Please remember, I am not an pro, therapist, an expert, or anything along these lines. This article is just full of what has personally helped me to remember and think about.
Burnt out? Or feeling discouraged? Unsure about art? Feel you're an amateur? Feel like you should just give up on art? I've got a lot of things to help these various problems here, with some anecdotes by myself to help you out, as well as some supplementary materials to assist.
This can also overlap somewhat with "art block," though the difference between what this article talks about, and art block, is more about not having an idea of what to do rather than actually feeling like you should stop arting or writing or being creative or feeling you're bad at it inherently or are too new to bother.
There are a few ways you can feel burnt out on art, and I'll go over what I've seen as most common.
Life's a Chibi: The Starter and The Expert - by o-kemono @ Furaffinity (sfw).
This one is one that can encompass a few things. Maybe you're feeling new to art and like you should stop because you're not going to do anything that anyone else will like, or you feel it's a waste of time (none of these are true, by the way!). Or maybe you're comparing yourself to other artists who you've admired for awhile. Or, far more insidisously, perhaps you've been told you should stop or quit because you're not going to make it anywhere by an meanie.
The answer to these are a little tricky, but... Well.
First of all, you're new to it, in general. Even if you started a year or two ago, you're still improving. Every single artist is still improving, and everybody improves at different paces and rates.
If you stop, do it because it actively hurts you, or because it's just not your fancy anymore. Don't stop because you're "bad," or because you're comparing to other people too much. That'll only make you feel worse in the long run. Everybody is bad; everybody starts somewhere.
If you're still worried, remember: just because you keep trying and going anyway, you will inspire someone else. I've met, and seen, so many people who are starting at it, and they've allowed me to try and help them get even better. I love encouraging new people to try new things, particularly in art. They inspire me to keep going, myself, too. So you very well might do that for somebody like me.
Life's A Chibi - Never Say - by o-kemono @ Furaffinity (sfw.)
Life's a Chibi: Out Of Place - O-kemono @ Deviantart
Here, you might feel like you're worse than a lot of people, despite having been at the practice for awhile, particularly these whom you look up to or who are younger than you that you perceive as "better" despite the age. Or you might feel you should be better than where you currently are because of a lot of research or such.
This one is one I struggle a lot with myself, but I've found that it helps to remember a few things.
Firstly, that your younger self would probably be impressed with quite a bit of it, especially progress you've made. Just think about it; just a year ago (or even a few months ago), past you would be impressed at how present you has changed things and improved on things, and figured out some tactics!
Secondly, that you have progressed by your own hard work and research thus far. Other people's progress and work do not invalidate your own, and you need to remember that.
Thirdly, you inspire quite a few other people just by contininuing. A lot of these "younger" or "better" people might in fact be impressed by you, and in turn, inspired deeply by you. You keep doings, and maybe you've influenced them too. This doesn't mean pressure on you; rather, it means keep doing what you've been doing and you'll continue inspiring people without even trying to. That's the beauty!
Life's A Chibi: A Different View Point - by o-kemono @ Furaffinity (sfw.)
Life's A Chibi: Cant Please Everyone - by o-kemono @ furaffnity (sfw).
You might be worrying about producing the right kind of content and getting burnt out on doing it because if you do something different, people don't like it as much, or may even be buttheads to you personally.
Unfortunately, this one isn't quite as simple a "fix" as I'd wish to be able to say, but I've found that just doing what you want and creating it - and sharing it with your friends, who should respect you and like what you make by account of it just being yours anyway -
and these who are super focused on one kind of content may not be the content that you enjoy making. If it is, great! But let yourself do other things if you feel like it too; you're not obligated to stick with one thing and one thing alone, at all.
Life's A Chibi: Create What You Love - by o-kemono @ furaffinity (sfw.)
Life's A Chibi: That Special Client by o-kemono; @ furaffinity (sfw).
You might feel like it's just work now, and not fun any more, when it started out as a hobby or as a way to unwind for you. Unfortunately, this one can be tricky to help with, since oftentimes it comes from artists who are depending on it for their own life, or to help themselves stay afloat.
Try and find customers who are fun for you to work with, or try and find osme free time for yourself to draw fun things. Setting aside a day a week just for you, just for you, can work. On that day, only draw what you want to; what you feel like. The work can be on the other days of the week. Let yourself indulge.
Life's A Chibi: Commissioners From Hell - by o-kemono @ furaffinity (sfw).
Life's a Chibi: Worst Enemy, by o-kemono @ deviantart
Maybe your inner critic's kicking your butt a lot. It's saying you suck, that you're bad at art (or writing, or singing, or so-forth) no matter what you do. There's a very simple fix here -- but unfortunately, it's one that is very much "easier said than done".
Stop being so critical of yourself. Remind yourself that you're sitll improving (regardless of age, regadless of skill picked up). Another, lesser effective but sitll effective fix, is to force yourself - really force - yourself to see at least one postitivite thing about each single drawing you do after you've finished it (even if it's still in sketch phase).
For instance, maybe you like how you did the shading? or maybe you like that purple prose you wrote? Or maybe you even really like how you figured out an neat new tactic to use for that modeling? Try and focus on the good instead of the bad, but strive to help yourself research and practice as well, to improve what still needs it.
Don't focus only on the negative; focus on the good as well.
Life's A Chibi: A Negative into a Positive - by o-kemono @ furaffinity, sfw
Resources & Supplies
All of these are things I've read, or seen, that have legitimately helped me out myself, personally.
A Movie: Kiki's Delivery Service - Ghibli
Why a movie of all things about a cute thing? This doesn't remotely seem related to burnout at all!
In the movie, the girl starts out all eager and happy to do things. Eventually, she gets burnt out and loses motivation. She slogs through life slowly, losing sight of the goals and feeling like she shouldn't keep going.
Eventually, she comes across somebody who talks about it with her. They hang out. This person is an artist, who's had issues herself.
Okay, but how does this help me?
It's useful to watch; it's a long-ish, cute, movie that's nice to watch. It helps remind me of things. It reminds me of how I feel sometimes, and gently reminds me to take time for myself, and reminds me that even if an ghibli protagonist (and wow, they're sure very happy-go-lucky, indeed!) feels burnt out, it's okay for me to. And I'll be okay eventually, too, even if it takes a while.
A Book: Your Inner Critic is A Big Jerk
Your Inner Critic Is a Big Jerk: And Other Truths About Being Creative, by Danielle Krysa, Amazon
It really should be obvious but it isn't?
-Okay so this one is a bit more abstract. Basically... You really, really need to listen to your friends and anybody who encourages you and wants you to keep going. Listen to them, even if your monkey brain's going "raaaa!!! no!!!!" in response.
Got stuff you'd like me to add, or think I forgot to put it here even though I mightve talked about how a thing helped me somewhere else? Contact me! Back to Top