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Are you confused as to how other artists manage to stay in a productive creative flow and can't help but feel jealous when seeing incredible new artworks others are constantly sharing? Do you want to make a living from your art someday, but doubt whether you'll have the courage, character and determination required to succeed? Does criticism and/or lack of support make you feel so low, that you want to stop creating altogether?
If you're set on becoming an artist, and you're constantly feeling any (or all) of these things, it's imperative that you start working on yourself, alongside your artistic skills. This is going to be absolutely essential for you if you ever want to achieve lasting success.
Being an artist is tough. Not only are we entrepreneurs (which means we work a lot, wear a ton of different hats and have to be willing to push ourselves out of our comfort zones every-single-day), but we also have to consistently create quality work that people will want to buy.
Work that, in most cases, is created by us and us alone. Work that is pretty much a piece, or extension, of ourselves.
All of this makes it necessary to stay strong if we're intending to make a living from our passion.
In today's blog post/YouTube video, I'll be sharing the top five things that I make sure to do on a weekly basis in order to stay healthy both mentally and physically as an artist.
Since I started doing these things consistently a few years ago, not only have I been able to make much faster progress, but I'm also able to enjoy what I do much more and have been able to improve my self-confidence to a degree that I'm able to myself out there in ways I never thought possible.
It wasn't always like this though, and I'm getting very personal about my past today, which is something I very rarely do online. I do this with the hope that some of you out there will resonate with my story and really grasp how important prioritizing self-care is if you want to reach your goals.
I want to keep creating art until I'm a little old lady, and I hope that you also intend to keep inspiring and awakening others through your art for as long as possible.
It is my objective with this blog (and my YouTube channel) to help aspiring artists improve their skills and pursue their passions. However, we cannot give our all at any task if we're unwell mentally and/or physically.
Not to mention, many of us artists are inherently sensitive, which is even more of a reason to stay aware of our wellbeing and set systems in place to ensure that we're not exhausting ourselves.
Artists have had a bad rap throughout history for living in excess and having erratic personalities. I'll have none of that! Whenever tragedies that artists (from all fields) have partaken in come into my mind, I also remind myself of all the others who have led happy and fulfilling lives.
“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.”
3. Review short term/long term goals (personal, work and interpersonal). All of them are important!
Most people go through life without really giving thought to what they truly want. They settle for what's expected and let life happen to them instead of fighting for their dreams to come true. This is a surefire way of feeling unfulfilled and unhappy.
With introspection comes getting to know yourself, and with getting to know yourself comes discovering what you truly want in life. This alone will bring you a ton of clarity.
Once you're there, it's important to give thought to your specific short-term and long-term goals in order to set the necessary steps to get there. No matter where you're currently at, prioritize those goals.
A while back I wrote a blog post titled Time Management for Artists: My Secrets for Staying Consistently Productive, which I highly recommend you check out if you feel like you're wandering aimlessly through life.
I provide a free workbook to help you set your personal, work and interpersonal goals, as well as ideas for scheduling your week to ensure you're making progress each and every week.
For me, it was imperative to learn to say no to the things that didn't align with my goals once I had set them. I realized time is the most valuable resource I have and I don't want to waste it on activities or people that aren't going to help me get closer to them.
It may sound harsh, but we absorb the negativity and positivity from those around us. As creatives, we should strive to be around people that are positive, have big ideas like we do, and lift us up.
As you work towards your dreams to come true, please don't forget to celebrate each and every small victory that comes your way!
4. Schedule time for organization and adulting. Keep your working area as safe and inspiring as you can.
Unless you're a clean freak, have people that help you with homely chores, or don't have very much going on in life, I'm willing to bet that your home and/or working area tends to get cluttered and messy pretty fast.
Most of us are directly or indirectly affected by the environment we're in, which leads to being more stressed and less productive.
It also leads to more accidents, wasting time when we're unable to find things we need, and it can also lead to more serious health problems depending on the type of artwork we create. So make sure you're staying as organized as you can, and always follow safety instructions when using materials that are toxic.
If you paint like I do, always work in well-ventilated areas and use gloves so that potentially harmful substances don't come into contact with your skin. If you can, check out brands of art products that are doing their best to provide non-toxic paints and mediums like Gamblin!
I like scheduling in at least a bit of time each week to take care of cleaning, organizing and other administrative tasks so that things don't pile up (literally and in my head). It may initially seem like a waste of precious time but I assure you you'll be saving time in the long run.
As artists, we do what we love for a living, and keeping our studio organized and inspiring to work in really helps keep things as enjoyable as possible.
5. Schedule time to disconnect from your work. Make time to socialize and set aside time for activities that relax you.
As artists, we spend a lot of time alone. It's important to make sure we're nurturing the relationships we have with people that are important to us. We can't let the connections we have with amazing people fizzle out OR keep ourselves locked up to the point that we miss opportunities to meet other great humans.
No matter how introverted we may be, we need some degree of connection with others in order to feel happy and fulfilled. Treasure the relationships you have with those amazing people in your life.
Finally, make sure you're doing things that relax you and bring you joy. As an artist, I'm sure creating art was initially something that brought you a great amount of pleasure.
However, if it is now work for you, I would suggest looking for activities that allow you to disconnect for a while. I enjoy going to the movies, planning a dinner with friends or reading a good book.
Remember that the best ideas come when we're actually living our lives and not stuck in our studios!
That's it for today, everyone! I hope you found this blog post helpful and that you start making your mental and physical health a top priority. I promise you that your work, as well as every other aspect of your life will greatly improve if you stick with it.
Best line ever “my monster now had a name”! Awesome post Erika! Thanks so much for all you do ❤️
Hi Barb!! It's so nice to see you over here! :)
I'm happy to hear you enjoyed this post. It was difficult to hit publish, for sure!
And it's my pleasure! :)
Talk to you, soon!
Self care is so important for creatives. We have the freedom to make our own time table, but this can sometimes lead to us overworking ourselves. This tips are really helpful!
Hi Autumn! Thanks for checking this post out. :)
What you say is SO true. People who work normal 9-5 jobs might think that working on our own (or even from home) is easier, but it's really not. We have to stay super disciplined because we don't have a boss or someone else telling us what to do when. The line between work and pleasure really gets blurred!
I'm happy to hear that you found this helpful!
Take good care of yourself!
It's sooo necessary! By disconnecting, I'm able to then create even better work.
I understand it can be super hard, though. I literally have to schedule in everything in my calendar or it just doesn't get done. : /
I wouldn't be able to progress without my to-do lists! Thanks so much for checking out this post and taking time to comment! It is much appreciated! :)
Thanks so much for checking this post out and also for your comment. :)
It's SO, incredibly important to put our health first. What you went through sounds incredibly intense and I hope you're now doing better.
It can be very difficult to make time for eating healthy, exercising, taking care of ourselves mentally, etc. with such busy lives and demands from society, but our health is the most important thing we have. We can't forget that!
Take good care of yourself and thanks again!
Getting enough sleep is such an important part of taking care of ourselves. We all need a different amount of hours, and it's useful to figure out what works in your case so you can make sure to get them in.
Making time to take care of our minds and bodies really impacts all areas of our lives positively, too.
Take care of yourself and thanks so much for taking time to comment. :)
hi Erika. true I can relate to having too little sleep, and not been able to create amazing art.
also, about getting exercise and movement in your day, as an artist. but what I do not understand, is how people who work at home say they have no time. because with me I move in-between my art making, and home duties. that is enough movement for me.
i am fit enough, I do two or three times a week head out for a few hours, and i mostly shop and get to walk for 2-3 hours at a time non stope? As to keeping my art studio tidy and pleasant, easy. when i stop at the end of the day, i quickly clean my brushes, and put my art in its place to dry or to wait for next time. i then dust, over and sweep the floor and make sure all the furniture is tidy and in place. ? what is so hard to do???...thanking you...
Thanks so much for reading and taking time to leave your valuable comment.
It's so hard to be creative and to finish art projects when one is tired or unwell. Oftentimes, in my opinion, artists think it's a burnout or a block, when it's really just exhaustion and a matter of making self-care a priority.
Unfortunately, I think eating well, sleeping well and exercising, is not a priority for lots of people. In terms of why some people can't find the time to do things...it's a matter of what they prioritize in life, really. Some people prioritize watching tv or going out with friends, and that's (consciously or subconsciously) what they see as important, so it's going to be what they keep doing.
I can relate with what you mention about movement and exercise. As someone who works from home, I make sure to get my steps in using a smart watch, and schedule in my workouts that I'm going to get in no matter what. I'm fortunate to have some workout equipment at home that I've been collecting over many years and that's what I use.
I'm glad you're taking care of yourself, too! And that you're good at keeping your environment tidy and inspiring to work in.
Have a lovely day!
Artists are very creative people, and the most amount of time they spend is thinking and bringing it to life. This can cause mental problems in the long run, and self-care can be the best method to keep themselves focused and achieve good results. Thanks for posting. Not many people know that artists do have mental problems that should be taken care of. Though I also think that you should get to know yourself before you opt for self-care, as it will help with proper treatment.
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