Something that I never knew when I started exhibiting was that it’s very common to have the post exhibition blues. in fact, almost every artist I have spoken to has had this issue. there is a let down after the huge event. you spend so much time focussing on it all, creating artworks, hanging, publicizing, it becomes a massive high capped off by the opening. then, suddenly, it’s over. and your life can seem.. empty, it can be crippling- my first exhibition had me lost for over a month in a deep depression.
after that first experience I decided that this should be something that can be avoided and I’ve been actively working on it ever since. these are my tips for beating that post-exhibition depression.
- Have a new series or body of work you are really excited about and ready to get started on. the sooner you get back into the studio the better. that’s why you became an artist!
- On the night of the opening go out to dinner with collectors, friends, family. a nice group of people you can enjoy who are going to give you support, distraction and a great come down after a perfect night.
- Don’t drink during the opening. nurse a glass of wine all night or have something else. alcohol is a depressant and you want to be sharp on the night.
- Keep a file of “warm fuzzies” – emails, comments, tweets of nice things that people have said about your work. refer to it at need!
- Spend 15 minutes in your studio each day, even if it is just looking out the window, sketching, looking at books, old sketchbooks, going over ideas, surround yourself in your art.
- Give your studio a spring clean. if you are like me, after an exhibition everything is in chaos. tidying it all up gives you a sense of closure, and a clean studio always beckons for new work!
- Try a new medium you’ve been meaning to try. experiment and have some fun!
- Tally up all your achievements at the exhibition, no matter how small. the people you gave your cards out to, the new mailing list signups, the good things that were said and done.
- Buy yourself a new sketchbook or brush or something, a nice treat to pat yourself on the back. it needn’t be expensive or large, just a celebration.
- Don’t focus on all the things you should have done or wish you had done. remember them for next time and move on. start planning the next big thing!