The Etsy Blog

How to Beat Creative Burnout handmade and vintage goods


What draws us into studio art is the state of mind that psychologists are now calling flow; Stephen King talked about it as being in the zone. In flow, time, place, and even a sense of self melt away. I found myself in flow the first time I sat at a potter’s wheel. When I imagined making a living as a potter, I had a picture of working long hours, of facing challenges, and most of all, of being happy. But the reality is that money changed my relationship with pottery.

When I first began selling at weekend shows, I was living the dream, but back in my studio on Monday morning, my goals began to shift. No longer was I pursuing mastery of my craft and making something unique, something that might leave my mark on the world. I was reproducing more of what had sold.  My business grew, I won awards, and galleries began carrying my work. Somewhere along the line, pottery became a lot like a job. It stopped feeling creative. I started to experience long episodes of creative burnout.

The solution to burnout on a job is to do something creative, like take a pottery class, so it was quite depressing to lose the pleasure that pottery had once provided. I also felt like a fraud, and was afraid to tell anyone that pottery had become mechanical and joyless.

I got past my burnout phase by joining an Artist’s Way group, which is a creative cluster or support group for people with creative dreams and vision. Artist’s Way reminded me to play! The passionate flow of joy and new ideas returned, and I learned to make time for creative play. I also got the value of talking with others who live in the creative soup of business and art. I discussed creative burnout solutions with the ArtisansGalleryTeam  recently. Here are some of their solutions:

Keep New Ideas Flowing

Colleen of LoopyBoopy says, “Having personally experienced creative burnout, I’ve learned that it takes a bit of bravado and courage to dig deeper and trust that what is still within you, waiting to be created, will be equally as well received and hopefully profitable. I believe creative burnout is really something every artist can learn from as it’s a loud inner voice telling us there’s more within that needs to be explored. Sit and listen to that voice, it has a lot to say and so do we when we learn to express ourselves truthfully and wholeheartedly through our art.”

Organize and Limit Commissioned Work

Lara of  BellaPuzzles solved her burnout problem by making a production calendar that schedules only so many orders per week. “It’s very hard to turn down customers who want a puzzle sooner, but I have to do it to keep life and work in balance. If the week is full, it’s full; no more orders are accepted. I have more energy for making puzzles because I make fewer of them per week, and because I know that when I’ve finished the week’s orders I have some hours of pure creativity to look forward to. I  also like being able to go to a movie with my husband on a Friday night instead of obsessing over how many orders I still need to fill.”


Creative Innovation Is the Key to Success

The young moms on our team struggle with scheduling uninterrupted creative exploration. As Jen of SewnNatural says, “I work in the midst of play, folding laundry and explaining African geography. Many potentially great ideas get left aside or shelved for another time, and my greatest challenge is trying to nurture those ideas while I nurture myself and my family.” Belinda of GretchenMist echoed, “Being inspired by something when I’m with the kids can lead to a mixture of excitement and panic. My ideas are based around a mood or feeling and these are tricky to record quickly in a way that can be accessed later when time is available. Lots of stuff gets lost!” Belinda’s solution: “Let go of work that is not 100% creative for a week or two.”


Give up on Failing Ideas — Move on!

Sometimes burnout happens when we aren’t truly making something with passion. When you find your passion, what you create is very personal, and it can feel vulnerable to go there. Do it anyway! As Yael of theJoyofColor relates, “I started with my cold clay decorative flowers but sales were slow. My hubby said, ‘Do what you love best and sell that.’ Now I’m painting in watercolor and my sales are far better!” Passion opens doors, it energizes us and that excitement is contagious and alluring.


Get Real About Pricing Your Work

It takes only 3 days of studio time to make my weekly production, 2 days to list and promote, and  another day to innovate new pieces. I need to price my 3 days of time spent making pottery as if my work week is 48 hours — not just the 24 hours it took me to make those pots. My plan is to incrementally increase prices over the next 2 years. The symptoms of burnout — anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, sleep disturbance, and muscle tension — are also caused by overwork, and that is my current nemesis! I’m learning to give myself raises, and take more time off.

The artisan lifestyle offers a work experience that calls forth our greatest gifts and uses our highest aspirations. Our work is play; our work is its own reward and leads us on an exciting creative journey. We certainly need to develop business skills to make it work but bear in mind that a creative business has one requirement that is unique. Joy is not optional. It’s at the heart of what we do.

9 Tips to be More Creative | Fearless Creativity | An Ode to Creativity

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage says:

    I am a frustrated creative dabbler and a full time vintage addict. I get my creative boost by enjoying the amazing talents right here on etsy.

    5 years ago

  • JAdamsDesigns

    JAdamsDesigns says:

    Fantastic! I really needed this right now! Thank You!

    5 years ago

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods says:

    great insights on artistic and productive practice. :)

    5 years ago

  • Asianexpressions

    Asianexpressions says:

    Wonderful advice! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • NangijalaJewelry

    NangijalaJewelry says:

    Wonderful article. It's nice to see who's behind OneClayBead :-) Love all your guys' work!!! Congrats on the feature.

    5 years ago

  • WoodlandBelle

    WoodlandBelle says:

    Excellent, real advice for being true to yourself as an artist. We are not machines or factories; we are human, with needs that must be nurtured--especially when life's demands get overwhelming. If we're not taking the time to take care of ourselves, our business will suffer.

    5 years ago

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage says:

    I've not experienced burnout--yet--but certainly will keep these valuable points in mind. With luck, perhaps I can sidestep it altogether. Thanks for this worthwhile article!

    5 years ago

  • daisypatchdesigns

    daisypatchdesigns says:

    I am a mom with young kids and sometimes have a hard time finding the time and the energy to be creative. I realized that doing creative things was something that I had put aside after having kids. Now that I am back into creating things, not only do I feel more energized, it is something that I love doing and that makes me feel like my old self again.

    5 years ago

  • LoveandLust

    LoveandLust says:

    I so needed this. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • alopexia

    alopexia says:

    Great article. I, too, have problems with staying in the flow. I work part-time in the afternoons, which I find is the time I create best, so just when I find the flow- it's off to work.

    5 years ago

  • KcSoapsNmore

    KcSoapsNmore says:

    What a wonderful article. I really needed to read this today. Thanks

    5 years ago

  • satellitedaisy

    satellitedaisy says:

    Wonderful topic & equally wonderful artists!

    5 years ago

  • CraftsByBabz

    CraftsByBabz says:

    Thank you for the great advice!!

    5 years ago

  • bedbuggs

    bedbuggs says:

    Thank you so much for this good to hear advice on creative burnouts...I'm glad I'm not the only one that has experienced them.

    5 years ago

  • AvianInspirations

    AvianInspirations says:

    I've more or less accepted my creativity makes no sense and is completely on its own schedule. I tap into it when it feels right, and do other stuff when it doesn't.

    5 years ago

  • Krystyna81

    Krystyna81 says:

    an incredible article by some amazing artists! I strongly believe in knowing your voice. When I first started selling on-line I thought I'd have to paint "safer subjects with broad appeal" in order to be successful, setting my Nudes aside. But people are my passion, and it shows in my work, and those are the pieces that keep selling.

    5 years ago

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons says:

    Thankyou so much for the incredible advice. A brilliant, and useful, read.

    5 years ago

  • TheJoyofColor

    TheJoyofColor says:

    Thank you so much Lee (and etsy amdimins) for this enlighting article. It really touched a sensetive point in all artists work. I'm going to addopt some of my teamies idea. And yes the goal is to keep the Joy.

    5 years ago

  • theroyal

    theroyal says:

    its hard sometimes to be a salesperson, craftsperson, and ingenious all at the same time. i guess thats what everyone on etsy is working toward. thanks for sharing

    5 years ago

  • baconsquarefarm

    baconsquarefarm says:

    Wonderful article on burnout by very talented artists-designers thanks for sharing, so true bout following your inner voice.....

    5 years ago

  • SmoochyBabyDesign

    SmoochyBabyDesign says:

    Awesome!! I feel totally burnt out right now as well. I'm going to just concentrate on projects for my daughter over the next few months instead of the store.

    5 years ago

  • BlueTerracotta

    BlueTerracotta says:

    Great article, Lee! I like Coleen's ideas on keeping ideas flowing and listening to the inner voice!

    5 years ago

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss says:

    These are good words for the soul. Creativity must be nurtured, not exploited.

    5 years ago

  • deborahmores

    deborahmores says:

    Very helpful. I have been there myself, having produced wholesale painted items in the 80's

    5 years ago

  • FlourishCafe

    FlourishCafe says:

    Wow, what great advice! So many good ideas on getting the joy and creativity back into what you do. Thank you!! :)

    5 years ago

  • iWALLS

    iWALLS says:

    What a great article! It is nice to hear someone say that if you can't do it all, then that's okay, to be able to slow down and take time to smell the roses (or coffee)! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • NancyKayCreations

    NancyKayCreations says:

    Thank you so much for this article! As a mom to a four year old and just starting out in this business, I can certainly relate. All the ideas, in the article and comments are wonderful, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery says:

    Interesting article, I sometimes worry about this myself - what happens when you go from being part time to full time. I think we all experience burnout every now and then. Sometimes its best to step back and just relax.

    5 years ago

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit says:

    Good stuff! Thank you

    5 years ago

  • ekra

    ekra says:

    Such a great article. So often it is hard to step back from the work to just play and be creative. Great to hear reminders that if you do what you love best, it will show in your sales.

    5 years ago

  • mazedasastoat

    mazedasastoat says:

    I've found that too much custom work gets me in a rut... because I'm doing what someone else wants me to do instead of pleasing myself. I can deal with it for a week or two, but then I need to put all the custom orders aside & just make whatever I feel like making, in whatever way I please. Before long the custom orders no longer look like such a chore & I can start them again with a happy heart. The passion & cheerfulness that we experience as artists is an integral part of what we produce. When I'm in a rut, & making things feels like a chore, I'm never happy with the finished article... it has no joy in it, no zest, no life. So I go & play, make a protoype of something I've been planning for a while or haven't got round to trying yet, or something special as a surprise for a friend. You have to work with love in order for it to show through your work...

    5 years ago

  • peaseblossomstudio

    peaseblossomstudio says:

    Excellent article!

    5 years ago

  • ThoseThreeWords

    ThoseThreeWords says:

    Excellent advice to keep in mind, and an honest look at creative burnout. We all have things in our lives that stifle creativity, I think it's great to keep a few ideas such as these handy to help shake things up a bit and get the flow moving again! Thanks for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • thecraftpantry

    thecraftpantry says:

    Wonderful article and so very timely. In the midst of this myself. Thank you!!!

    5 years ago

  • SusanFaye

    SusanFaye says:

    Oh my goodness, this article couldn't have come at a better time--Ever since the holidays I've been struggling with burn-out from doing custom portraits. Definitely need to organize and LIMIT my commissioned work!

    5 years ago

  • Iammie

    Iammie says:

    Nice article. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • sabahnur

    sabahnur says:

    really happy to be part of this amazing theme!:D awesome article..

    5 years ago

  • NoFrump

    NoFrump says:

    What great references at the end of this post, especially the book by Pink! I can't wait to read it. I'm a big fan of Julia Cameron's Artist Way books...I push and push myself so much that I often snuff out creativity completely and exhaust myself. Cameron's books remind me of the importance of slowing down the mind, relaxing, and engaging in playful creative activities.

    5 years ago

  • aBreathofFrenchair

    aBreathofFrenchair says:

    Great insight! I use food and nature as inspiration, so just taking a walk, or browsing through cook books helps me.

    5 years ago

  • weatheredsilo

    weatheredsilo says:

    Thank you for sharing these insights -- just what I needed to hear. Balance is so hard to achieve. Cheers, Mandy

    5 years ago

  • SewnNatural

    SewnNatural says:

    what a great post!! and those references are fabulous. thank you so much for including us!

    5 years ago

  • pepidesigns

    pepidesigns says:

    A wonderful article! Burnout happens to all of us, so it's great to see that support and kind words!

    5 years ago

  • loopyboopy

    loopyboopy says:

    Such a wonderfully inspiring article, chock full of truly worthy advice! The subject matter is one many of us have experienced but do not discuss. Thank you Lee for putting this together!

    5 years ago

  • CassiasGarden

    CassiasGarden says:

    I copied your last paragraph and put it out there with a link for my Facebook fans and friends. Those words were sorely needed today! I have been thinking much on this subject; not on burnout per se, but on authenticity. I like that you challenged us to mine the depths, and to dig deep. There's always more! XO! Thank you for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    Awesome advise Lee ! Thanks so much !

    5 years ago

  • faginsdaughter

    faginsdaughter says:

    What do you do when all of that doesn't work? I'm closing in on almost a whole year of a lack of creative fulfilment. I've made things but give or take the odd piece, I haven't feel a genuine joy for a really long time. I've turned to selling antiques in the meantime, but it's hard to plan your creative life when your flow has totally dried up!

    5 years ago

  • birribe

    birribe says:

    Such intresting reading, I think we all share these experiences.

    5 years ago

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie says:

    Great article! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

    5 years ago

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose says:

    Love the article and I'm not looking forward to any burnouts....

    5 years ago

  • MilaKeln

    MilaKeln says:

    very helpful. thank you for this post

    5 years ago

  • gemagenta

    gemagenta says:

    Thank you for sharing your good experiences and most importantly the bad ones too! so much to learn! The tips are really good :)

    5 years ago

  • OneClayBead

    OneClayBead says:

    faginsdaughter says: What do you do when all of that doesn't work? I'm closing in on almost a whole year of a lack of creative fulfilment. I've made things but give or take the odd piece, I haven't feel a genuine joy for a really long time. I've turned to selling antiques in the meantime, but it's hard to plan your creative life when your flow has totally dried up! ......................................... You aren't alone, and your muses truly haven't deserted you for good! I can't say enough about The Artists' Way- checkout the link- as a recovery process for creative burnout. The process takes 12 weeks, and each week unlocks a new door.

    5 years ago

  • JessicaDoyle

    JessicaDoyle says:

    This was just what I needed to read today. Very good advice from all the sellers and it's good to know I'm not alone in my struggles.

    5 years ago

  • NydamPrints

    NydamPrints says:

    I love the reminder that "joy is not optional!" I have two children who are now at school, so I do most of my work during school hours, but a couple of years ago when they were around more - and when they demanded more attention while they were around - I found it really helpful to educate them that what I was doing counted as work just as much as Dad going off to the office counted as work. I did that by making something explicitly for them - essentially on commission to their specifications - and having them walk through every step with me. Not only did they gain a real appreciation for what I do, but it was an absolute blast for me, too, and really sparked all kinds of creative joy.

    5 years ago

  • EvesLittleEarthlings

    EvesLittleEarthlings says:

    Joy is at the heart of what we needs to be nurtured and kept safe from demands of mass production.

    5 years ago

  • jibbyandjuna

    jibbyandjuna says:

    excellent article Lee!

    5 years ago

  • StuffByStuff

    StuffByStuff says:

    very encouraging, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • QueenofCuffs

    QueenofCuffs says:

    Thanks you for these words of wisdom. Everything you have said is so true. I just needed to be reminded. It is too easy to stop loving what you do and just as easy to fix it. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 says:

    I found myself "chasing the holidays". Quick - Halloween is coming up. Now Christmas. Now Valentine. But wait - make something aqua-marine coz that's the next big color. I found myself so far from my original intent, putting pressure on myself that didn't need to be there.

    5 years ago

  • cathydurso

    cathydurso says:

    This was incredibly informative and inspirational. Thank you so much!

    5 years ago

  • ikabags

    ikabags says:

    I am sewing more then 12 hours in a day and weekend too , because I am designing , going fabric store, other material store , sewing, cutting, ironing, packaging, shipping alone, I need to answer my emails with my poor english :) alone, i need to prome my work and my friend s work alone ! tired but happy artisan, but bit i need to time for me too , I will think again and again what can I do :)

    5 years ago

  • FancyGirlDesigns

    FancyGirlDesigns says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! My biggest thing is relaxing enough to create something new. Love your stuff!

    5 years ago

  • UnaOdd

    UnaOdd says:

    Needing this right now as a matter of fact. Thank you Lee! Good and informative read.

    5 years ago

  • birchbaykay

    birchbaykay says:

    This is an ever-timely topic. Periodically we forget and need the reminder to let joy in and nurture it, as it is crucial to our creativity. Thanks to all the creatives in this article for their loving, heart-felt reminder!

    5 years ago

  • lindageez

    lindageez says:

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts! Being a Creative person in my day job also, I am well aware of deadlines and I don't like this, and change, my Etsy shop is pure, do what I want to do! I only create when I my mind can dream! I Love ETSY and I don't ever want to get tired of it! Setting limits is a good thing....keeps us fresh and happy!

    5 years ago

  • vKnit

    vKnit says:

    great tips here and things that made me think! thank you! xox

    5 years ago

  • GreatBowlsAfire

    GreatBowlsAfire says:

    Thanks for the pep talk! im tired... but not that tired.. ;D Back to work i happily go! rock on fellow Etsy-ians! keep making the worlds best handmade goods! Cheers! <3

    5 years ago

  • AliceCouture

    AliceCouture says:

    Great article!! realy interesting ^_^ thanks!

    5 years ago

  • PoleStar

    PoleStar says:

    Fantastic article and great insight from the artists here!

    5 years ago

  • rebourne

    rebourne says:

    wow. i found the comment about having time and space to process an idea or inspiration very true. with three little ones at home, i find it hard to have time to process the ideas i come up with (that usually come during one of my many night time feeding sessions). it's good to hear it is normal and part of other creators' lives.

    5 years ago

  • hoganfe

    hoganfe says:

    Terrific article Lee!

    5 years ago

  • purepixie

    purepixie says:

    What a great article, Lee! I'm in the same boat as the Belinda and Jen. This is such a tricky but wonderful journey.

    5 years ago

  • palimpsestic

    palimpsestic says:

    What a great article. I really respect every artist you quoted and all of you give some fantastic advice. Thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • TheJewelleryFactory

    TheJewelleryFactory says:

    thanks for your honest openness and sharing your tips.

    5 years ago

  • sarahndipities

    sarahndipities says:

    This is such a great article!! I think all of us as artists/sellers go through this to some extent! Great suggestions for keeping us fresh and out of the slump! Thank you so much! ~Sarah

    5 years ago

  • BizzieLane

    BizzieLane says:

    Thank you! This is just what I needed to read today.

    5 years ago

  • kanokwalee

    kanokwalee says:

    Great article! Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • MarKhed

    MarKhed says:

    This resonated so much with me! I used to take jewellery classes to unwind and socialize, and now, even though i adore it, it has lost its hobby charm! Thanks lee for this fabulous article!

    5 years ago

  • GloriousGirlJewelry

    GloriousGirlJewelry says:

    THANK YOU! - I feel like this article came at such a crucial point for many of us artists - after the busy hub bub of Holiday sales and now a rare glimpse towards to balance what produces sales and what brings us true joy to create, that is indeed what I struggle with most often. ♥ I have gained so much insight, wisdom & straight forward advice from my fellow artisans in this thread - truly, my heart thanks you all!

    5 years ago

  • HeatherKent

    HeatherKent says:

    Great article, Lee! Thank you for writing this! Something we all need to hear.

    5 years ago

  • CreationsByEileen

    CreationsByEileen says:

    This is wonderful Lee and so inspiring! Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • Balanced

    Balanced says:

    loved this article! thank you for putting it together for us!

    5 years ago

  • onewintrynight

    onewintrynight says:

    thank you thank you thank you!

    5 years ago

  • collectiblesatoz

    collectiblesatoz says:

    Thank you for giving out this information. We all need to help ourselves in all we do. Enjoyed.

    5 years ago

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours says:

    thank you for this. It is nice to see other people in the same boat.

    5 years ago

  • Verdurebydesign

    Verdurebydesign says:

    Thank you so much for this informative post. I believe strongly that living passionately is important.You are is not optional!!

    5 years ago

  • PinkVelvetBird

    PinkVelvetBird says:

    I'm in slump! This article was perfectly timed! Pink Velvet Bird

    5 years ago

  • WatchWithDaDa

    WatchWithDaDa says:

    It really helps to hear the theory in terms of actual individuals experiences. And lovely items!

    5 years ago

  • AnnTig

    AnnTig says:

    Great article! Thank you :)

    5 years ago

  • DeidreArt

    DeidreArt says:

    Great article to read, I had a similar burnout a few months ago making things I thought would sell at a local market. Felt cheap and not as creative. But Now I am back in the swing of things. What creative boost helped me was joining Swap-bot and doing some crafty paper crafting swaps and other artsy swaps.

    5 years ago

  • bialakura

    bialakura says:

    Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • ChristinaRomeo

    ChristinaRomeo says:

    Thank you so much for sharing...I LOVED reading this post...I felt really connected. xoxo

    5 years ago

  • dylanadesigns

    dylanadesigns says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you. I was feeling this about a week ago and then I realized I needed to stop for a day or so and do somethingIi wanted to do so I delayed my orders for a week and made myself a nice crochet book bag.

    5 years ago

  • glasfaden

    glasfaden says:

    Well written! Thank you for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • lauraprentice

    lauraprentice says:

    Wow, so profound. I have been in a serious creative slump for a long time. Lots of unfinished paintings and half ideas. Keeping a sketchbook helps me quick scribble in "ah-ha!" ideas in the moment for later use. This quote from loopyboopy was inspiring "I've learned that it takes a bit of bravado and courage to dig deeper and trust that what is still within you, waiting to be created..."

    5 years ago

  • LaLaShoes

    LaLaShoes says:

    Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing with us!

    5 years ago

  • LouisestArt

    LouisestArt says:

    Love this article! Thank you for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • ThongbaiTatong

    ThongbaiTatong says:

    Great article, Lee. Thanks for sharing your experience, your advice and of those you have interviewed. I learn a lot from this.

    5 years ago

  • funkisockmunki

    funkisockmunki says:

    I feel creatively more inspired and motivated than ever before, but the thing I get burned out on is seeing my Etsy shop go nowhere. If I don't list and relist every day, the traffic slumps off to zero almost immediately. For me, Etsy is secondary to my freelance graphic design and community volunteering work. All of my items are one of a kind... and it has turned out to be impossible to maintain a "casual" presence on Etsy. You have to be on here 7 days a week, active in forums, treasuries and listing everyday or you are quickly buried under the mountain of new listings. Anyway, just ranting, frustrated that I cannot maintain a quality-over-quantity boutique shop because of all the mass-producers & mass-listers on Etsy. Maybe my stuff just isn't good enough for prime time yet.

    5 years ago

  • PenelopeRed

    PenelopeRed says:

    Good to know I am not the only one out there! I loved BellaPuzzles tip- I have this habit of accepting all customer orders, then I wonder why I have no time for creativity (or to myself)! I like the idea of blocking out a section per week for each: creations and new designs, orders, etc. Will hopefully organise this asap!

    5 years ago

  • MrsLaura30

    MrsLaura30 says:

    So glad I took the time to read this article. Thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • sweetmixcreations

    sweetmixcreations says:

    What a great article. "Joy is not optional" - love it! Now I just need to remember it!

    5 years ago

  • decoratethediva

    decoratethediva says:

    Awesome job Lee!!!

    5 years ago

  • beadsofaquarius

    beadsofaquarius says:

    good interview ! thank you ! now i know i'm not the only one ! ;)

    5 years ago

  • CieloAzulJewelry

    CieloAzulJewelry says:

    This was really wonderful to read! xoxo, Carol

    5 years ago

  • thimblythings

    thimblythings says:

    The Artist's Way is truly brilliant. I went through it last year, and Ms. Cameron is quite the motivator. Morning pages and artist dates are where it's at!

    5 years ago

  • jauntylittleflowers

    jauntylittleflowers says:

    Great article, thanks for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • BrunoPolo

    BrunoPolo says:

    I love the last line about joy. So true!

    5 years ago

  • thesittingtree

    thesittingtree says:

    WOnderful article! I have recently decided to take on a very limited amount of custom orders and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted, leaving room for the passion and creativity to emerge once again!!

    5 years ago

  • Yeslioness

    Yeslioness says:

    This is right on time! I'm sitting in my studio trying to decide..sketch or organize papers?! Thanks for sharing :-)

    5 years ago

  • gnomesweeeetgnome

    gnomesweeeetgnome says:

    YES! This is JUST what I needed to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, I totally love the clothespin easel type thing. Never would have though of it!

    5 years ago

  • iragrant

    iragrant says:

    Yay! a great article Lee and I love to see all lovely feature here:)

    5 years ago

  • steinschmuckdesign

    steinschmuckdesign says:

    Lee, I can feel you know what your talking about, Fantastic Article!!!

    5 years ago

  • theelegantwall

    theelegantwall says:

    Great article! Thanks! When I have some moments of inspiration flowing I try to write the new ideas down, so when the sales slow down a bit I can look at them and create new items. But if great ideas just come and I feel really strong about them I just go and turn them into reality as soon as my kids give me a break! Looking at what the other etsians are creating are also very inspiring or in other words, CONTAGIOUS!!!

    5 years ago

  • whimandaprayer

    whimandaprayer says:

    I LOVE this article. I needed it, too. Thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • aggieray

    aggieray says:

    just what we need right about now.. a boost!

    5 years ago

  • woolywoolofthewest

    woolywoolofthewest says:

    Good article and some great ideas to ofset the creative slump! Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • KaitlynDugganStudio

    KaitlynDugganStudio says:

    This was super helpful! Especially the part about putting a limit on custom orders so that one might be able to enjoy some breathing room. Brilliant!

    5 years ago

  • ShirleyArt

    ShirleyArt says:

    Great article.Thanks for sharing this!

    5 years ago

  • EfiaFair

    EfiaFair says:

    What a wonderful article, and amazingly timely for me. :) I have had some "knitter's block" recently. Between making duplicates of items that sell well, and being in the throes of beginning several new lines, I have felt that "flow" waver. Reading this is exactly what I needed today, and has really energized and inspired me. THANKS!!!!! :)

    5 years ago

  • handmadebooks

    handmadebooks says:

    Oh gosh - did I ever need to read this now... thank you so much.

    5 years ago

  • shaylalalynn

    shaylalalynn says:

    Awesome article I think many can relate to!

    5 years ago

  • jennyleefowler

    jennyleefowler says:

    This is very timely for me, too. I am working on trying to weave quarterly weekend creative retreats into my annual schedule.

    5 years ago

  • DaisiesandDamsels
  • designerlabelgal

    designerlabelgal says:

    The timing of this is perfect. Thank you for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • RitzeeRebel

    RitzeeRebel says:

    Very helpful, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • valeriephoto

    valeriephoto says:

    Great tips! Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • WhirlGirlGlass

    WhirlGirlGlass says:

    Thanks good advice. I have a problem when I am working on a large custom order that takes a long time to complete. I try to stay fresh but doing a smaller "fun" piece at the same time, that way I have the instant gradification of getting it finished and I don't have to wait so long while I'm working on the large piece. I always have a few side small things going on when I'm doing a big one.

    5 years ago

  • VerbenaPlace

    VerbenaPlace says:

    Wonderful article Lee! Beautifully written with lots of good insights!

    5 years ago

  • denises72

    denises72 says:

    What wonderful ideas! You have made my life much easier. Thank You!

    5 years ago

  • theartofdang

    theartofdang says:

    very nice!

    5 years ago

  • KooKooCraft

    KooKooCraft says:

    this was really worth reading. thanks!

    5 years ago

  • SmitherineDesigns

    SmitherineDesigns says:

    "joy is not optional. it's at the heart of what we do." well said. love that. beautiful.

    5 years ago

  • RichardMartinPottery

    RichardMartinPottery says:

    'Burn Out Happens' Bumper sticker material here. hahaha I have been there many times and although it certainly does not feel good at the time, it does lead to change which is good. In my case, it might have to do with stuborness but I'll probably never admit it. Oh there it is again.... Sitting back to quietly reflect usually brings some new insight that had been hiding right in front of me. Richard Martin 'Trusting in God'

    5 years ago

  • NeoArtifax

    NeoArtifax says:

    Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • TeresasPrimTreasures

    TeresasPrimTreasures says:

    Thanks so much............I needed this pep talk today!!!

    5 years ago

  • HaleyByHand

    HaleyByHand says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this, it couldn't come at a better time for me!

    5 years ago

  • angelaosborn

    angelaosborn says:

    I found this article so helpful and encouraging. Thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • ChelseaGirlDesigns

    ChelseaGirlDesigns says:

    Wonderful and encouraging advice. Thank you Lee and everyone else who contributed!

    5 years ago

  • petalcove

    petalcove says:

    I can totally relate to this! Great article, thank you! I too have resorted to making what sells at my shows, and that tends to stifle my creativity. It begins to feel robotic. Today I was working on projects for a punk rock picnic show and found myself fighting the urge to create what I felt like creating for fear it wouldn't appeal to my target demographic. It really made me clam up, feeling like I was creating for everyone else except me. Totally defeats the purpose of art! Thanks for the breath of fresh air!

    5 years ago

  • PennySpoonerCeramics

    PennySpoonerCeramics says:

    Brilliant. Wonderful to know I'm not the only one, great to read your advice and the timing is perfect. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • Smokinmudproductions

    Smokinmudproductions says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I really appreciate how you were so honest, sensitive, real and open! As a newbie, following my instincts to create from my heart verses what others want me to create for them, has been an interesting journey in trying to hear my own voice and not get bogged down because I want the sell. Every time I do that,instead of listening to my sould, I began the anxiety ride and I don't want to be on that roller coaster. Thanks so much for sharing. From the heart to your heart, Smokin Mud Productions

    5 years ago

  • OriginalsbyInstinct

    OriginalsbyInstinct says:

    Thank you for that Lee. Being new at Etsy, I haven't had much success to speak of, but found your story an inspiration none the less. I'll keep your tips in mind should I experience burnout. Thanks again for that.

    5 years ago

  • DayMountainDesigns

    DayMountainDesigns says:

    Do what you love best! Good Advice.

    5 years ago

  • Pseudooctopus

    Pseudooctopus says:

    This article came just in time for me! I've just begun to feel myself searching for creativity at a time when my shop has been doing well and there's that instinct to produce more of the same. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • KamaKreations

    KamaKreations says:

    thanks for the article. I love what I do and after an abusive job I'm thankfully out of, I'm turning to photography as a career. I've been wanting to do this my whole life and have been crafting for so long I'm just putting the two of them together. Getting out and around new people has been helping and know that although I'm new to Etsy I can do this! Thanks for the reinforcement!

    5 years ago

  • KamaKreations

    KamaKreations says:

    thanks for the article. I love what I do and after an abusive job I'm thankfully out of, I'm turning to photography as a career. I've been wanting to do this my whole life and have been crafting for so long I'm just putting the two of them together. Getting out and around new people has been helping and know that although I'm new to Etsy I can do this! Thanks for the reinforcement!

    5 years ago

  • DeNovoStyle

    DeNovoStyle says:

    GREAT article! I love the idea that a creative burnout is actually something deeper that needs to come out - and you just haven't found it yet. Nothing is actually lost, just that focus need to be redirected. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • 111collagedesign

    111collagedesign says:

    Very helpful! I began creating collages less than 5 years ago during an Artist Way class! That class totally changed my life! I totally know what you mean about your creativity getting clouded by business stuff :) I am having my 1st solo show in 2 months and have had to create several large scale pieces in a short amount of time. If I run out of ideas, I sometimes take a whole day and just work on my "inspiration book" - collecting photos/pics of whatever inspires me. Magically, the next day, I have ideas for my next 3-4 pieces!!!

    5 years ago

  • AuntBsAttic

    AuntBsAttic says:

    Great Article ! My winters get bogged down with custom orders for my Floppy Stocking Caps - which I adore making and so enjoy getting to know the folks who order them. One year they were priced too low, orders piled up like this year's snow, and the joy of knitting Vanished ! I learned the hard way that pricing/time/delivery date commitments are the balancing acts of creativity, self satisfaction, and business success. Learning to pace yourself is critical in avoiding burnout!

    5 years ago

  • lydeen

    lydeen says:

    I think this is an ongoing struggle for all of us creatives...thank you for the suggestions and insights. All ideas in how to manage this are really helpful.

    5 years ago

  • InMaterial

    InMaterial says:

    It's nice to know that I am not the only one dealing with these issues. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • ennadoolf

    ennadoolf says:

    What a good read full of common sense and perfect advice. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • selinaaniles

    selinaaniles says:

    Oh yeah gonna post off on creative sabbatical! Jk great pointers to keep a max of how many items you can make comfortably per week. Thank u for ur honesty I also too have felt like I was portraying something I was not when I stopped having fun. I started to do other things and incorporate them inti my shop. I'm nit allowed to play with say my watercolors until I finish a bag ;)...and I really want To play so I can get them posted... Hopefully this weekend mini watercolor pendants too excited ( see it works)! Thx again!

    5 years ago

  • RockArtiste

    RockArtiste says:

    Just went through a burnout phase that lasted for months! Quit painting for a bit and just did jigsaw puzzles until new ideas bubbled up from within. Now I am able to stay glued to the chair again. Spring is coming - warm weather make it really hard to stay at work. Sales are a good motivator though.

    5 years ago

  • Pearlfriend

    Pearlfriend says:

    It is so true. When we are not in the mood nothing good coming out and insisting is loosing time.Sharing help to flow again.

    5 years ago

  • fourwindsgallery

    fourwindsgallery says:

    A really great article with lots to ponder. Everytime I tried to make what I thought people wanted it failed to produce results. When I came from my heart and was true to myself, wonderful things happened. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • MonsoonsAndMangoes

    MonsoonsAndMangoes says:

    Fantastic article, and so much of that rings true for me - especially the lost ideas because I'm unable to potter off to create at a whim :) For a couple of years now, I've stayed true to what I LOVE, and the results speak for themselves. Not only has my product improved but I feel such immense joy and bliss when I work. I wish every person on earth could do something they absolutely LOVE.

    5 years ago

  • saltydogstudio

    saltydogstudio says:

    I start every workshop with: "Paint what you love". It says it all. Thaks for the great article!

    5 years ago

  • shellsherree

    shellsherree says:

    I'm grappling with some things at the moment and your insights and great suggestions are inspiring and super helpful. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • DaRosa

    DaRosa says:

    Great article! I am in the phase now that I need to work on orders instead of being creative. I have three full days to work on my orders and I try to be my creative self during my baby's nap and evenings. It is however hard for me to let go of the orders...

    5 years ago

  • cuadapattern

    cuadapattern says:

    Can't recommend ' the Artists way' highly enough, one book that I keep close by, to remind me to step back and allow time for creating something just becaue I can, rather than thinking of whether or not it will sell.

    5 years ago

  • amityfarmbatik

    amityfarmbatik says:

    I really appreciate your words of advice, including the way you structure your work week and price your work. I find to stay creative I must get out to enjoy nature. This and doing Tai Chi renew me. I have just started with etsy and have a lot to learn. Your words have given me much needed guidance. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • ClayLickCreekPottery

    ClayLickCreekPottery says:

    Lee, Such words of wisdom. I'm a potter, too and have been doing the art shows for about 10 years now. Just being on Etsy for the past year has sparked my creativity--I joined the Etsy Mud Team and they have been so helpful, just by giving feedback etc. I work alone in my studio, so it's been a shot in the mind to have some sense of a open studio. Also, posting my work on facebook opened myself to more ideas.....Thank you for putting it all down in an article.

    5 years ago

  • gardenfinds

    gardenfinds says:

    A real eye opener and thanks for the tips. I've been working so hard just to be on top of it here on etsy, this was helpful. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • EyePopArt

    EyePopArt says:

    "joy is not optional" Thank you!!!

    5 years ago

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls says:

    Love this quote, "Passion opens doors, it energizes us and that excitement is contagious and alluring." The entire last paragraph is truly inspirational. This is a very encouraging article. Thank you for sharing and motivating us!

    5 years ago

  • squarepaisleydesign

    squarepaisleydesign says:

    Interesting article. I've experienced burnout from my design business but my etsy shop has brought my desire back, so I'm hoping both design and etsy will work together to keep me creative.

    5 years ago

  • jewelrysldesigns

    jewelrysldesigns says:

    This is great information. Thank you for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • StefenyStanyer

    StefenyStanyer says:

    Thank you for posting something so deeply honest. I really needed to read this today and am so glad that I found it. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • nonicreations

    nonicreations says:

    I agree with the idea of being yourself and do with passion what ever you do ... success is not far

    5 years ago

  • ZoeChen

    ZoeChen says:

    Bravo!!! Lee! What a wonderful article/reminder! I only thought about my designs that need to be creative, never think about my business can be creative too! You gave me a great lesson. Thank you! Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • CremeDeLaGems

    CremeDeLaGems says:

    Great article! Thank you so much!

    5 years ago

  • curlymonkey

    curlymonkey says:

    This is a great article! Thank you for posting.

    5 years ago

  • rasche

    rasche says:

    Thank you for the great ideas!

    5 years ago

  • LittleBeanPrints

    LittleBeanPrints says:

    Fantastic article Lee!!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    5 years ago

  • Quailandco

    Quailandco says:

    Thank you so much for covering this topic. It brings my feelings of self doubt and lack of confidence in my work into perspective. Its nice to know creative burnout is "normal" and there are ways to manage it. I find getting out of the city for the weekend and swimming in the sea very calming and energy boosting. I think healthy diet and exercise are hugely important to. We get out of our creative brains what we put in. Thanks.

    5 years ago

  • PuddletownBags

    PuddletownBags says:

    This is a great article. I have also found that if I grow tired of making something over and over I "allow myself" to stop making it. Just because something sells doesn't mean something I feel passionate about won't! I love that the article mentions prices!! If your work has more steps/cost etc. I think it totally fair to price it higher than something similar. Sometimes higher prices attract a more discriminating buyer who will appreciate that we are not some yucky chain store too!!

    5 years ago

  • WickedWaifFiber

    WickedWaifFiber says:

    Such a thoughtful piece of writing. Thank you for sharing. -Morna :-)

    5 years ago

  • AquamarsBoutique

    AquamarsBoutique says:

    Great information.. You are absolutely correct in saying that if you dont make something with passion you eventually burn out..

    5 years ago

  • joyelizabethceramics

    joyelizabethceramics says:

    Thanks for taking the time in your busy week to write this appreciated.

    5 years ago

  • Lunarianart

    Lunarianart says:

    This is a Great!! article and its so refreshing to here ideas to help beat those burnouts, I just recently read Flow by Mihaly-Csikszentmihalyi it was an awesome book, thought provoking and sometimes quiet hard to read, but it does move you and make you think of your life and come up with solutions to apply your own inner flow. thank you for sharing

    5 years ago

  • popkingarb

    popkingarb says:

    thanks for the wonderful advice!

    5 years ago

  • YellowViolet

    YellowViolet says:

    Very timely article for me. That little inner voice is pushing me to try something new. Guess I need to listen to it!

    5 years ago

  • CraftedByMei

    CraftedByMei says:

    Wow, very well written! Joy is a requirement, amen to that!

    5 years ago

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick says:

    Thank you for the article. It was most helpful. I'm a stay at home mom and I'm always struggling to find time to be creative, the longer I go the harder it is for me to get myself back on track! This definitely inspires me.

    5 years ago

  • elizenazelie

    elizenazelie says:

    wonderful wonderful article!!! im a part time illustrator and full time tattoo artist, so the joy of going home and drawing is always ruined by the stress of deadlines and honoring the client's vision, when it used to be a treat for me in my youth... one thing that made a huge difference to me was getting a hobby that had nothing to do with visual arts. i started taking ukulele classes and it changed everything... i have something to look forward to that has no deadlines, and i dont hold up to a standard of perfection because i know too little about music to know what perfection is, i just have fun!... what i found really funny about it is, before he teaches his classes, my ukulele instructor takes a woodworking class. everyone should take a breath of fresh air from their main work and try new things, its inspiring!

    5 years ago

  • BeadfulThingsJewelry

    BeadfulThingsJewelry says:

    Wow, I am so glad that is a normal feeling. My problem right now is that my creative drive is so consuming that I get swept up in brainstorming and playing that I forget to do the boring work stuff too, so now I have about 20 things lying around that just need one or two little adjustments or a clasp or glaze etc. but I'm too busy working on the next 20 things to finish what I've started!!! I have to get myself a routine and learn to balance. Having a set time reserved for creative play as well as for tedious boring work stuff (including posting listings and taking pictures and PRICING! That one always gets me.) Thanks for the article!

    5 years ago

  • ElizabethMD

    ElizabethMD says:

    WOW I feel like this article was created for me! I have been feeling the same way. Thank you so much!

    5 years ago

  • PlumeandPetals

    PlumeandPetals says:

    Wonderful article~! I so needed this, thank you =)

    5 years ago

  • KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit says:

    wise advice, thanks!

    5 years ago

  • UnexpectedArts

    UnexpectedArts says:

    I so agree with this. Switching to something else, another medium perhaps, can unlock another idea, that may create something entirely new from something you learned there. I personally also like checking out odd places for new materials or to get style inspiration. Thanks to the author for sharing her thoughts and helping us through those blahs!

    5 years ago

  • MWoodham

    MWoodham says:

    By far the best advice all around, especially as one prepares for large shows and events!!!

    5 years ago

  • kristytrance

    kristytrance says:

    hhmmm, very interesting. Thank you for the article.

    5 years ago

  • WinchesterLambourne

    WinchesterLambourne says:

    Great article, congrats SewnNatural and OneClayBead! :D

    5 years ago

  • artsyaimeecreations

    artsyaimeecreations says:

    thanks. im feeling emotionally burnt out. i've been working non-stop to create more variety in my shop because i still havent gotten any sales... just trying to keep my head above water

    5 years ago

  • Nithria

    Nithria says:

    An excellent and much need read. I do not yet have the success of too many sales but the complete opposite. So my burnout comes from having so many ideas that will get my products of the shelves and end up most times not starting any of them before moving onto the next. I need to try harder.

    5 years ago

  • IngridJones

    IngridJones says:

    Thanks, thanks and more thanks! So much wisdom that I needed but didn't know it:)

    5 years ago

  • virginiaotten

    virginiaotten says:

    This is so true. Exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you so much***

    5 years ago

  • Donauluft

    Donauluft says:

    great article, Lee! So interesting to hear all the different perspectives!

    5 years ago

  • girliepains

    girliepains says:

    So pertinent for now!

    5 years ago

  • EtchAttic

    EtchAttic says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this!! I truly needed to hear the advice that was offered... I already feel more at ease & in my flow, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • whatzits

    whatzits says:

    Great article! Puts many things in perspective.

    5 years ago

  • emmabeadolney

    emmabeadolney says:

    Absolutely one of the best articles. It is very cathartic, to see in print what you are feeling.

    5 years ago

  • emmabeadolney

    emmabeadolney says:

    Absolutely one of the best articles. It is very cathartic, to see in print what you are feeling.

    5 years ago

  • BradSearsWoodturner

    BradSearsWoodturner says:

    Well done, Lee. It all comes down to is making time for yourself. Time to "chill out." Time to relax and let your mind drift. I know that can be a LOT harder than it sounds. We get into habits: some good, some not so good. Sometimes we form habits with the best of intentions: meeting schedules, making money (which can be kind of important ;) ), etc. The thing is: routine can devastate the creative process. The thing is: such devastation doesn't happen overnight. It creeps in slowly, unrecognizably until one day we wake up and - Wham! - we're stuck! Often we need to go through a structured rehab program like Lee suggests. But after the program's done, the challenges still remain. We still need to make money, meet production schedules, take care of the kids, house and so on. To me, the ideal solution blends the need for creativity with the demand to produce sale-able work. The solution I've found (for what it's worth) is to make a certain amount of quiet time every day to sit back and read. Read what moves you - whatever it might be. For instance, I'm a history buff - particularly early American history. I'm fascinated by how people lived 200 - 300 years ago. I love to look at drawings and photos of restored/preserved colonial homes. Next thing you know, I'm inspired to create pepper mills based on old wooden barrels. That rapidly expands to coffee grinders and matching salt & pepper sets. I see a photo of a candlestick cast circa 1750 and am inspired to reproduce it in wood. And so on. The bottom line is: keep it fun! Enjoy life! (It's all too short.) And all the time, recognize that you can easily fall back into the old grind. Sometimes it's a struggle to keep things real - but very well worth it. Great discussion! Have a fantastic, creative day!

    5 years ago

  • armcandyforyou

    armcandyforyou says:

    ah I soooooo needed this! I am bookmarking it for future reference too!

    5 years ago

  • bmused

    bmused says:

    Wonderful article filled with some great advice! Thank you for sharing!

    5 years ago

  • BooBooArtLLC

    BooBooArtLLC says:

    Great article! My shop is starting to really keep me busy and I'm struggling to find the balance between my day job, husband, family, fun, Etsy orders, custom orders, customer service (I like to be prompt), and my volunteer work. So, my jaw is tight most of the time and I'm realizing I need to lighten up on myself a little. So now I make sure I give status reports and estimated delivery dates based on what I have on my plate at the moment. I think (hope) that being clear about expectations will make my customers happy. Now I'm off to my day job!

    5 years ago

  • TwigsandBlossoms

    TwigsandBlossoms says:

    Lovely article with inspiration to keep on creating!

    5 years ago

  • ShisaKnits

    ShisaKnits says:

    Great article! I needed to read this today. It's a reminder that I am in the right place, and that if I focus on doing what I love, the business aspect will follow. Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • hanscreations

    hanscreations says:

    Great ideas thanks so much! I needed to read this :)

    5 years ago

  • sugarandsaffron

    sugarandsaffron says:

    Good stuff!

    5 years ago

  • FairRosamund

    FairRosamund says:

    Great advice, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • foldoutcards

    foldoutcards says:

    Another book about creative process that has exercises and a very positive approach is Fearless Creating by Eric Maisel. Juggle that hot potato!

    5 years ago

  • chasedreams

    chasedreams says:

    This was exactly what I've been needing to read. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • theartfulbadger

    theartfulbadger says:

    This article is so timely for me. I am also a potter, experiencing exactly what you did. I have a business that won't stop growing and at the moment I am fried! I decided to take a break from the pottery (most of my sales happen during the summer season, so I can take the time right now) and switch my creative efforts over to something else for a few months. I am now making pinback button badges and having a great time! I feel so creative. I just can't stop designing the buttons and you're right the joy is important and I've got it! I even opened an etsy shop to sell them, so that has also given me something else to focus on. While it will be nice to sell some of them, the fact that I don't feel hampered by that monetary relationship you mentioned is really freeing. I am starting to feel more alive again and have the urge to get back into the clay soon (not yet, but soon! :). So I think you are so right about creative play, perhaps the solution is to switch gears for a while and let the excitement happen and hopefully it will spread to your 'old job' and you can approach it with a new enthusiasm! (Fingers crossed here. :) Good luck to all of us.

    5 years ago

  • mayapplecreations

    mayapplecreations says:

    Great article! I can definitely relate. Here is a link to a blog post that I wrote about burnout and how to avoid it:

    5 years ago

  • ontherocksgems

    ontherocksgems says:

    Great article. Thanks so much! At approximately 9:00pm last night I sat down at my work area to make some jewelry. I was in the zone. I'm reading and writing this at 9:45 the next day after having a fun, creative, time stopping frenzy. It feels good to get away from all the "other' work that has to be done in order to sell what I create. And create I must. I start to get burned out when I'm not making jewelry. I just have to stop the photography, description, listing, re-listing, promoting mania and get back to may first love. Before I put a price on it. Sometimes I get so blue because nothing is really selling in my shop....that's the time I stop and create. Because I have to...and that's the priority.

    5 years ago

  • dreamtimeharvest

    dreamtimeharvest says:

    Wonderful piece! It can be disheartening to start doing what you love....only to find that what you love can sometimes feel like a lot of HARD work! Especially if you want to be successful from a business perspective. Thanks for the motivation and reassurance.

    5 years ago

  • theonutmegotree

    theonutmegotree says:

    i'm not the only one who panics when they get inspired and can't yet go forward with it

    5 years ago

  • zehland

    zehland says:

    This is wonderful and so much of it spoke to me. I really appreciate your honest writing style, the thoughts about a production calendar for commissioned work and your ideas about pricing. The real world does tend to intrude upon our creativity. These are some really good suggestions for how to keep focus on our creative process regardless.

    5 years ago

  • InspireUart

    InspireUart says:

    Wow, perfect timing & thanks so much. Loopy Boopy's comment reminded me to let go and move forward when she wrote,"...dig deeper and trust that what is still within you, waiting to be created, will be equally as well received and hopefully profitable." Tomorrow's masterpiece is in there if we're brave enough to receive & express it.

    5 years ago

  • richknobsales

    richknobsales says:

    Great collection of ideas here! Listing and keeping my inventory up to date are the truly painful parts for me. I wish I could delegate this but there is no one else who can do this, so I slug away at it. I just spent a week going over my listings and comparing to the physical inventory I have on hand. I found many problems and I feel so much better now that I've finished. While I was crawling through the "paperwork", I examined each piece carefully and found several that needed repair or revision from being lugged around to half a dozen venues. I took time out to work on them, and this led to some new approaches for me - looking at why something did not hold up as well as I thought it should. I finished my huge inventory cleanup one bite at a time. I found a couple of hundred dollars of items that were not listed (!) as well as a few things that were still listed but had been sold (!!) at events, and my wall is covered with sticky notes for things that popped into my head as I was going along. I can pull these off as I get back to work and incorporate them into my new efforts. Taking a break from actually making Arte and looking at it from a different perspective has gotten my creative juices flowing and I can't wait to get back to work and apply these new techniques and thoughts!

    5 years ago

  • Garden22DesignStudio

    Garden22DesignStudio says:

    I've had this article pulled up since yesterday to read and finally got to it. Thanks so much for sharing your insights, this was the breath of fresh air I needed this afternoon!

    5 years ago

  • miasole

    miasole says:

    All good thoughts, and be true to yourself. It pays off in the end.

    5 years ago

  • Surdut

    Surdut says:

    Though I've never thought of myself as having creative burnout--in fact,quite the opposite,where I'm hoping there's reincarnation because I can't bring all my ideas to fruition, I found myself nodding in recognition to elements of this thoughtful article. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • Alienphant

    Alienphant says:

    I have created a notebook of images that inspire me. It could be anything from a pair shoes in a magazine or a quick sketch. If ever I'm feeling burnout or uninspired I reach for this book and flip through the pages. It helps every time! Once I'm finished new ideas spring to mind and I'm back at it. I hope this can help someone out out there. And yes, great article:)

    5 years ago

  • HurricanePottery

    HurricanePottery says:

    Very thoughtful and stimulating article, thank you!

    5 years ago

  • deeAndersen

    deeAndersen says:

    thanks for the great insights and advice.

    5 years ago

  • HeavenlyKidz

    HeavenlyKidz says:

    It is so exciting to have a bzillion new ideas just streaming out of whatever I'm doing at the moment..but I get a bit discouraged when sales don't "flow". That's when burnout hits me. Why make if no one likes ..or sees. Time to promote, I guess. That's the business end that I have been avoiding as I enjoy the making. Thanks for the help.

    5 years ago



    HHmm creative burnout. Sometimes I get so excited when I create that my pulse races so fast I am not sure my heart can take it. So creative burnout is very closely tied to my physical burnout. I have found the best thing is to go and do something else completely unrelated, to open your mind, learn new things, keep your ears and eyes open and return when you are supercharged again! Don't force yourself to create when you are just not feeling it - creativity has to be in the eher and by osmosis. Thanks for reading : )

    5 years ago

  • shannamastersdesigns

    shannamastersdesigns says:

    We've all been there. It's difficult to keep it all in balance! Thanks for your insight.

    5 years ago

  • gioiaalbano

    gioiaalbano says:

    Really good advice! Special thanks to the mums (I'm really concerned about this ;-)) Gioia

    5 years ago

  • patlevey

    patlevey says:

    A great reminder to take time out and just play!!!

    5 years ago

  • sistersoncanvas

    sistersoncanvas says: really inspired me! recomendable y divertido! have fun people!

    5 years ago

  • gretchenmist

    gretchenmist says:

    beautifully written Lee ~ thanks for sharing + gathering these thoughts and experience here! the combination of creative and business is such a complicated one and it's great to have things like this open for discussion xx

    5 years ago

  • lulusnest

    lulusnest says:

    I so needed this. Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • TheBeeOrchard

    TheBeeOrchard says:

    Very cool article. Keep the flow!

    5 years ago

  • ALittleWorld

    ALittleWorld says:

    Excellent advice! I guess every artist/artisan experiment creative burnout once in awhile, thanks for reminding us what is really important and how to keep the flow.

    5 years ago

  • sandmaiden

    sandmaiden says:

    thanks Lee! so true! I joined and Artists Way group too a while back, it's helpful to find a creative community when you're in dry times too.

    5 years ago

  • sandmaiden

    sandmaiden says:

    thanks Lee! so true! I joined and Artists Way group too a while back, it's helpful to find a creative community when you're in dry times too.

    5 years ago

  • LaBellaTerra

    LaBellaTerra says:

    So true, so true! Last year I got caught up in producing, producing but when I hit 'a dark night of my creative soul' I realized I needed to ignite my passion by doing art that spoke to me. I am soooo glad! And it's nice to know that I am not alone in facing these demons of my creativity!

    5 years ago

  • CesarowArts

    CesarowArts says:

    I've had a creative block, since a month after I opened the shop, as, nothing has sold of "my" creative "flow". But, I do agree with these thoughts, and will try again in ernest, to recover the "Spark" I love so dearly. Thank you for the reminder.

    5 years ago

  • Pasteesh

    Pasteesh says:

    Love the Article but I am really having the opposite problem! I am creating so much I don't have time to keep up with the business side and my crazy young boys!

    5 years ago

  • SimplyMadJewelry

    SimplyMadJewelry says:

    Enjoyed reading this :o) I got a copy of the Artist's Way a while ago and has been very useful and inspirational. One definitely has to be passionate about the piece being created. If you produce just to produce, you will look at the result and will think - "ugh! that's not something even I would wear". Then the taking pieces apart process begin... Follow your gut and if you are stuck it is ok to take a break, stop, close your eyes and listen for inspiration :o)

    5 years ago

  • ArtisticEnterprise

    ArtisticEnterprise says:

    Thank you so much for these encouraging words. Indeed I do not seem to find myself in a creative mood and tend to stick with the everyday, ordinary projects. This happens especially if there is no feedback or sale. I appreciate it that you motivate me again to continue and think of new ideas.

    5 years ago

  • JWhitbyDesigns10

    JWhitbyDesigns10 says:

    You are right. I feel as if I ran out of ideas on crafting as I felt like "someone" stole my idea, but yes, I will continue on what I love to do and perhaps will take more classes on to better myself, creatively, mentally and financially.

    5 years ago

  • crystalcatcher

    crystalcatcher says:

    What a great article! I too run home after one of my craft shows and remake the things that sold instead of my new ideas, guess I need to be more confident that buyers will like them too.

    5 years ago

  • kennosborne

    kennosborne says:

    Thanks so much, we've had periods of hitting rock bottom on our creativity. It definately lessens the drive to create anything. Appreciate that we are not the only ones and thanks so much for being so encouraging to us all. :)

    5 years ago

  • GeorginaKay

    GeorginaKay says:

    great article and so many wonderful tips and ideas. thanks so much

    5 years ago

  • vintagenelly

    vintagenelly says:

    Wonderful advice. I've read the book you mention, "The Artist's Way," can't recommend it enough. Thanks for sharing!!

    5 years ago

  • swagalot

    swagalot says:

    It sounds uncreative, but when I schedule time for creativity I get somehere. I make notes, sketches, and when I have the time I bring it all together and I spend what I need, one to two days.

    5 years ago

  • sonnyspics

    sonnyspics says:

    Thanks. You have made some very good points that have me thinking about the forest, not just the trees.

    5 years ago

  • chriskoskidesigns

    chriskoskidesigns says:

    I agree with one of the bloggers....I as well get my creative juices inspired by viewing all the wonderful artists on ETSY! Thank you!

    5 years ago

  • Fussiepanda

    Fussiepanda says:

    I haven"t experienced burnout. I just want people to appreciate what I do and not become a machine.

    5 years ago

  • donnakazo

    donnakazo says:

    I discovered Julia Cameron and The Artist's Way in 1999, and have been writing my Morning Pages ever since. I highly recommend ALL of her books to my fellow Etsians.

    5 years ago

  • Mindielee

    Mindielee says:

    I've let myself become consumed with managing my Etsy supplies shop (my other shop) and I go for sometimes a whole week not creating anything new ... and I wonder why I feel burned out! I need to dust off my copy of The Artist's Way and read it! Thanks for this article!

    5 years ago

  • Avintagecuppatea

    Avintagecuppatea says:

    Great ideas. It helps to know your not the only one.

    5 years ago

  • TattooDreams

    TattooDreams says:

    Well crafted article! Passion is always in us, sometimes just buried under the stress of making a living.

    5 years ago

  • TopsyTurvyDolls

    TopsyTurvyDolls says:

    But what does one do if necessary medications have a numbing effect on the creativity muscle in our brains?

    5 years ago

  • newhopebeading

    newhopebeading says:

    what a great article!

    5 years ago

  • brownfamilyvintage

    brownfamilyvintage says:

    Yeah as a mom it is hard to find alot of time to do anything. I have found the best thing to do is take a day for yourself to do your crafts.

    5 years ago

  • JudiFitzPatrick

    JudiFitzPatrick says:

    Brilliant, thanks so much!

    5 years ago

  • amyloujewelry

    amyloujewelry says:

    Great article. Its always nice to know you're not the only one 'burning out'. Great tips for turning around the burnout!

    5 years ago

  • poorjimsvintage

    poorjimsvintage says:

    WOW. great tips. I will read and remember. Thanks!

    5 years ago

  • beliz82

    beliz82 says:

    Wonderful Tips Thank you for sharing !!!

    5 years ago

  • Rolora

    Rolora says:

    Thanks so much for your post! Everything I start lately seems to fail and I realized after reading your post that I was concentrating more on selling and less on the enjoyment that I get from the creative process. Today is a new day and I am feeling very creative!

    5 years ago

  • sdrawkcabdesigns

    sdrawkcabdesigns says:

    Great article. I will be using the tips.....burn out does come and you do need to take a step back once in awhile. Thanks for the info.

    5 years ago

  • nonesuchgarden

    nonesuchgarden says:

    This is a really great article. I'm trying to recapture the joy of drawing and making comics. I love making my dolls, but comics are my true passion and I've been neglecting it for too long.

    5 years ago

  • hopskipjumppaper

    hopskipjumppaper says:

    I love this article! I really needed to read it right now.

    5 years ago

  • CarolJoyFashions

    CarolJoyFashions says:

    What an uplifting article...thanks for the great advice! Carol Joy

    5 years ago

  • SigalFJewelry

    SigalFJewelry says:

    Great tips. sometimes the best thing to do is just to leave what you do and have a little break ("Sleep on it"). This works for me best...I also beleive that things has their way to fall into place, always, eventually!!!

    5 years ago

  • dmnewlife

    dmnewlife says:

    I have to say this article hit home. As I am preparing to start hitting the weekend fairs and planning for the opening of my Etsy shop I am suddenly keenly aware of having to produce for the masses. Great article! Thanks so much for say that money changes the way you look at your art.

    5 years ago

  • topflightfashions

    topflightfashions says:

    OK I'll get back into it, just worked at least 8hrs a day for more than 2 months with no sale, but lots of lookers, and no time to create, so I have to do some re-thinking cause all i hear is how much people love my stuff, I'm ready to try again

    5 years ago

  • claylicious

    claylicious says:


    5 years ago

  • ARTISANIEeurope

    ARTISANIEeurope says:

    Beautifully written, Lee! Thanks so much for sharing these insights so eloquently!

    5 years ago

  • whatahussy

    whatahussy says:

    Thanks so much! It helps just to know I'm not the only one... Keep on keepin' on fellow artists :)

    5 years ago

  • WetPetunia

    WetPetunia says:

    Thank you!!! It's nice to know I am not alone.

    5 years ago

  • ShannonKayeDesigns

    ShannonKayeDesigns says:

    Perfect timing - thanks for posting!!!

    5 years ago

  • fuetsy

    fuetsy says:

    not really my problem;)

    5 years ago

  • SteampunkCouture

    SteampunkCouture says:

    Fantastic article! Experienced the burnout several times and learned a lot from the information shared here. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • LouisestArt

    LouisestArt says:

    Thanks for sharing! Great article!

    5 years ago

  • AndreaFuentesDesigns

    AndreaFuentesDesigns says:

    Thanks! I highly enjoyed reading this :)

    5 years ago

  • dragonflybuzz

    dragonflybuzz says:

    Wow, that was very powerfull and truly spoke to me. Thanks Syl

    5 years ago

  • HCbyHeatherJewelry

    HCbyHeatherJewelry says:

    Thanks. Really. Thank you. Great advice. Lots of good stuff to think about :-D

    5 years ago

  • FishBrew

    FishBrew says:

    Truly, some of the biggest struggle I find is balancing my "regular" life around my creativity. I work a "normal" job and often find myself struggling. An idea will come to me at work and I just want to run home right then and create. I have found that writing down my thoughts and brainstorming helps to keep my creative motivation if I cannot immediately start a project. Like so many others, how I wish I could revolve my life around creations! :) This is also a passion that family often doesn't understand either, so that can put a damper on creativity. I find myself often having to put off my creative outlets, in order to complete house duties and such. It is hard to find enough time in the day to do all we want to do!

    5 years ago

  • tashryri

    tashryri says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have no idea how much to sell my paintings for but when I add up all the time put into them and supplies it is alot. This will help. I don't want to sell for too little either

    5 years ago

  • tashryri

    tashryri says:

    Thanks for the tips. I have no idea how much to sell my paintings for but when I add up all the time put into them and supplies it is alot. This will help. I don't want to sell for too little either

    5 years ago

  • JenniferLynnProducts

    JenniferLynnProducts says:

    Excellent post! I love this so much! I have read _The Artist's Way_, but I have not worked through it yet. I usually read a book once all the way through and then go back and delve into the exercises. I'm looking forward to that. It's really a great book, for this very reason. These are excellent tips, especially for someone like me who runs a multi-armed business, where I often get caught up in one project, get tired of that, and start to want to work on another area of my business. My first step to alleviate situations like this has been to put myself on a rotating schedule. Each week, I focus on a different arm of the business, except of course when I'm neck-deep in projects, like I am right now. (Writing is eating my life! Ack!) Thanks for this. It's truly great!

    5 years ago

  • EyeShutterToThink

    EyeShutterToThink says:

    Great article! I needed to read this.

    5 years ago

  • EstellineDesigns

    EstellineDesigns says:

    Thanks for the article. I just started and have never sold to the public. I made gifts for family and friends. I find myself wondering if I should use a certain color or if the things I am selling is what the public wants. This article is very helpful. Thank you.

    5 years ago

  • splendidemporium

    splendidemporium says:

    It's great having sales at fairs and on Etsy but you do need to take a break and just experiment. It's a lovely feeling when you create something new and fresh x

    5 years ago

  • luvoncanvas

    luvoncanvas says:

    This article is written for me! I have had the artists equivalent to writers' block lately and now the old juices are flowing!

    5 years ago

  • workingclasspunx

    workingclasspunx says:

    Lot's of great advice here, thanks

    5 years ago

  • tarbeachjewelry

    tarbeachjewelry says:

    I really enjoyed this article. I recently started a shop on etsy, and it is a bit of a mess. I love to do mixed media painting, collage, found objects, oil pastels, textured paper, newspaper, magazines, and incorporating my ideas and experiences visually. I have a lot of ideas, but I don't always follow-through with them. So, maybe, I will start to post some of my paintings in my store. I checked out the sites you mentioned, and I found them to be very informative. Thanks for taking the time to post them.

    5 years ago

  • tarbeachjewelry

    tarbeachjewelry says:

    To: BradSearsWoodturner I loved your idea about reading. I love poetry, and it does influence my art. Best, Marie

    5 years ago

  • ArtPhotosDiana

    ArtPhotosDiana says:

    Meaningful and helpful article. Great collection of related art and items, too.

    5 years ago

  • ninaneu1

    Nina Neu from NinaneusArtStudio says:


    3 years ago

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    1 year ago

  • marylynnplaisance

    Mary Lynn Plaisance from BebsCajunDollHouse says:

    I desperately needed to read this. I've been making my dolls since 1992, and over this period of time, they have taken different forms, and I have added the Cajun Fairies to the line of dolls. But now, I'm at a point that I want to go back to the dolls I designed in 1992.. The BIG dolls. I was in a creative burnout state~!! It got me down so bad that I become depressed. I have three books published with 16 different characters to make my mind more active. I think I have enough characters now. The FACE of the Sha Bebe it always the same, except for the fairies.... but I THINK.... not sure yet, that I'm back into creating the original BIG dolls from 1992.... I'll let you know.. :) Thanks for sharing this blog. I'm SO glad I'm not the only one who feels this..

    1 year ago

  • marylynnplaisance

    Mary Lynn Plaisance from BebsCajunDollHouse says:

    It's almost one o'clock in the am here in Louisiana, and I'm still thinking this is the right move, so I'm going for it...... Thanks again...... GREAT blog...

    1 year ago

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    4 days ago