Summer has finally and officially started for most, if not all, college students. As an art student progressing into her junior year, I am very thankful for the much deserved and much worked for summer break. Even though my summer break does consist of working and working some more and taking a summer class, I can relax and have my summer be very "summer-y."
The first thing that many art students think about when summer hits is creating art on their own time, on their own schedule, and creating the art that they've been wishing they could create instead of having assignment based artworks. This mentality definitely occurred to me, but quickly died off when I sat down to create something. I felt a pang of guilt fill me and thought, "Is it bad if I don't make artwork during my free time this summer?"
My answer to this is no. It's not bad at all. Just because artists love to make art doesn't necessarily always mean that they want to create all of the time. We also like going on vacations, go swimming, take long strolls by the beach at night, or go to the movies. Not everything an artist lives and breathes is their art or art making, oddly enough. Some of us really enjoy much-needed breaks from constant creativity and output.
We also need to find new things from which to draw our inspirations. We need to explore, learn, and absorb in order to have anything upon which to make artwork about. Part of that process, for me, is to not make art. Whilst I am incredibly proud and happy to call myself an artist, it does have weight in my everyday life and it is something I can take a break from.
As a loving reminder to fellow art students and artists, please remember to relax and that not making art for a while is perfectly OK and acceptable. Go on adventures, meet new people, and learn new things. It will only make for better artwork when you start to make artwork again.