Creative Living Works


How to Avoid Burnout

In the ideal world, you would generate income from what you love to do. The reality for most of us is that this isn't possibleā€¦ yet. This may seem counter-intuitive but the best way to become successful in your craft is to stop relying on it for income. Find other ways to support yourself in order to allow your art to grow organically. Once you hone your talents, develop your unique vision and begin to establish your reputation - the rest will be more likely to follow.

More times than not, burnout happens quickly to those who decide they must make to sell if they want to succeed. Unlike other professions, the quality of your art isn't measured by what you earn. The best environment to establish yourself is to paint, sing, craft, dance ... like no one is watching. If you set out to be the kind of artist that is remembered, one who brings value into the world - you will probably not be marketable at the start. We all know many influential artists lived modestly and gained fame and fortune postmortem. I am not implying it will take that long, but patience and attention to your craft is not a race but a journey!

So keep setting aside time to perfect your art, to challenge your own vision and make something that will blow people away. Don't lose faith because you didn't sell anything at a show, you gained something if attendees admired your work and remember your name. The more you create and the more you show, the more you build your reputation. That needs to happen before you expect to sell. If you are looking for other ways to support yourself, check out the post about 50 flexible gigs. Another great way to keep your momentum going is to apply for grants or residencies.

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