Ever since I started modeling, I’ve always felt the urge to know more, publish more work, and be present on everyone’s screens at all times. With platforms like Artstation being launched, the dangers of likes and follows were introduced into our already insecure existences.
Unless you are a very self-assured person, the lack of a community engaging with your artwork might feel like nobody is enjoying it. If uploading once a year is your style, there’s a big chance you’ve felt this way.
I myself do this. My uploaded pieces of art are probably a year or two old already, except for one. I am not very active on any art-related social media at all.
Added to this is the fear of being left behind, or worse, not ensuring I can keep up with current technology, techniques, and other artists. In other words, leaving myself behind.
So the question for this topic arises. Should I be doing more?
We need to get into what we as artists need to leave these insecurities behind us to answer this.
For many years I’ve been seeing how greater artists publish their creations once or twice a month. This created a god-like image of those artists, an image I wasn’t able to keep up with.
Hidden in that phrase lies a big factor. Why did I consider those artists greater, and how did they get there?
Comparing myself with them wasn’t fair at all. In fact, when doing so, I was aggravating my insecurities without the possibility to do something about them. These artists were there and were capable of keeping this pace because they are way more experienced than I am, and they are willing to make sacrifices I am not even considering making.
We must understand something before I proceed. My views are mine only, and other artists might be more prepared to follow this lifestyle. We all have different lives. We must know ourselves to know what isn’t good for us.
Back to our subject. Years passed, and I finally came to a conclusion on this matter. About half a year ago, I experienced a burnout I couldn’t handle. I had spent the past two years trying to keep up with a lifestyle that didn’t belong to me.
I created content under Artstation’s Learning platform, a privilege given to a handful of artists, the likes on my work tripled. I got promoted to Lead Artist, then to Art Director. I sacrificed my days and nights to put stuff out there, just for the rush I got from all the attention.
Then I realized. I was starting to suffer from anxiety again. I wasn’t able to sleep properly, and my whole life turned around a single thing. Added to this, my learning was slowing down. I spent too much time on it, and my brain was just saturated.
I knew that this would bring more bad than good in the long run, and instead of listening to my body, I decided to do what I knew wasn’t good for me.
At that moment, it all fell apart. No more Art Directing for me. I’m working too much, and my life isn’t balanced. I had sprinted for too long and didn’t have any more energy to continue the race.
I learned a lesson. It’s not about going fast and running out of gas. It’s about making it to your destination safely. Yes, I was doing more, but it was too much for me.
If there’s something to be learned here, you should always listen to your body, set your pace, and make sure your learning is healthy, and so is your relationship with what you love doing.
As artists, we need to ensure we bring something unique to the table and make sure we can deliver when it is really needed. For that, we need to rest as much as we need to practice.