Every now and again I find that I need to take a break from creating. It’s not that it is hard work. That wouldn’t be accurate to say, at least for me. It’s work that I love, but it definitely isn’t struggling work.
It’s good to take a hiatus because the mind must be nurtured and allowed to rest. Painting as much as I do takes a lot out of you imaginatively, creatively, and personally.
It takes a LOT of mental focus.
And with the holidays I think it is a good time to take a breather. I haven’t made a video in a few weeks now, nor have I been painting with fury like I normally do. I’ve only painted two originals in the last three weeks!
Here are a few signs it might be time to take an art break.
1. When others things are calling.
When other activities or things start calling you its a good sign you’ve been hitting it a little too hard. Your focus can’t be 100% on your art business. Why? Because human beings are like containers. We only have 100% of space. If you are too concerned with your business, the rest of the things in your life will invariably suffer.
2. When you don’t really want to make art.
You always hear people say that when you don’t want to do something, that is the time you need to do it the most. The problem with that, however, is that when you don’t feel compelled to pour your heart into a painting, sculpture, photograph…etc—it is not going to turn out very good. Visual art is a different world. It is creationism at its finest. You have to have excitement, passion, joy, agitation, and anger running through you to be able to create at the highest level possible. So if you are going through the doldrums, what do you have at the moment to give to your artwork?
3. When you feel discouraged
Sometimes when you are feeling disappointed or lackluster, the best thing to do is crawl under a rock, and NOT die, but regroup. Get back to square one. Running a business like mine, all by yourself, is great work that requires a tremendous amount of effort, resiliency, and determination. And the more your sales grow and name spreads, it’s even more of an effort. So regrouping is sometimes the only thing you can do. It is taking care of you. It is Loving Yourself 101.
The point is to not feel bad about taking a hiatus. Everybody needs one from time to time. I’m not saying to stop making art for a month or a year. For some people a week will do just fine. Just make sure you stop and rest. And don’t let anybody tell you that real professionals don’t take breaks.
Of course they do! Because a true professional knows when to loosen up on the reigns to preserve their mental, emotional, and physical health. For when they do that, they come back even stronger than they were before.
I look forward to getting back into the studio, but for now, I’m enjoying a much needed “time out.”
I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas, and the best start to the new year. I wish you warmth, peace, and love this holiday season.