Thursday, June 25, 2015

coping with creative burnout



Creativity and making art is a really interesting process- as much as you would like to control and schedule when inspiration and productivity hits, most of the time you are the mercy of the process. After a lifetime of creating, learning, developing my style and growing a business, I've learned A LOT about the cycle of creativity. And today I am talking all about coping with creative burnout!

burnout from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.



I used to freak out when I would hit a wall or struggle with burnout and after years of fighting it, I finally learned that the best thing I can do is embrace it!



When I hit a wall, the last thing I typically feel like doing is exercising. But I've found that when I drag myself outside, move my body and breath fresh air, I ALWAYS feel rejuvenated and energized!
EXERCISE from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.


I've found that when I am coping with creative burnout, it helps to focus on something totally unrelated to painting, drawing and running my business. Instead I look for things outside of my reality that are creative and interesting. My favorite is anything that has to do with cooking- for some reason watching a cooking documentary or making a meal in the kitchen instantly helps me relax while being creative in a different way.






A lot of the time I take myself and my creativity WAY too seriously so when I hit a wall, the first thing I need to do is lighten up and have a little fun!

have fun from Alisa Burke on Vimeo.


There is an ebb and flow to the cycle of creativity and sometimes the most important thing you can do is trust the process. Creativity, ideas and energy can come and go but if you have passion and the space in your life for creativity, you will bounce back from burnout. It may take a little while but I promise it will come back.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are so kind to do this for us - thank you! I love to watch your videos and always find what you say interesting and helpful. So much of what you say here rings true. For me it's green spaces that help me to wind down, which in the city I have to go and find, but amongst the squirrels and birds the wearisome feelings just melt away. I can get my exercise there too and you are right it does invigorate and re energise to just switch off.
Sara


CREATIVE KHADIJA said...

This is so nice! Thanks Alisa for sharing with us :) loved the article

Bonita Rose said...

Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with others. xo

Stephanie said...

Great insights, thanks!

Stephanie said...

I loved this post, Alisa! I often feel that I have so much I want to do creatively and I just keep going and going, and pushing myself until all of a sudden my body says, "Enough!" and then I have to take a break from everything (as much as that is possible with a young child! :) ). Being quiet in my corner with a good book helps to calm my mind, but I think I'm going to try to do some exercise like you suggested. I remember reading something about movement and the creative process in Twyla Tharp's book "The Creative Habit" (wonderful book, by the way! :)). There is link there that you two are on to! Thanks!!

miss ann said...

Thanks for sharing with us, and I was glad to hear that you too hit a low when you finish a project. I usually have feelings like I don't even know why I made that! But if I put it aside and don't look at for a day or so I can see it again with new eyes and remember.

Sue @ A Colourful Canvas said...

Oh Bravo! I love this post! I'm finally at a place where I actually get that there is a creative cycle LOL, but these tips on how to navigate the perceived 'burnout' or 'block' are so spot on! Thank you! Thank you!

PS Your widget linked me to 4 month Lucy....squuueeeee!

DLScriv said...

Thank you Alisa for your insight. All good advice!
I wanted to ask you a couple of things...
There is a wall next to you in one of the videos with a bunch of things hanging on it and a title above it that reads "Your Life on Fire". I was wondering what that was, and if you'd share with us about it. The other thing I wanted to ask is regarding your painted walls. Do you prep them in any special way... are you using paint samples/oops paint meant for walls, or your regular acrylic paints... and do you put anything over the top to protect it?

moongirl said...

Wonderful advice - thank you!!!

Giggles said...

This is a very important powerful post of videos! I wish every type A young woman could hear this early in life!! I wish I had done this when I was young...because the alternative can be illness. Having read many artists blogs it seems all of them hit a lull...but when they return their work takes either a new turn or is much improved! It's interesting to watch. As far as the cooking my daughter cooks when she is stressed, and often never even eats it. She'll make banana bread, which she never eats, just to give away. So you are not a weirdo...I think you are so authentic and intuitive knowing exactly what works for your life. Thank you so much for boldly sharing your life! The videos are fantastic!! You make a difference!!

Hugs Giggles

Mila said...

Thanks for these words, they are so useful!

On that last video you explain that you have this energy or need to create, and that it's a crazy energy or compulsive need (sorry, I'm paraphrasing here...). I have had a need to create for as long as I can remember, but I don't think it's urgent or compulsive and I find it hard to include creativity in my life. I have a full time job as a programmer and a 9 month old baby, and after I get home and we do our bath-dinner-sleep routine with baby, all I want to do is sit on my couch and zone out to something on my TV with my husband. I am sure I'm not alone in this, but I don't know how to get out of this rut.

Just now, I looked around my desk, and I guess I actually do create to some extent: I have an adult coloring page next to me and I fill some of it in when I need to think and I crochet almost every evening, which counts as making. But I have this huge list of creative projects I want to accomplish and I never seem to make a dent in it (and maybe even aspire to be a creative entrepreneur someday). Any advice for this apparent inability to move ahead with all the creative projects in my mind?

Keryl Codrington said...

Thanks Alisa for sharing your experience via these videos.. such words of wisdom and your honesty is refreshing. Be assured we greatly appreciate all the time and effort you put into your projects,blogposts, tutorials and classes. No wonder you need some "time out".

sumo said...

Love watching you and your hands talk ;) Great words of wisdom!

Erika johnson said...

Thank you! Great advice.

Shiri Gil-Wine said...

thank you' that was very helpful. Some of it I know as I have learned to know my own creative cycle...

Dianne said...

Hi, Alisa.
I wanted to let you know I commented on this post in my blog (at http://diannekronika.blogspot.com/2015/10/it-has-been-hard-to-get-myself-into.html). I really found it helpful.
Thanks.

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