Why artists are depressed

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Depression and the artist - How to find a way out when there is no way out

Continuing our series of articles where we discuss the difficult situations that professional artists and CG industry professionals find themselves in, we recently released an article "How to live if you owe 120,000 dollars and take out a loan for food?", who missed it is recommended for reading. In this article, we will talk about depression in the camp of artists, the consequences and exit options.

There can be a million reasons for depression, both far-fetched and completely real, underestimating the value of stress, burnout and depression can lead to the most serious consequences, you absolutely cannot ignore this, in the material we will again talk with Alexander Melentiev, he will tell examples from own practice. nine0003

Roman Tsapik : Alexander, glad to hear it again :-), I want to raise the burning topic of stress and depression, I know from my own practice that you can deny and not
believe in it as much as you like, but sooner or later it comes to anyone. From personal experience, both your own and communication with colleagues, what are the main causes of depression?

Alexander Melentiev: Greetings, Roman. There are several reasons in my opinion:

1) Banal processing. The head (brain) is like a muscle, it (it) can also be overworked. We often see this field of sports or heavy physical activity. The symptoms are the same. nine0003

2) The problem of creative people, forcing thoughts on themselves that it doesn't work out, like cool artists, these thoughts drive them into a noose: if you can't - this
frustration doesn't work out - you can't.

3) Expectations from work (life with such work) are not justified. We often paint ourselves a completely different, more rosy picture of the work we do, because few people talk about problems or it seems to us that we will not have such problems. But when it confuses, we do not understand how to cope. For example: I was going up the mountain, I thought there was a beautiful view, but there it was dirty and you couldn’t see anything in the fog .... Is it a shame? nine0003

4) Unfortunately, we are not taught enough to cope with stress in childhood, and there are few comforting and stroking adults. An artist is like a child, the profession obliges to see the world in a different way, often with a child's perception. We don't have the ability to deal with stress. There are probably other reasons, but I describe only
what I went through myself.

Roman Tsapik: Overworking is one of the most common causes of burnout and depression, it is impossible for most people to avoid it, we go for it voluntarily, as it allows us to earn more, but there is no sufficient understanding of the risks, health at that time is still the same is present. As a result, we take on more than we can carry and have a natural result after some years. Did everything follow the same pattern for you? Was there a feeling that the forces might run out and there would be some kind of disruption of "production processes"? nine0003

Alexander Melentiev: The beginnings of my problems are probably the same. But fear led to processing. Fear of not getting an order tomorrow and being left without money. This is not even a very controlled fear - there are many excuses for it: making a name for myself, getting quick experience, etc. So I started taking all the work that was offered. It was very difficult to get that fear out of me.
I'm lying, not to squeeze out, but to muffle, hide, appease. In such moments of processing, you begin to hate your job. But! I did not feel the approach of a breakdown, like everyone else. I had a lot of strength, I had enough internal power not to sleep for several days - after all, the goal loomed ahead. And in the books that I read as a child, all the characters overcame obstacles and, as a result, drank champagne. It was a warm thought. Thanks to youthful maximalism! But the problems were already laid in the mind ... nine0003

Roman Tsapik: I was convinced more than once that it is not possible to warn people about the risks, almost every person is sure that this story is not about him, but here it’s quite a lifting load, he will work now, and then or get used to, or reduce the load, and in general this is a temporary measure. Do you think there is a chance to reach out to people who have not yet fallen into the trap of burnout, or should everyone go through this on their own?

Alexander Melentiev: I think it's impossible to get through. I don't remember anyone learning from someone else's mistakes. In addition, difficulties harden and shape the personality, this is the way of growing up. I think that we just need to help those who find themselves in such situations and learn how to cope with stress from childhood. But I think it's a double-edged sword. If a person is doing well, everything is smooth, he does not experience those different emotions, then he will not be able to convey them in his paintings. How to draw what you have not seen (experienced)? I once asked a psychologist: if you cure all my psychological traumas, I will feel better. Why should I then draw something, prove to myself that I can do something better, fight my ignorance? I will sell phones and I will be fine. Will your treatment destroy me as a creative person? Unfortunately, he could not answer this question for me. It's a pity… nine0003

Roman Tsapik: What was the last straw for you personally? Stress, overwork, burnout and loss of interest in work?

Alexander Melentiev: I had 3 crises, the reasons are usually all, but in different proportions:

  1. First time - recycling. I realized that apart from work I have nothing in my life ... there is no life, I slept and worked. Everybody. I realized when I had nothing to tell my friends, I told them everything, but there is nothing new.
  2. The second time - burnout. Creative crisis - once I got up in the morning, looked at what I had done up to this point and everything was bad. And I couldn’t do better (it was my hardest). nine0065
  3. Third time - stress and loss of interest. This is the “not completed” second, he was transformed into complete dissatisfaction with himself and life.

Roman Tsapik: Many of us went through a breakdown, it happens differently for everyone, someone is violent enough, someone falls into long-term depression, someone basically loses interest in creativity, what you went through ?

Alexander Melentiev: Oh. I'll go from the very beginning, I think it's all superimposed on each other and follows one from the other. The first time - hellish processing. As I said, there was fear. I worked from 20 hours a day, sometimes I did not sleep for several days in a row, and so for several years. When I went freelancing, I was scared not to have orders “tomorrow”. He took everything in a row and did everything in a row, the projects merged into an endless blur. And, somehow, sitting in a restaurant, having 15 extra kilos, I realized that this is not life. There are no more interesting stories, they are over. nine0007 The depression did not last very long then, maybe 3-4 days. Fortunately, getting out of it was easier than I thought. I just remembered my old hobbies (music at that time) and began to be distracted from work, to communicate with people not related to work. I drowned out my fear with a financial pillow. As soon as it appeared, I stopped being afraid that I would not have orders and could already choose what to do. I could try to raise prices, I had something to live on.

The second one I can't help but remember without a shudder. He was not so long ago, about 4 years ago (in 2018). It all started with the fact that one of my acquaintances told me: “Sasha, drop it all, you’ve done a lot, you’ve done a lot, but you’re not pulling anymore. We are young, we can do a lot, we know a lot. Sit in charge, draw." And then I looked at everything that I had done up to this point and everything was really bad, now I began to see it and was even delighted, now they say I will do well. nine0007 I sat down to do it - but it turns out just as bad, but it doesn't work out well. Well, I think they sailed, but they didn’t teach me how to deal with stress like that. What does the majority around do when they feel bad? That's right - drink! And I started drinking. The more he drank, the more nothing worked, the more thoughts came about his own mediocrity. Let's fill it with alcohol, and thoughts are getting blacker, drowning yourself deeper and deeper. And now you don’t trust anyone, everyone lies, you have already figured out yourself - mediocrity and that’s it! Open the next bottle! You don’t see the way out, because you constantly think about it, you would have found it already. So there are no paths. Let's fill this idea with another liter. nine0007 Now I remember how scary it was. The world was black, and you are constantly drunk, angry and aggressive. After all, no one can understand you .... This went on for three months. Sobbed like a child, blowing snot bubbles. Kirdyk. But one fine day, lying in a hangover, hugging an unopened bottle of skate and listening to how the family thinks that it’s time to treat me seriously, I began to think ... (I lay like that for 2 days, I was ashamed to show signs of consciousness). And I remembered that in pre-graduation practice at the school, I designed a medical device that helps people whose brain signals do not pass into the hand. This device helped to establish a signal from the other side - from the hand to the brain, and thereby restore communication. I thought, since I can’t do anything with my head, I will do the opposite. I got up, threw the whole bottle in the trash and gave up alcohol. nine0003

I threw away everything that I knew before, opened YouTube, different lessons in all languages ​​and began to study in a new way, from the very beginning. I worked 2 hours a day, the rest of the time I studied. Here, like manna from heaven, Render launched the End of Civilization contest - it helped me a lot morally. I learned by participating in a competition. By the way, the user support of the site was very helpful. Because my conceit was at 0, so I lived for a year. With alcohol, things seem to have improved - the fear of plunging into a black depression did not allow it to aggravate much. But the ghost of this darkness itself hung over his shoulder, and if you quickly turn your head, you could see it. That's when it would be like a psychologist or a psychiatrist, to cure it all. But I thought I got it right. And in order to consolidate success and breathe freshness into the routine of life, my family and I decided to move to St. Petersburg in order to conquer new heights cheerfully and cheerfully, but you won’t get away from yourself. nine0003

The third crisis hit me already in St. Petersburg, a year ago. In general, conquering the peaks was not so much fun, but everything was the same as always. Do well, don't deceive people, don't go "over corpses". And somehow everything is monotonous, not as I expected. I thought I would stand with my chest against the wind, fight against obstacles. Hey gay! And here you sit and draw, render, edit… This Covid, if it’s not okay. And somehow sadness, after sadness, sadness after sadness, I began to drink again in order to bring joy back to life. Well, I drank to the previous crisis, but uncontrolled aggression at all was added to this state. nine0003

This led me to very unpleasant consequences (I won't describe them), but I decided to get out, it's wrong. The last straw was the wife’s phrase: “That’s what doesn’t suit you, you live in a beautiful city, in your apartment, an interesting job, do they pay well?” And I thought, but really, what's the problem then? I didn’t go deep into myself, I immediately went to a narcologist-psychiatrist (as in fashionable films, the number of a personal psychiatrist appeared on the phone hahaha). He looked at me, listened and said: “Uuu, my friend, yes, you somehow actively worked, reworked, as a result, you erased all the brakes for yourself, but the starting functions still work a little. Here is a course of treatment for you, we will restore your body. You killed him in 20 years of such a life. But if we restore the body and all this remains in the head, we will think, but I feel it will help. Oh yes, and you can’t drink, in general, there for a year or more, although then you won’t want to. And I began to be treated, and a lot of things came out there: nine0003

  1. I forgot how to rest, I always rested with alcohol, I couldn't just walk and enjoy the beauty around.
  2. My body, without physical activity, completely collapsed.
  3. I didn't know how to cope with stress (usually I just washed it all down with fiery water). But once, the old ways are not suitable. We will learn to live in a new way. Wow! There are museums! Wow, there are walks in beautiful places. Wow! Books, lots of books! Did you quarrel? - why drink, draw in a buzz to a movie or music, anything is more useful. Sport? Boring? Go in for a non-boring sport - I chose fencing (and relieves stress with aggression when they beat you on the head with a saber). In general, I get out slowly, climbed into this state for a long time too, the main thing is to want to deal with it. nine0065

Roman Tsapik: How did you solve the problem yourself and what can you advise others?

Alexander Melentiev: I couldn't decide on my own, not such a powerful willpower. Without his wife, he would not have coped at all, he hid it from the rest. I advise you not to hide it from your loved ones, it may be very late later.

Roman Tsapik: How can you prevent the situation, what signs that it is time to ease the load, did you personally identify for yourself?

Alexander Melentiev: Touchiness (if you start to get offended by little things, or start to think that you are not appreciated), you wake up tired or try to stay up as long as possible (so that the next day does not start longer), unpredictable aggression, a gloomy state and a feeling of failure, an annoying walk down the street (so many things to do, why walk aimlessly), you see only the bad around, you start drowning everything in wine.

Roman Tsapik: Did you manage to regain your previous initiative and desire to work? Did the load affect inspiration? nine0003

Alexander Melentiev: Of course! Otherwise, why is it all. Our work is interesting, promising, there is room for endless growth. If the project is boring - press into the quality (then it will backfire in a good way), the project is interesting - get high!

Roman Tsapik: How to avoid relapses of nervous exhaustion and symptoms of burnout? We all know that there are black and white stripes, on white it is enough just to believe in yourself, is it sometimes very difficult to overcome lingering black ones? nine0003

Alexander Melentiev: Only prevention. There is a black line at work - maybe in the family, on the contrary, everything will be fine either in sports or in a hobby. I remember 3 phrases: one from the film: “Unlucky in cards - lucky in love”, and the second and third were always told to me by my mother “Captain - smile, only the seas obey the brave” and “If you really want to, you can fly into space. ” In difficult moments, I say these phrases to myself and transform the black stripes into light ones. For example:

  1. If a project is boring, make it as good as possible, study and try new things. Then interesting projects will be on a completely different level of quality. nine0065
  2. The project does not come out (at all), start doing it from the other side, collect referrals, watch a movie on the topic - this is also work, not rest, you won’t reproach yourself for this and now it’s more fun.
  3. Everyone failed, if the rest could - and you can. Someone is faster, someone is longer, that's the whole difference (no one will remember this difference later).

Roman Tsapik: What personal qualities should be worked on to minimize losses?

Alexander Melentiev: Willpower, the desire to be the best version of YOURSELF. And over the ability to give yourself a magic pendel. This is laughable, but in fact, you need to learn to deal with stress and transform your anger and indignation into development (so them!, well, I’ll draw it for you now, you’ll see). At the expense of the latter, it turns out that many do not know how, anger at oneself and at the world simply remains anger and a stopper, thereby destroying. Athletes think they have a similar transformation.

Roman Tsapik: What ways of distraction can you recommend for creative people? How do you personally relax from work? nine0003

Alexander Melentiev: I read, watch series (and not always those that are interesting to me personally, but those that are interesting to my family as well. This broadens my horizons a lot), took up HEMA fencing, go for walks (before it was not interesting to me), I go to museums (every time, like the first time, you constantly see new details). Apparently the list is not very different from others, but it really helps. Sometimes I draw for myself, slowly, to music or cinema, as if I get double pleasure. By the way, the family is a great distraction from work, especially children. nine0003

Roman Tsapik: Let's take a look at one well-known expression: “Choose a job you like, and you won't have to work a single day in your life. ” – Confucius. There is an opinion that this is one big lie and you should never interfere with a hobby that makes you happy with work, because in this way you will lose your happy hobby, any work carries a lot of negativity and will inevitably ruin even the best occupation in the world. What is your opinion on this? nine0003

Alexander Melentiev: I also think that this is a lie. Such a total scam. When the work is to your liking, it is certainly simpler, but you can oversaturate it. Imagine if you are forced to eat eclairs from morning to evening, every day, no matter how much you love them - it's hard. But with us, it’s no longer a job, it’s a way of life, with all the ensuing negative consequences. That is why I am a supporter of a clear work schedule. Good little :)

Roman Tsapik: Let's talk about "self-deception of delegation", when all problems are attributed to the inability to transfer part of the work to others (team), and to deal with only control and creativity. There are two main points here, the first one cannot be infinitely delegated, you will simply drown in checks and corrections, the second, the more you transfer, the more you are forced to perform the function of control and the less creativity. As a result, you turn from an artist into a manager. Your opinion? Can it be combined or do you have to choose? nine0003

Alexander Melentiev: It depends on the person, someone can and feels comfortable. I know people who enjoy delegation and control and know how to do it cool (feel). Working now in a team, I am learning to exist with this, it is hard for me, but this is due to lack of practice. Now I calmly transfer some concepts for revision to a 2d pro, who will correct the characters and maybe something else, look at his prof. with a look. The end result is a great product. Or I no longer go to game designers, they have their own work. I have mine. A lot of control is when there are a lot of people, you can drown there. But if you have 4 people working on the project, then it's not so difficult, especially if all the professionals, there are not many corrections there. You write one sentence, the person has already understood everything, comprehended, processed and done better than you expected. :) I think that artists should draw and leaders should lead. These are different talents. nine0003

Roman Tsapik: How important is the support of loved ones? It's no secret that many industry professionals have husbands and wives who are also artists, perhaps the most popular case is a husband working around the clock who doesn't see the problem point-blank and refuses to acknowledge it?

Alexander Melentiev: The support of loved ones is very important, they are close, and you yourself must support them. In general, it is very difficult with artists, we are “head in the clouds”. I think it’s hard for our loved ones with us, very often we are like another child, but in families where both spouses are artists, it’s even harder, someone has to perform a household function, or raise children. Often there are no children in such families, because these families are like a creative team (sometimes there is even internal competition). Or someone alone puts an end to his prof. creativity and begins to take care of the second (often women), I think it can not do without nervous breakdowns. nine0007 In general, I believe that one should trust one's family. They don't want to make things worse, they want to make things better for you and themselves. Therefore, we must listen to them. They definitely won’t say bad things, but if you listen, they will save you in time and scream – you don’t understand anything, I’m an artist, I see it that way – this is a disaster. This means the person is shutting himself off and hiding instead of accepting the problem and solving it. Listen to your loved ones!

PS: my daughter once said to her friends: “And this is dad. He is always either working or tired.” Somehow it even became insulting, I wanted to say, no, this is not so . .. Isn't it? nine0003

Roman Tsapik: In your opinion, freelancing is fraught with great danger? When the artist’s road to work goes from the bedroom through the refrigerator to the computer, it’s easy to get bogged down and start to sit out, because there is no need to go to the office, then home, the level of communication and communication with the world in general decreases, there is a more complete immersion in work and emerge from it it gets very hard.

Alexander Melentiev: Freelancing is very dangerous, you need to have willpower. To work when it's summer, get up on an alarm clock and sit down to work. Control yourself, your strength and speed. Do not be distracted while working. To be honest, not everyone sits out, for the most part, those who are distracted during work or did not work when necessary and began to sit before the deadline for days sit out for the most part. That's why you need willpower and a work schedule. This is the same work at the studio, only the studio (office) is you. The earnings of such a freelancer-studio exceeds the earnings of an employee of the studio itself by 2-6 times. nine0007 But communication is a real disaster, you can become a hermit and really get lost. But the freelance guys and I constantly correspond and call each other during work, just like that. Ahhh, and we work during the day, it's better to sleep at night. :)

Roman Tsapik: What exactly should not be delayed when you feel a problem and who to contact? There is a good saying, videos on YouTube do not cure depression (the information is taken just from a psychologist's video on YouTube :-)).

Alexander Melentiev: The first and most difficult thing is to realize the problem. No one from the outside will be able to explain to you that there is a problem, only you yourself. If you recognize the problem, then you need help. It is very difficult for one to get out of this, perhaps people with an iron character can do this . .. I don’t know. I think that you need to turn to loved ones, to those people whom you trust. Because in a state of depression it is difficult to adequately perceive reality. If the stage is severe (aggravated by alcohol, drugs, etc.) - a psychiatrist and narcologist, but prevention is best, no matter how trite it may sound. nine0003

Roman Tsapik: Share with us your TOP 5 tips on how to stay creative and avoid burnout?

Alexander Melentiev:

  1. Need a work schedule (especially if you work as a freelancer). Knowing when to rest and when to work. For example, mine: from 10 to 18 - work, from 18 to 23 - rest, from 23 to 2 - work or drawing a portfolio. From 2 to 9.30 - sleep.
  2. Sport. In a healthy body healthy mind. This does not mean that you need to rest on huge muscles or become a master of sports in swimming, simple physical education is enough. nine0065
  3. Hobby other than work. It would be better not associated with drawing, the head is harder to rest than the body. The best rest is a change of activity.
  4. Do not abuse alcohol. Once a friend told me: the problem must first be solved, and then it should be noted, alcohol does not solve problems.
  5. Read (a visualization of the text is formed in the head), watch (observation is very important for us), listen.

Roman Tsapik: Alexander, thank you very much for your time and open conversation, I'm sure this material will help many people prevent a lot of problems in time. We wish you success, interesting projects and an eventful life outside of work. nine0003

How can an artist get out of a creative crisis? — School of Sketching by Olga Sorokina

Olga Sorokina

Tips for artists

Olga Sorokina

Tips for artists

In this blog post I will touch on a topic that happens one day in the life of every artist. I will share with you my story of a creative crisis, tell you about useful resources, about what helped me and, I hope, will help you too. nine0011

The artist and the creative crisis

I don't know a single artist who doesn't have a creative crisis. Moreover, in the artistic environment, a creative crisis is considered almost “good form”. I have a lot of acquaintances from the creative environment (as you already know from past posts on this blog, I have behind me the artist of the Alexandrino Art School, Art Lyceum 190 on the Fontanka, Stieglitz St. Petersburg State Art Academy), I can say that all my adult life I have been creative people. nine0003

The concepts of "artist" and "creative depression" are practically two sides of the same coin. A crisis in creativity is normal, to be honest, if you are an artist and this has never happened to you, then it’s even somehow suspicious. So, if you think that you are the only one so special, that it is only you who have such "existential problems", you are lonely, you do not want to live and have no one to share with, know that you are not alone.

In the artistic environment, a creative crisis is considered almost “good form. The concepts of "artist" and "creative depression" are practically two sides of the same coin. - nine0289

It’s just that people don’t like to share such information about themselves, especially with those who may not understand this, because telling someone about the innermost, you become vulnerable, and if at the same time you receive in response: “Don’t talk nonsense, everything is fine with you , here someone does not have arms and legs, but they live and rejoice, and you just whine! What are you missing, what else do you need? Everything is! Just live!" Familiar? Here's to me.

Such a reaction from close people can lead to a persistent feeling of loneliness, even if it seems to others that everyone loves you and that everything is fine with you, even ideally, but in fact there is darkness in your soul and the wind howls. Sometimes, this leads to thoughts like “there is clearly something wrong with me”, and the feeling of alienation, isolation becomes even stronger and drives you into even more depression. nine0003

A creative crisis is a direct professional illness of artists, such as allergies, blurred vision and rheumatism in doctors or sinusitis, frequent colds and bronchitis in school teachers.

We all have ups and downs, moments of the highest degree of inspiration and pits of decline, life is a sinusoid, it is important to be prepared for creative crises and know how to get out of them as quickly and painlessly as possible. To know what helps you, to have this very “light at the end of the tunnel” and an “action plan” to get out of depression. nine0003

My story

I had several creative crises, of different “severity”. I will share one of the stories that happened to me almost immediately after graduating from Stieglitz St. Petersburg State Art Academy , when I got another job as an interior designer at a prestigious architectural firm.

It was a big company where we did government projects like hotels for the Olympics in Sochi, projects for expensive restaurants and mansions; yes, there was a big salary, a professional team, reliability and all that, but every morning I woke up and just didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t understand myself and reproached with the words: “Olya, what’s going on? You are at your dream job! Everyone only dreams of this! You yourself have always wanted to do cool and big projects in architecture and interiors. Here it is! What's wrong?!" nine0003

At the same time, the team was really good: they were professionals in the field of architecture and design, I could learn a lot from them, everyone was very friendly to me and always ready to help. My immediate supervisor was an Austrian (which also attracted me very much when I just got this job), a wonderful and talented person, he constantly admired my sketches and ideas, it inspired me, but it was a pity that he was almost constantly on the road and business travelling, we rarely saw him. nine0003

I reproached myself: “Olya, what is going on? You are at your dream job! You yourself have always wanted to do large projects in architecture and interior design. Here it is! What's wrong?!”

The symptoms of a creative pit were evident: I did not want to get out of bed either on weekdays or on weekends, then I cried almost every day, I did not want to communicate with anyone and generally leave the house; on nutrition: sometimes I didn’t want to eat at all, then the non-stop absorption of all kinds of harmful things and sweets began. At work, in general, sometimes I went to cry in the toilet, especially before deadlines. There was no talk of inspiration and the desire to create something, to generate ideas. Some colds, weakness and aches began, as you can see, psychosomatics turned on: the body clearly made it clear that it was time to end all this. Almost all the symptoms of depression that had already begun were present. nine0003

While studying at Mukha (Stieglitz St. Petersburg State Art Academy), I dreamed of doing large public interior projects like museums, exhibition spaces, conceptual restaurants, in general, I had very ambitious plans and goals. In fact, working for this company was really the perfect stepping stone in my career. I saw this brilliant, dizzying future of the world famous designer and the fact that I could not even overcome the first step unsettled me.

At that moment, I considered myself weak and condemned myself for it, while the body, the very reaction of the body, clearly made it clear that such a job is for a large company, with an open open-space office, a tough schedule and constant deadlines, a large amount of work in 3D and CAD business trips, definitely not for me. Plus, I am by nature a very responsible person, such an “excellent student syndrome” from school, I can worry a lot about projects, in general, I felt there that I simply did not have enough physical resources to endure the workload, I was especially stressed before deadlines, although, as always, the authorities were enough of my work. nine0003

Then I thought that freelancing is about solving problems. As it turned out, no, it's just that when you freelance, you have 10 bosses instead of one.

There were pluses: in this job, I realized what was definitely NOT for me and what was NOT suitable for me: working for large companies, where you feel like a cog in a huge system, open spaces, a tight schedule, fixed holidays, the need to fill out official papers, even if you just need to go to the dentist.

I realized that I need either a private office or work from home, flexible hours, no boss or any superiors. Then I thought that freelancing is a solution to problems. As it turned out later, no, it's just that when you freelance you have 10 bosses instead of one :)





How to get out of a creative crisis

It is interesting that people get out of a creative crisis thanks to creativity. Here it is important to start devoting time to creativity and in no case condemn your drawings, creations, but simply create them, consciously dedicate time to creativity. nine0003

It's a great idea to switch to a new kind of creativity: for example, you draw, and then go and try your hand at dance, music or acting.

If you have been drawing for a long time, then try your hand at dance, music or acting, this is also creativity, but its different expression.

Even the weather plays a big role in aggravating the depressive state, remember, in February/March, when it already seems that winter will never end, and you have not seen the sun for weeks, the sky seems to constantly hang low gray clouds, it is natural that the psyche begins panic and the brain thinks “When will this end?! What if it never ends and it will always be like this? This worsens the already depressed state even more. Therefore, there is the concept of “spring exacerbation”, after a long Russian winter, when all resources are exhausted and no words, no music, no strength (not even vitamins) - the body is on the verge and it needs a break and recharging more than ever. nine0003

It is a good idea to travel or take a short trip to another city during this period from February to May, just any change of environment, change of the “picture” that you see every day, some kind of shake-up is needed, even better is a retreat, such as a yoga retreat .

I must say that walking in nature, dancing, yoga and meditation helped me a lot to get out of a protracted creative crisis.

Watch my "Yoga for Artists" playlist on YouTube "Olga Sorokina" and do this wonderful ancient practice with me online on the ocean or in the park. nine0003

Artists get out of a creative crisis thanks to creativity, new ideas and dreams, new information and opening up perspectives, a different look at what is happening.


The idea and attitude “Give your body a lot of love and attention” will greatly improve things. Try to focus on your body, it doesn’t accidentally suffer and get sick (colds, etc., by the way, it is believed that depression is a “disease of the soul”), so give your soul and body attention and lots and lots of love. nine0003

What did you like to do when you were a child? Reading, drawing, carving, assembling Lego, making architecture from chairs and tables (I loved doing this)? It will all heal your soul if you start doing it again. Right now, sit down, set aside 10 minutes, set a timer and brainstorm, writing down everything that comes to mind. What activity makes you happy?

What else can you do for your soul and body?

  • Sign up for a massage course

  • Go to a yoga/pilates/qigong class (you can start with free YouTube videos if the idea of ​​connecting with other people makes you even more depressed)

  • Pack up and go to a yoga retreat

  • start/continue dance (here it is very important to find what you like: salsa, burlesque, tango, contemporary, ballet, jazz, etc.). For me personally, ballet and burlesque bring a maximum of positive emotions.

  • Walking in nature, breathing clean air, yes, admiring the trees, the first foliage, the ant on the tree - all this has an incredibly therapeutic effect! nine0003

  • Meditate (there are just hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube on this topic, try gratitude meditations, vipasanas or yoga nidra meditations). Some of my favorite meditations are here.

  • Connect more with animals (maybe you've dreamed of a dog or a cat for a long time?)

  • Read inspiring books and watch movies (see list of my favorites below) who helped me and they can really improve your condition today. nine0003


    • Frida. 2002

    • Modigliani, 2004

    • Van Gogh: Portrait painted with words, 2010

    • Renoir. Last Love”, 2012

    • “Big Eyes”, 2014

    There are a lot of films about artists, I listed 5 of my favorites, in all these films the theme of the artist’s depression is deeply revealed.


    • The Artist's Way: Julia Cameron

    • Pains and Joys, Irving Stone (a novel about Michelangelo)

    • Lust for Life, Irving Stone (a novel about Vincent van Gogh)

      and a penny”, Somerset Maugham (Paul Gauguin served as the prototype for this book)

    • “Discover the artist in you”, Betty Edwards

    Helped me, I'm sure it will help you too. nine0003

    It is interesting to know if you have already read any of these books, seen these films, please share in the comments.

    And finally…

    There are people who have so many opportunities, abilities and talents, but they do NOTHING with these gifts.

    And suffer from it. Of course. They do not do what they are meant to do in life. They do not realize themselves, do not reveal the possibilities, do not develop. Or do not want to develop? Consciously or unconsciously. nine0003

    Remember Ellie from The Wizard of Oz (one of my favorite fairy tales as a child), every time she turned off the yellow brick road, trouble and problems began: either a poppy field, or trees throwing apples at her. all because she was turning from HER WAY.

    It definitely works visually for me: every time I moved away from drawing, creativity, life was painfully depressed.

    I also invite you to read 3 important posts on my blog on similar topics:

    • "5 myths about sketching that keep you from drawing"

    • “How to start drawing if there is no art education and other fears of beginner sketchers”


    Learn more