Burn out. Artists, we all know what that feel like. You wake up one day and everything you touch and create is garbage. There's no passion left. It's a downward spiral of emotions. It feels like you have been pushed into a bottomless pit and darkness is rising up all around, it's swallowing you up, it's eating you alive. You begin to imagine what life is like without art. You get sad. You become depressed, my life without art? My identity is in my art. Who am I without it, you think. What am I without it? What do I do if I can't make something that's worth a damn?
You reach out towards the little pin light that once was the opening to this hole you were pushed into a few days ago, maybe even weeks ago now. It feels like you are grasping at nothing, like trying to grab a handful of sand or water. It's flowing between your fingers. Success. It is far away now. You are burnt out completely. Your passion gone. What's the point anymore? I was never good anyways. People were just nice to me because they felt sorry for me. Like the last kid picked for the team at recess because they wanted to be included but no one wanted them because it was painfully obvious they weren't cut out for sports. That's you. But in art. Right?
Burn out. We've all felt it, and I have felt it more than ever lately. Before you go further know absolutely I love my job, I love the fact that I have been able to turn my passion, and what at once time was my hobby into a career. I am a full time videographer and photographer. How freakin' cool right? But sometimes I find myself face to face with the biggest challenge any creative faces, and that's burn out. Over the years I have found myself in this position countless times. Sometimes it's more severe and lasts weeks and sometimes it's just a few days. Right now it's been going on for weeks. Each time I've faced burn out what I've learned is that it's 100% a-okay to be burnt out. It's all apart of the process.
What I mean is as artists we have processes. Some of us like to lock ourselves in dark rooms and listen to music until feel alive again. Some of us go for walks and get lost in day dreams about our lives or even create new worlds in our minds. Others go to drugs or other ways of looking inwardly. Me? I put everything down and let my mind reset. I don't necessarily stop shooting altogether but I just put my cameras down and take life in. I create mental pictures for myself, I create experiences. For me the reason I face burnout is because I am always trying to capture something which then results in me needing to edit, which results in my having to find a place to post it. But when is the best time to post? Is this even worth posting? Will people like what I post? Will they even listen? That, that right there is the mental check-list that happens each time I take a photo.
I'm not obsessed with likes and follows, what I am obsessed with is being the best version of myself. So, I have created coping mechanisms to be my best self. When I feel burn out happening I simply put my stuff down and take it all in. Generally this opens my eyes. I feel refreshed after a few days. The fiery enraged flame of passion that has dwindled to a hot ember finds some oxygen. Each day I give it some time to rest is another day it find more oxygen. Each days it burns a little hotter until finally it's a flame again, and it's then that I know I'm ready to take on the world again, I'm ready to create.
If I can end with anything for any creative, artist, hell, any person reading this that is tired, exhausted, or mentally drained and everything in between. Find a way to disconnect. Find your happy place. There is no right or wrong way to find your passion again. The best way is whatever works for you, but never ever give up. Burn out is inevitable, it's what you decide to do while your burn out that will make or break you. Always strive to be better, accept it all as part of the process, and before you know it you will be back on top ready to take on the world. I promise.
- If you would like to know more about my process, life, work, etc. leave me a comment and I will work to do some Q&A's occasionally. I get a lot of questions on my social media channels that I am happy to answer here. Also, if you like what you see here, give it a share to help me get the word out, and follow my social media accounts to see more of my work! Thank you for your support. Love you guys. -