While reading my blog, this artist realized she didn't find any humor in her own artwork and it just wasn't fun anymore. I think that has happened to every artist during their career. Something is "wrong" with the work, so it stops being satisfying and enjoyable. She was ready to give up on art and look for employment.
I've gone through the same crisis twice and it has always been a sign that my artistic voice was changing. Dissatisfaction with current work could mean that you are at a crossroads, not at a dead end. No one ever said your medium and style had to stay the same throughout an art career. If your life has changed, then your outlook and tastes have probably changed, too. Listen to your gut. It might just be telling you it's time to move on.
How do you find your new direction? You can't force this kind of change. However, you can do things that will invite new discoveries.
- First of all, don't stress about it or you'll freeze in place. Go make art with a three year old. That'll loosen you up. Besides, I've heard that finger paint is the next hot artistic medium.
- Invite your friends over for an art party. Be sure to make bad art. Lots of bad art.
- Take workshops in different artistic mediums.
- Get your normal art materials around you and "scribble" with them.
- Experiment a lot with new materials and techniques. One day, you'll look at something you made and say, "Cool! I wonder what I can do with that?". Your creative juices will start flowing again and a new series will pop out of you.
- If you have friends who are artists but work in other mediums, ask if you can spend a little time watching them work. You'll either be inspired by what they do or you'll appreciate your medium a whole lot more.
- Stay in the same medium, but try different subjects and styles. There's no law saying you have to do portraits the rest of your life. Maybe you should be doing abstract work instead.
- Teach children or do volunteer work. Bring your art to people and they will think you're an artistic genius, because they will truly appreciate that you've taken the time to share your art with them.