I graduated from art school 5 months ago, and ever since then I've barely created anything and art sounds like a chore. I used to be so passionate and now I'm just depressed. What do I do?
Last Updated: 09/08/2020 at 6:42pm
Halayma Khatun, M.A Theology(U.K, UAE), Diploma With Distinction in Counseling, Certification trauma abandonment
Compassionate, patient, experienced depression counselor. I use Psychodynamic counseling techniques. My counseling experience is +8 years, I counsel women.
Top Rated Answers
I am not a visual artist or expert, but I think I have experienced something similar. Sometimes forcing myself to "just do it" helps and reminds me of why I love something. Other times, I find it useful to focus on something unrelated for awhile. Only then does my brain relax enough to produce ideas. Are there things that inspire you, like walks, music or experiences? Does going to art exhibits, researching other artists or spending time with friends motivate you? Look for things that wake up your imagination and make them a part of your day! I also recommend looking for external factors that are making art harder for you. Is it possible to change these? Do you like your studio space? Is your health good? If you are still depressed, have you tried phoning a support line? I don't know if this helps, but I wish you all the best! You're awesome for following your passion! Keep going.
I'm actually going through the exact same thing with art too. Sometimes it's just a season and it comes after making sure you're actively doing self-care. I've been really unmotivated and depressed, so part of what I do to counteract that is to set a few tasks for each day to help myself feel productive. Keep an inspiration journal and place things in it that appeal to you artistically. (maybe a picture or someone else's work that inspires you) keeping a creative mindset even when you don't feel motivated to create can help keep that fire going until you're through your depressive season.
It sounds like you are feeling uninspired. Consider what has changed since you left school. Art school is an environment that actively encouraged you to be creative and explore, or at least get assignments done. Perhaps you had a professor or friends who encouraged you to create? Do you still interact with them? Hold on to the things that ignite your passion, and don't be afraid to introduce new passions into your life. Going to an art museum or a gallery might also help you get inspired. :)
When I was in this situation, a teacher told me this, about creativity, "You can't rush the river.' The best you can do is take care of yourself physically and keep having experiences. The art will come.
If you can't find your inspiration back. Let it be. Don't run after it. It won't be any good. I am a writer and I know how frustrating it can be. Don't be depressed. Instead of focusing on what you cannot do, focus on what you can do. Do other things. Maybe a hobby. Learn something else. And one day while, you are living your life happy, doing something else, spending time with friends or just sitting and watching TV, it will come to you. I wouldn't be saying all of this to you, if it hadn't worked for me. So trust me on this. It would get better,
I’ve been an artist my entire life and also created a good career using my talents. For me personally I find creativity comes in waves and it ebbs and flows. Forcing myself to be creative has never worked for me. Yet doing nothing only made me feel bad about myself. There’s an amazing book called “The Artists Way” written by Julia Cameron that explains this exact issue and gives very easy doable tools to help get you unstuck. One technique is called “Morning Pages” where every morning before you start your day you sit down with a cup of coffee or whatever and you write three pages of all the junk and thoughts swimming in your head. Forget spelling or punctuation or the need to write legible sentences. Every random thought that comes in your head scribble it down. Write as fast as you can. It’s just stream of consciousness nonsense. It takes maybe 3-5 minutes. Once you’ve purged all that clutter and ear worms in your mind get up and burn the page. Or rip it in tiny pieces. Or whatever way you’d like to destroy it. Don’t read it! That’s not the point. You’re getting that inner critic out of your head and onto the paper. All those unrealistic expectations and shoulds and should nots and past memories or future fights... purge it on the paper and then destroy it. It works. Give it a try. I’ve heard of people doing their Morning Pages and all the sudden they realize their venting has turned into a novel. You get the idea. This simple technique really works if you do it consistently. It may take a little time to get your creative juices flowing whilst doing the pages and that’s ok. In the meantime distract yourself with totally different kinds of activities that have nothing to do with your art of choice. Hope that was helpful. Xoxo
I know this feeling and I still go through it while working full time as a graphic designer. I am hoping I will get my passion back but like other people said, it comes and it goes and don't stress over that. When I'm feeling really sad, sometimes I draw out something on my sketchbook or write out something that I feel, when I'm inclined to. I stop if I feel forced or bored or numb. But there have been times where that feeling carried me through and I ended up creating something very cathartic. If you're not inclined to do anything, that's totally ok. The inspiration will come and go. Sometimes there's long periods of droughts and that's normal for all artists. The drought is only temporary. Take care of yourself.
I can relate well to the feeling of art feeling like a chore after studying it and in my experience, it's because I held a belief that I must create what others would have liked to see. Instead of what I would have liked to see and feel. I fell in love with art because I loved blending different colours on a canvas and I kept reminding myself of it. So, perhaps we have to fall in love with art again and re-write old beliefs we formed while going to school. Trying new mediums helps imo.
firstly well done for your achievement .I would suggest taking some time out for a week or so.sometimes its best to take a a break from the things we love .so that it doesn't become tiring and as you said 'becomes a chore. During this break you should just think about taking care of you. eating well ,sleeping and doing some fun things that you know will make you feel good. Even if its as simple as walking the dog .refrain from touching a pen,pencil or paintbrush .theres no harm in looking around for inspirational ideas for your artistic talents. Just put your mental and physical health first .if you do feel that your depression is getting worse or staying the same. then go to a doctor and ask for some advice
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