Burnout

Sometimes you do something so often that all the joy you used to get doing it gets sucked out of you.

That’s how I’ve been feeling for the past couple of months. Burned out. Tired of writing, tired of blogging, tired of drawing even.

I needed a break, and while I don’t feel 100% yet, just not doing any of it for a while has helped me feel significantly better.

Drawing especially. I think when it comes to art, I hold myself to such impossibly high standards that anything short of perfection is an utter disappointment for me.

I had a commission I was really excited about, but half way through I just couldn’t execute the vision the way it was in my (and the client’s ) mind. Making the decision to terminate the commission half way through was a torturous process but I think I learned that it’s alright to acknowledge my weak points and I’m not perfect. I never went to art school or studied art formally so certain things like colour theory are really difficult for me and it should be okay to say that to myself.

Inside I feel it’s unacceptable and part of me is indignant and angry saying ‘why can’t you colour perfectly??’ but that part of me needs to accept that I have so much to learn and I need to take some time off and study colour theory (which is something I would have had the opportunity to learn had I gone to art school).

So, that’s where I’ve been. I’m over it, I’ve moved on. I’m determined to learn as much as I possibly can and become a better artist.

No matter what.

12 Comments

  • Reply August 21, 2013

    Nneka

    Find a way to go to art school. You are a great illustrator and you could tell our stories.

    • Reply August 23, 2013

      sugabelly

      I’m working towards it. But art school is crazy expensive. Even just a two year Masters of Fine Arts is going to cost at least $100,000.

  • Reply August 22, 2013

    Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

    what? i thought you studied art. you’re pretty good for someone who didnt study art professionally. but then again, what do i do? I think you just need an inspiration to keep the passion going! Hve fun at Art School!
    themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

    • Reply August 23, 2013

      sugabelly

      Nope! Never studied art. The closest I ever came was three years of compulsory fine art classes from Js1 to Js3 in which we most did drawing calabashes and pots.

  • Reply August 22, 2013

    Ginger

    Hope you are in a better place now mentally. emotionally. You’ve been missed :)

    p.s. i thought practice makes perfect..don’t give up on your art. I believe you’ve got amazing talent.

    • Reply August 23, 2013

      sugabelly

      Aww, thanks! I’m getting there. Knowing that practice makes perfect is one thing, and then MAKING yourself practise even when you don’t feel like it is entirely another. I’m trying really hard to be dedicated about it.

  • Reply August 22, 2013

    Sisi Yemmie

    Can’t believe you never went to art school…maybe you should get some training so you would feel more confident. I love your drawings…. glad you’re in a better place now

    • Reply August 23, 2013

      sugabelly

      I never went o! I would love to take some art classes but the ones I’ve come across near me ( and that I can afford ) seem to be a little too basic and don’t teach the advanced skills I want to learn.

  • Reply August 23, 2013

    Berry Dakara

    Keep going girl! And be sure to hire me as a voice-over artist, when you’re ready for your first cartoon.

    http://berrydakara.blogspot.com

  • Reply August 23, 2013

    Tosin

    Hi dear, take a major break if you need it. No good to anyone if you’re burned out. Reason I came to your site, anyway, thought you should meet stanley who writes “pinch of salt” weekly, cos I thought “collabo!”
    http://www.thescoopng.com/author/pinch
    Again, well done, and take it slow :)

  • Reply August 24, 2013

    debby baro

    You were only being human . ‘Blocks’ happen to people, including me. it is only wise to handle it right by finding other things to ease the stress. Nice to know you are out of it! Nice weekend.

  • Reply September 24, 2013

    Miss E

    @Sugabelly: I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now as a ‘silent reader’. I discovered it one day & read it in a rush & loved it! you seem to have very similar views to what I have & I admire your courage. I just wanted to ask whether you’ve considered professional help as a way of dealing with all of these things? I have a history of abuse & recurring mental health issues & so I know that often a professional can help you through feeling super stressed, blocked etc. What do you think?

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