Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a great week! A few weeks ago, I had an idea for a painting. I spent probably a week or so working on it pretty much every day. I was so excited to finish it, until suddenly I wasn’t anymore. I had lost all motivation. I’m sure many of my fellow artists would agree that burning out is the worst feeling. Knowing I could be painting and finishing a piece I really love, but having no motivation to do it can be crushing. That’s why I think it’s important to take breaks. A lot of people use art as their escape, using it as a creative outlet from their jobs or classes. But what do you do when you need a creative outlet from a creative outlet? I’d like to share my favorite outlets with you all in the hopes that I can get back on track soon!
One of my favorite things to do is listen to music. I’m playing music pretty much all the time, ranging from One Direction to Billy Joel. Music often inspires other creative outlets – which is why I work so much better if music is playing. My most recent inspiration came from Olivia Rodrigo’s new album SOUR, and I’m hoping that this weekend I can start a smaller piece inspired by one of her songs. Hopefully, this will bring me back to my painting!
The next thing I love to do is read. With art, I love that I can create images to tell a story. With reading, I like that the story can create images. I started rereading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak this summer, which is my favorite book. I can’t help but smile with every word I read, wishing I could read it again for the first time. But, with each reread, I learn more. I find things I hadn’t noticed before, and I come up with theories to explain things that the author left unsaid. It’s like looking at a painting. At first glance, you’ll notice the bigger picture and decide if you like it or not, but if you look for longer and more closely, you’ll notice all of the small details that truly tell the story of the piece.
The last, and my personal favorite, is noticing the art in nature. Since I live so close to the beach, I get to go sit by the water any time I can. I love going to the beach to collect seashells, or to the bay to watch the sunset. Sunsets have always been my favorite part of the day, especially when I get to see them on the water. I love the colors the sky makes and how it reflects across the seascape. But I think the best part of watching the sunset is being with others. I get to spend time with my best friends, talking or listening to music, and simply enjoying the wonders of the world. Nature is perhaps the most inspiring thing for me.
So if you’re feeling a little unproductive like me, look for inspiration somewhere else. Remember that taking breaks is not only okay, but important. Without a break to fuel yourself, you’ll never be able to move forward. Go outside and define the colors of the trees or find shapes in the clouds. Look for meaning in song lyrics or pick up a good book for an hour or so. And if you can’t go see a sunset on the water, take a look at this one I got to see from last week!