Taking a Hiatus

October 30, 2019

Everyone needs a break, even from their passion. There is no shame in taking a hiatus, and we all do it for a variety of reasons. I remember this one artist that I admired on Instagram, and they will remain nameless for now. their talent was almost unparalleled in my opinion. I was inspired by them but i also envied them. They seemed unstoppable and were constantly innovating and taking on new challenges. I always looked forward to their posts because I knew what I would be looking at would be quality. 

Then the day came that they disappeared off of social media entirely. 

I didn't go on a sleuthing mission to find them, of course, but i was curious. Where were they? Why did they stop creating and posting? What made them delete their entire social media and put their business at a stand still? Artists on social media should always have content on their sites and pages to remain relevant, so where were they? I think you guys know where I'm going with this... 

They resurfaced after a month or so on their twitter account, stating that they were going to rebrand. They had taken time for mental health and reflection on their content strategy. 

this is one of many reasons why we as artists sometimes have to take a step back from our own craft. We do love it, that was never in question. We know we'll miss the pockets of time that we can get in our days to create the art we love so much. However, sometimes your mind and your heart are not in sync. Your motivation to do what you love is low, and you cannot explain why. You know it's going to hurt your business, your following, your groove, and your momentum if you stop but you know you just have to. knowing that it's time to take a break, for whatever reason, is extremely powerful. It allows you to take a step back from the noise and see what you need to change if you want to keep moving forward. 

It's no secret that I took quite a significant hiatus at the start of this year, and that was for a number of reasons. I was going through a rough patch in my relationships, my sister was leaving and i was adjusting to living alone, i was on the job hunt, school was overwhelming me, and my mental health was taking a nose dive. Even my art couldn't save me. If anything, it became just another burden that i had created and had to keep up. It was growing too far out of my control, just like everything else. I was also in a funk because I had stopped going to therapy, mainly because I thought i didn't need it and i had gone enough already. I thought i could handle it on my own. It took me months to realize that sometimes alone is just not good enough, and you have to ask for help. 

One day, i thought to myself this: "What can i do to make art my true love again?". should i rebrand? Yes. Should i take on another challenge? yes. Should i stop commissions until I rode out the storm? Yes. Should i remove my art store from my site? Yes. The pattern began to unravel itself and I realized that when i removed the money and profit factor from my art, the idea of going back to it became less and less bleak. That was a part of my rebranding. I realized that all i had to do to make art my haven again was to simply go back to where I started: content. Just create for yourself and no one else, turn to profits only when you are ready. If anyone wanted to purchase my art along the way they could reach out to me. I stopped running ads and let my traffic be organic. I stopped caring how many people were able to validate my art because i needed to validate me first.

It took months but I finally broke my hiatus. I updated my hashtag strategy. I purged my page from all the fluff; everything i had posted simply because i wanted people to like and follow me. I decided to make my captions as engaging as possible and implement my personality into my page. I needed to own my name and my brand again, so i did it. It was not easy and i hated it because i felt i was changing myself to no end, but sometimes the results are neither immediate nor tangible. You determine your own results and whether they are good are bad. What we forget on social media is that we are allowed to have our own personalities on our pages, we do not need to follow a formula or a template. Yes, there are steps you have to take if you want to profit from your brand, but if you want to get back in your groove from a hiatus, forget the templates and focus on you. 

This is a short post, but i owed all of you an explanation for my absence. I hope that this helped and offered a measure of clarification. I do plan on writing more on mental health in the future, but if there's anything you want me to touch on in future posts, let me know! I will be spreading these blog posts out going forward. I don't have a schedule in mind yet, but of course I will let all of you know when I do!

Until then, thank you for stopping by!

XO, M.P.