Why An Artist Needs A Break

Why An Artist Needs A Break

Some things I've come to discover as an artist
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Artists are some of the most mentally active people around, although not all are the most physically active (what are 'sports', am I right?). It is an artist's job to create and recreate and it becomes a vicious cycle, so all artists are always under some pressure to come up with their next masterpiece.

Unfortunately, it's not always that easy. Just like other professionals in their field, artists need a break every now and then to rest. Athletes are given time to heal when they injure an ankle, so to equivocate the equation, producers of creative content need time to put their minds at ease when they find themselves losing grasp of their creative control.

Our minds work in very interesting ways, and most of the time overexertion isn't the best answer. We too need time to get back into the mindset for a proper work environment. Artists create some of their best works from personal experiences and draw from those happenstances which can take quite a toll.

Part of the problem comes from the media source outlets. When gossip magazines constantly harass the most prominent artists of our generation, claiming that an art maestro is taking a hiatus from their career to live their life, it always comes across as a negative thing. The question it ultimately comes down to is 'why?'

The general public interpret 'breaks' as quitting rather than simply taking a time out. If the masses are able to begin to distinguish the difference between taking time for yourself and giving up completely, then the perspective on hiatuses could potentially change.

Similarly to elementary and middle schools, very few kids have the ability to focus on schoolwork for six hours a day, so all students are granted a recess and lunch to allow them to recuperate. This way, when the students are pulled back into the classrooms, they will have rejuvenated their ability to maintain an expected level of focus.

If young children in the American school system can learn about the incorporation of mandatory ten-minute free periods, then why shouldn't everyone? We, as human beings, are constantly learning and need the same free intervals to allow ourselves to refocus.

According to Time Magazine's 2015 February edition on sleep, experts determined that people aged 18-64 require 7-9 hours of sleep a night. With very few adults actually receiving the recommended amount of sleep per night, many find themselves lackadaisical and lethargic as a result of their sleep deprivation.

With artists being so mentally active, and getting so invested in their works, it can be an especially difficult combination. With the amount of time and effort that each creative endeavor requires, the effect on your body can be disastrous. Time away is almost part of the job description of a creator.

There needs to be some premeditated balance between rest and work. Time off can and should be exhibited as a positive behavior considering the benefits it holds for health. In addition, to create something new and unique, something never before seen, a healthy state of mind must first be achieved. In doing so, and taking proper precautions, the art will mirror that of the creators mentality in the time of production.

Artists are constantly being compared to their previous works. I've heard it said that an artist is only as good as their last piece of work, but why should that be the case? The question as to why art is judged in the first place is beyond me, but why should an esteemed and prominent artist lose all acclaim for a piece of work that was unable to live up to its hype?

We need time to create, to come up with brand new content. Otherwise our work will become trite and will recycle our already-utilized thoughts and ideas. Everyone wants to create the next masterpiece, their Magnus opus, but without taking a break and giving our brains the necessary amount of time to regenerate, artists will eventually hit a brick wall.

These walls, should we push ourselves far enough to hit them, set us back further and prevent us from developing any art altogether. We need to start taking preventative measures to ensure that we never get to that point. Giving your body rest is essential for both a healthy lifestyle and an increase in the production of content.

Cover Image Credit: Jana Brike

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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