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Avoid and Fix Creative Burnout: Keep Your Art Ideas Flowing

Creative burnout is when you can’t think of another idea, no matter how hard you try, and it can affect even the most dedicated artist. Every artist needs to learn strategies to combat this phenomenon, and to protect their wellbeing as an artist. If burnout has already happened to you, don’t worry, there are ways to break through it.
Preventing Burnout
• Here are some simple ways to prevent your creativity from being toasted.
• Take a day or two off from your art every week. When you come back to it, you’ll be fresh again.
• Make sure to have a hobby that is not art/creativity related to give your creative side a break.
• Change media for a while. The new challenge will spark your creativity in new ways.
• When you don’t feel like painting or drawing, don’t. It will be there when you are ready.
• Don’t punish yourself for not finishing or reaching your goals as quickly as you would like. It’s counterproductive.
• Do more than one art project at a time so that you can switch from one to another if you get bored.
• Make sure you give yourself new and exciting challenges regularly.
• Don’t compare your art to others’. Art is subjective. Just because another artist is really good doesn’t mean your stuff is crap; just different.
Solving Burnout
Solving burnout is hard. Once your mind becomes resistant to something, it is hard to change it.
1. First, just try not being an artist for a while. Read some good fiction, join a non-art related club, or do some volunteer work. Sometimes you just need new experiences to break out of a rut.
2. Next, try moving where you work on your art. Even moving your easel to another wall or taking your sketch pad to another room may make you more creative. Try some plein-air painting if you are used to working inside and vice versa.
3. If that doesn’t work, try talking about it. Join an artist’s forum and hash out your feelings. You’ll get lots of feedback and support from others. Sometimes, hearing that others have been there, and pulled through, helps a lot.
4. Also, try getting some exercise. Studies show that getting more oxygen to the brain, through exercise, can make it more creative. So, go for a walk, play with your dog, race your kids, join a team, or garden.
No matter what, don’t ever give up on your art. Keep trying these tips until something clicks. It may take time, but it is worth it.