Use playlists and podcasts to set the atmosphere for a productive work session.
  • Everyone has things going on in their life! Family obligations, responsibilities, you are more than just your artwork.
  • You may see people who work 24/7, but not everyone can function that way.
  • You can separate your thinking time and your production time.
  • Working smart is much more important than working long hours.
  • Learn how to be efficient with your time.
  • Everything in your life informs your experiences and artwork.
  • Pick 1 day per week that is always a day off, no matter what.
  • Learn how to “clock” out at a certain time of day.
  • There’s a difference between being lazy vs. resting for your mental health.
  • Do you have to be in the “right” mood to create artwork?

Jordan’s Tips

Jordan Cartoon

I think simply having fun as an artist is a major thing for me. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “practice, practice, practice” mindset.

Jordan McCracken-Foster

We forget that sometimes we need to remind ourselves to enjoy what we do because that’s typically why we became artists in the first place.

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