The Art of Rest – Nicholas Wilton – Ep 92
July 26, 2023
ON TODAY’S EPISODE
Has anyone else been craving rest lately? Or perhaps you’ve been burnt out for so long that the idea of rest feels like a foreign concept. If any of that describes you, don’t miss this episode! Join me as I share why rest is such an essential part of creativity, the power of pausing our art practice, and how real progress is made away from your art studio.
Listen if you are interested in…
- Learning the art of rest through sleep [1:30]
- The power of a pause [9:57]
- Why real progress is made in the absence of activity [16:10]
- Why presence and rest go hand-in-hand [19:21]
Being a runner has taught me the necessity of rest. If I blow past the 5-7 week mark while training for an event without resting, I start to regress. Injuries and fatigue set in as all motivation leaves my body and mind. It’s impossible to keep building up at this point. Without rest, I will break. The same can be said for our individual art practices! Look, I’m a career junkie. I am constantly doing. But I’ve learned that the stress and tiredness we feel from doing all the time actually hinders our creativity. Learning how to rest is so powerful. It optimizes how you feel and brings you alive. It’s the opposite of what you normally do. All we have to do to access it is stop.
Take care of yourself
A great benefit to creating rest in your art practice is that when you pause, you actually get to do other things. This is a crucial part of the art-making process because as artists, we need to process! We need time to think about, experience, and learn new things. If all we do in our art practice is go after the same thing all the time, all our days start blurring together, and it’s only a matter of time before we burn out. The biggest obstacle to the idea of rest is that we can’t afford to spend time on it. We have all of these deadlines to hit and no margin for breaks. Let this be a gentle reminder that you can’t afford to NOT take breaks. You need to rest, recharge, gain fresh perspective, and nurture the artist before you nurture what’s on the canvas.
Have some cake
Balance is a funny and highly underrated thing. In a world obsessed with “the grind”, it can be hard to know when to work hard and when to rest. Ironically, I’ve found much of the real progress in my art practice happens in the absence of activity. For years, I would stress about leaving my studio and the art show I was actively working on to teach a destination workshop with Art2Life. But I learned quickly that the magic of that break is an unrivaled clarity in my studio when I return. The problems I was having before I left had seemingly disappeared. I saw my canvas in a completely different way with increased objectivity. The break just made everything click. It turns out the life that makes really amazing art isn’t because of “the grind”. It comes about with breaks, pauses, and variety. It doesn’t have to be as hard as our brains and society want to make it sometimes. We get to have our cake and eat it too.
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Nicholas Wilton and Art2Life
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the founder of Art2Life.
With over 20 years experience as a working artist and educator, I’ve developed a systematic approach that brings authenticity, spontaneity and joy back into the creative process.