How to get your face painting mojo back!
Loss of mojo is a very common epidemic among face painters, trust me! It's estimated we lose around 150 face painters per year to this crippling disease. Ok, I'm joking. But seriously, if you're experiencing mojo loss, just know, you're not alone! If you've yet to experience this, get this blog in your bookmarks for future reference – you know, just in case!
Common symptoms include: wanting to hide away from the world, assessing every single paint stroke of your own work as rubbish, feeling like you've hit a plateau, and seriously considering selling all of your equipment!
Before you rush off to the selling sites, try some of the tips below to reignite that spark you had when all of this was shiny and new. There's just one catch: you have to really push yourself to TRY. I know that your first instinct will be to look at each item and go: “meh”. After the “meh” comes the “doing”. Just have a go, you will be glad you did!
Take a break and do something different
Sometimes we all need a holiday! Even if we're not actually going anywhere ;)
So, when you've finished your gigs for the week, pack away your stuff and do something else! Whatever you do to unwind, whether that's watching bad TV, going out for a nice walk to clear the air, or knitting! Choose an activity that you know will completely take your mind off your work. You may be surprised to find that when you come back to it, you are seeing everything in a new light.
If this doesn't quite do the trick...read on!
Organise your face painting kit
After you've had a bit of a breather, it's time to go hands on once again! The last thing you might be interested in doing is organising your kit, but I guarantee that this will go a long way to helping you get your mojo back. The worst part is always motivating yourself to do it, but then you often will find yourself enjoying the process. Give your kit a thorough going over. Sort out your brushes in order of size, figure out if anything has seen its day and if so, throw it away! Deep clean EVERYTHING. By the end of this exercise, you will get that deep sense of satisfaction that can go both ways. Either you will be raring to paint again with your shiny new kit, or you will be reluctant to mess it all up again! If the second one is you, let's see what we can do to encourage you to pick up the paintbrush again..
Look at old photos of your work and create collages to compare to your most recent work. You may be surprised at just how much progress you have made. If there are some photos that seem like you haven't made much progress at all write it down! Having areas to improve is always a good thing, especially if you can identify and face these head on as it gives you something to aim for. This exercise helps you to see your strengths and weaknesses, but mainly serves to show you that every bit of progress matters! Don't throw in the towel just yet, imagine where you could be a year from now if you get back on the horse!
Also check out the profiles of some of the more well known artists. Don't compare yourself to them, but instead look for those comparison posts they often throw up of their own work! It goes to show that we all start somewhere, and EVERYONE can acheieve a high standard with perseverence. Remember you can only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. There is only one YOU in the world, make it count.
Look into time management
Sometimes it can be helpful when dealing with lack of motivation to paint to figure out what has caused it in the first place. Often, it will be a build up over time, but one day it just steps over your limit. When I've experienced this in the past, it has boiled down to poor time management. Feeling 'switched on' all the time, feeling like you HAVE to answer emails at all hours of the day and night, can eventually take its toll on you.
Trying to keep up with latest trends, and posting on social media can start to feel overwhelming. Once you miss one day, it starts to build up and you feel like you will never catch up again. Remember though, it is YOU who has placed these arbitrary expectations on yourself. Perhaps you were a little unrealistic about your ability to commit to being a 24/7 face painting business owner extraordinaire and guess what? Thats OK! We live and learn.
Perhaps it's time to redefine your boundaries and set yourself specific hours of business. You can now set automatic responses on your business page when you are 'away', so you can reassure your potential clients that you will get back to them, and you can stop checking your messages every 5 minutes. Decide which days you can genuinely commit to posting new photos, or entering receipt details into a spreadsheet, or even which day you will take off and refuse to even LOOK at work. From this, establish a pattern that you can stick to and don't deviate. As humans, we respond well to routines – give it a go and see what a difference it can make to your stress levels and how it can help you get your painting mojo back!
Create a vision board
Create a year ahead projection – where do you want to be a year from now? What baby steps do you need to take to get there? Break it down! Often we compare ourselves to others and don't realise that we are on our own incomparable journeys. It can be disheartening when everyone around you seems to be storming off ahead while you feel stuck but it's important to know that almost every painter experiences this at some point in their journey. This too shall pass! If you are feeling overwhelmed and like you will never reach your goals, my advice is to zoom right in. Keep the bigger picture in mind but only focus on the next step, and then the next one. Before you know it, the next step will have you creating a whole new goal as you achieve your milestone. This exercise will help you to see that it is ALL doable. Nothing is impossible.
Don't suffer in silence!
Sometimes just telling someone how you are feeling can help to lift the weight off your shoulders. Share your experience with other painters and you may be surprised how many are also feeling the hump! Not that we'd wish this on anyone, but knowing you're not alone can be very reassuring and help you to see that it's definitely something you can overcome.
Also, making time for friends and family is especially important as being self employed can be a lonely affair. Social isolation is one thing sure to upset your face painting mojo. Make time for yourself and you'll find it goes a long way to keeping you in a happier frame of mind for your creative work.
We hope these suggestions can help you painters who are just not quite feeling it right now. If you can identify with some of the things in this blog post, then take it from me, it will pass as long as you just give some of these ideas a go!
If you have your own methods of regaining your creative spark, please share with us in the comments!