Prioritizing Your Mental Health as a Freelancer: Beci Orpin’s Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Creative Burnout

Want to reignite your creative spark? Learn iconic Aussie designer Beci Orpin’s advice for staying inspired and avoiding creative burnout. 

Prioritizing Your Mental Health as a Freelancer: Beci Orpin’s Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Creative Burnout
Portrait for Kelsie RimmerBy Kelsie Rimmer  |  Updated October 23, 2023

For those who make a living from their creative talents, maintaining a consistent flow of inspiration and creative energy can be a challenge. With a career spanning over two decades and countless titles – including commercial artist, author, creative director, freelance illustrator, gallery artist, mother, maker, and more – Beci Orpin has mastered the art of keeping the creative fire burning.

“There was a time when my kids were little, and I was always working,” Beci explains. “When I look back on that time, I can see now that I was utterly burnt out. But, through my experience, I’ve learned that avoiding creative burnout isn’t rocket science.” 

Whether you’re an aspiring artist, a seasoned creative professional, or simply seeking to reignite your creative spark, here is Beci Orpin’s best advice for staying inspired and avoiding that dreaded creative burnout. 

1. Make Time for Yourself

“Try to have weekends! Even if I don’t have Saturday and Sunday, I’ll try to have at least one day when I’m not working. Also, sleep! It’s obvious, but it’s imperative.”

2. Float Between Projects 

“Change up your projects and change between mediums. I try not to continuously work on the same thing – variety stimulates my creativity and keeps me motivated.”

3. Change Up Your Surroundings

“Readjust your scenery. Go for a walk, or if you don’t have the time for that, work on something else. Come back to that project and look at it with fresh eyes.”

4. Surround Yourself With Other Creatives

“Having other creative people around can be great when you work alone. I’ve got helpers occasionally, but when you work alone and are constantly making creative decisions, it’s so good to have an external perspective – getting other people’s feedback and opinions is a big part of my process. 

“It’s also so inspiring to see what everyone’s working on. At university, I loved seeing other people’s work, which was the main thing I missed when I left. It’s not just about the work; it’s about creating a warm, supportive studio atmosphere – like a little creative commune.”

5. Feed Your Inspiration

“I’m a collector, and my collection of trinkets is constantly growing and changing. It’s crucial to feed yourself inspiration, and one of the ways that I do that is by collecting other people’s work and looking back on my work. It’s constantly inspiring.

“Since I’ve had my studio, my living environment has also become less chaotic because I can have all my chaos, color, and collections in one place. It’s my space for organized, creative chaos!”

And that’s a wrap! To learn more about Beci and her craft, check out her full interview here. Or read our chat with world-renowned designer Jessica Walsh

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