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Olya Babich - Dealing with Burnout

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #43

Show Notes:

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This episode is different from our others in that we sat down with our friend and colleague Olya Babich Konell to discuss a topic that I believe many of us have heard: burnout. Almost everyone at this point is familiar with the word and maybe even familiar with the dreaded feeling of not being able to motivate oneself to do the thing you usually love to do! So, we decided to make this episode to help teach you how to identify if what you're facing is actually burnout, how to help you move through it so you can gain your motivation back, and how to prevent it from sneaking back into your life. The best part is, we also discuss WHY rest is so important and how it can amp up your creativity.

Clint's articles on burnout:

Earthing Effects on Inflammation:
Summary of Earthing Studies:


Olya Babich Konell: 0:00

This phenomena is so huge. You can know founders of companies experience it. Artists experience it. You know, I think that's actually I'm gonna say the step one, if you're feeling burnout is identify what caused your burnout, what are the different triggers that cause it, is it for me it was, I wasn't getting enough sleep, I had some health issues pop up. I was trying to be overly productive. Because I do all these different things, not making enough time for rest.

Laura Arango Baier: 0:27

The first symptom is you can't get excited about work anymore. And of course, this this is also outside of just painting, but you just don't get excited. And yeah, it happens. Sometimes you have to do something that you don't really want to do. But that's very different from like, you absolutely just can't even continue the stuff that you were working on. Just doesn't excite you anymore. Your performance is suffering. So your work just isn't meeting your expectations, which, again, what's worse is that that's like, Oh, I'm just not doing as great and then that the motivates you more.

Welcome to the BoldBrush show, where we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. My name is Laura Arango Baier, and I'm your host. For those of you who are new to the podcast. We are a podcast that covers art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We interview artists at all stages of their careers, as well as others who are in careers tied to the art world in order to hear their advice and insights. Before we begin with today's episode, I'd like to make a couple of really quick announcements. The first announcement is that we will be taking a two week season break.For now though, you can go check out our YouTube channel at BoldBrush RT, so you can see all of our amazing videos. And we are also uploading our previous podcast episodes onto the YouTube channel as well for the public. And in the meantime, you can also check out all our free resources on marketing and creativity at Now let's begin with today's episode.

Today's episode is very different from what we normally do, because we will be talking to Olya Babich Konell about a topic that's been pretty popular in the past few years. But it seems like it's become a little more common these days. And that topic is burnouts. And whether you're already familiar with it, maybe you've heard the word or you've already felt the sad demotivating world of burnout. We are here to help. We decided to make this episode to do three things: we talked about how to identify burnout, how to move through and past the burnout, and also how to prevent it. And of course, the best part of this episode is that we discuss how rest and recuperation is actually one of the best ways and keys in order for you to really AMP up your creativity.

Hello, Olya. And welcome to the BoldBrush show. In this episode, which I will probably have mentioned this in the intro is kind of a different one. Because instead of talking about marketing, and all of these other fun business things, we're going to be talking about something that's kind of a hot topic, and something that's happening to a lot of my friends, and that is burnout. And that includes me actually, I'm actually pretty burnt out. And you and I were discussing this as well. So we decided to make this episode in honor of everyone out there who might be struggling with this so that we can comfort you and give you ways to move past it which you know, that's important if you want to keep painting and move on with your life. But before we dive into the really fun stuff. Olya, do you mind giving us a little bit about your background and what you do? Yeah, so

Olya Babich Konell: 3:29

I am a polymath. I like to dabble in different creative mediums not just painting, but I am an oil painter. And lately I've been kind of drawn towards mixed media and just kind of playing with that. But I am a video editor. I'm a marketing consultant. I work with BoldBrush and I do some things for them on the marketing side but I mainly run the member only webinars. So if you are a FASO website member or you've joined the BoldBrush community, which is just like an a really cool community of artists, where we can all connect and help each other and we have access to like a marketing calendar and webinar. I mean, basically a one stop shop for staying kind of updated on stuff. So I help with that. I also have well 42 chickens now because I've 20 Chicks for rabbits, a studio rabbit. I love my animals currently dealing with three cute raccoons in my garden. But yeah, I'm kind of like a tech person but also, I like to connect with the earthy elements and that's what inspires my heart.

Laura Arango Baier: 4:45

So and also I mean since you do have your hands in a lot of different you know activities. It makes sense that you know, you would get burnout.

Olya Babich Konell: 4:57

Exactly and and burnout. Like when you mentioned this topic Olya, do you want to talk about burnout? I was like, yes, let's do it. Because you're right. Lots of people do. And even my non art friends, I know, some people are dealing with burnout. And I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are so connected. And you know, when, when, the Corona happened, and everything shut down, we had to get connected electronically. And then things started going back. So we're in this, like, we're trying to figure out what where we're supposed to be and what we're supposed to be doing. We're still connected, but then we're also trying to do the everyday stuff. And it's, it's this weird balance. So I think some people are dealing with that. But the reality is burnout can be caused by many different things. It could be, you know, I think that's actually the I'm gonna say the step one, if you're feeling burnout is identify what caused your burnout, what are the different triggers that cause to it is it for me, it was, I wasn't getting enough sleep, I had some health issues pop up. And I, I'm not so I'm wearing this now, because I'm trying to get a handle on my sleep. wasn't getting enough sleep. I was trying to be overly productive, because I do all these different things. Not making enough time for rest. So those are my things. Like I love the things I do. Which as a result, it made me not feel excited about creating, like, I would have moments of like, oh,I want to do this now. But when it came to my artistic expression, I felt a little stuck. Just not excited. You know, like, my, my cup was dry.There was nothing there. Um,what what, what about you? What was your cause or trigger? What led to your burnout?

Laura Arango Baier: 7:00

Well, I think what's crazy, too, is like, before I even realized I had burnout. I was like, How do I even like, What is wrong with me? Right? It was like, I was just asking myself, like, I can't digest, right? It's like, it just starts at that, why can't I just blink? And that's when I realized that it was burnout. You know, that's when I was like, Okay, I'm not excited anymore. Like, I did start a painting back in February. And usually, you know, when you start a painting, it's so fun.It's like the drawing part in the figuring it out. That's like my, one of my favorite parts of starting the painting. It's like the drawing and seeing it come to life. But even though I worked on it for one, two hours, it just wasn't holding my excitement. I mean, because a lot of people, they'll say, like, oh, well just just try a little bit. Just just do it for like, 10 minutes and see if like, you know, maybe you'll be able to actually do it. And for me, it was like, Okay, I'll try that. But it was still just like not, not doing it, not doing it. And I think the important part too, was that's when I realized like, This can't be right.Because if it came down to the point where I was like doubting myself and like, Is this my career? Am I supposed to be doing something? What is wrong with me? And then, you know, I tried to set aside those thoughts. I was like, no, no,I'm doing this because we love it. I've it's not just the feeling of like, Oh, I've invested so much in this. It's no, it's like, I love this. This is like no matter what pulls me away. I always go back. Right?So that was like, no, no. Okay,I for sure know that this is my thing. This is what I love, then, that's when I decided,Okay, I'm gonna take time off, because I'm definitively burned out. So that really like, for me, it also came up as health issues. I started having trouble sleeping. Like I just like, I felt exhausted all the time.Like, I could lay down on the couch for hours and hours. And it felt like I wasn't rested at all for days. And partly it was because I was still like, being so hard on myself. But like I should be painting. I should be painting. I should be painting.I should be painting. Why am I not painting like just being really really harsh? You're muted, by the way. Oh, sorry.

Olya Babich Konell: 9:30

Yeah, as I say and that causes you're stressed your cortisol levels which that what you just said I just want to go back to that so you were laying on the couch like you had no energy No, no moat and if you're listening to this, like if you are beating yourself up, that is the worst thing you could possibly do.Like it's okay to be aware. But that constant be down, guess what it does to your body, and we're all human. We all have a body. It causes our cortisol to go. It messes with our hormones if we're winning and it messes with our progesterone. If you're men, it will mess with your other, you know, it messes with all of your hormones and your hormones control your sleep, your mood, your all of those things. And so I was doing the same thing. And I it started having health issues. And so step one, I think identify that your burnout, like what you said, step two is stop beating yourself up.

Laura Arango Baier: 10:26

Yes. And actually, I do have a list of the symptoms of burnout to identify them. And it says online, that the first symptom is you can't get excited about work anymore. And of course, this this is also outside of just painting, but you just don't get excited. And yeah, it happens. Sometimes you have to do something that you don't really want to do. But that's very different from like, you absolutely just can't even the stuff that you were working on, just doesn't excite you anymore.Your performance is suffering.So your work just isn't meeting your expectations, which, again, what's worse is that that's like, Oh, I'm just not doing as great. And then that the motivates you more. And then the next sign is you're totally exhausted. Which of course, I felt that and then the next one is you dread going to work, which I think is even worse than just not feeling motivated. It's like, you're just like, can't you just can't deal with it. And then one of the last ones is you're dealing with physical ailments. So at that point, it's like you have a physical symptom of this prolonged stress. And, you know, like you said, identifying it is the very first step. There are times when Yeah, okay, this is a boring project, but I can still do it. You know, that's very different from all of these symptoms put together.And then also guilting yourself on top, which I think for a lot of artists, and I'm sure you can agree with this. Our we have like, sometimes tied our self worth as artists to being productive. And this isn't just arts, of course, but we feel that challenge of like, if I'm not painting, I'm not making money, or if I'm not painting.I'm not an artist, which makes no sense. Of course. I mean, if a doctor isn't in a surgery room, he's still a surgeon. It's just not doing it, right. Yeah.Um, so, personally, um, what has been helping me? Because I think at this point, it's like, okay,how do you go? How do you how do you move past these horrible feelings? And I think the other first one that I love that you mentioned, you guilting yourself, the first one is, be forgiving of yourself. Like,your body's telling you, I need help. I need a rest. I'm, it's okay, it's safe to rest. And then, you know, personally, what has helped me and of course, I'm gonna ask you as well has been making sure that I'm sleeping I turned off all my alarms, but I tried to have actually have an alarm to tell me to go to bed.Not to wake me up in the morning. So that that one is okay, wine downtime time to, you know, put away the screen or give myself like maybe do yoga.Just something to calm down. And if necessary. Yes, sleepy time tip that smells like lavender.Yeah,

Olya Babich Konell: 13:35

no, sleep is the number one. On the health side sleep. Our sleep has suffered because of the increase in electronic devices. So if you aren't already doing this, what Laura just described what you were just saying with the screens. Um, at least switch your screen to the yellow mode.Or put on those glasses. But you know, or cut screentime out, no news. Stay away from the news within hours of bed. Don't think about finances. Don't be doing any accounting like don't balance your checkbook or whatever. Like, don't log into your bank account. Don't do anything that could increase your stress. And just have a list of ideas of things that you can engage in before bed. Read an interesting book that you enjoy, but cut yourself off before bed. You know, watch, you know if you're going to watch something I would limit just screentime take a bath go do a cold plunge. Go sit in a sauna go for a walk. Yeah, you know,

Laura Arango Baier: 14:37

um, but if you also have to watch something like watch something relaxing, like a nature document. You know, just anything that'll you know. Yeah. Put you in a state or state of I'm not in danger.I'm safe. I'm relaxing. You know like, personally I like to do like meditation before bed. Like I'll put like the So, guided meditation, and it goes through the stages of relaxation. And then I just, I normally fall asleep in the middle of it. But sleep is like the first thing to focus on if you're burnt out.And if you absolutely just can't get these things out of your head, right, and finance, which I think money anxiety is something we all have. Brain Dump. Brain Dump is when you just take every single thought in your head that comes in and you just write it down. Just write it down, back to back to back to back to back. Do you have a brain dump?

Olya Babich Konell: 15:35

I was looking for my lip. I actually have a Why didn't grab it with me. But I know I have this little brown book, a little book of my brain and I, yours, whatever, has a table of contents, I literally will go back and it's anyway, I was gonna pull it out yet. Yeah, no,I have dates and like ideas, worries, or whatever it is just a short descriptor. But sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt, I was excited. You're good.

Laura Arango Baier: 16:05

You're good.I love it. Because I also have a brain dump, but it's on my my notes app on my cell phone. And I'll maybe just keep one titled brain dump, and then I'll put the date and then the stuff that's been worrying me. And I normally don't look back on it.But sometimes when I do, like, read back, I'm like, Oh, those are like kind of like dumb things, you know, or like, not dumb, but it's like, kind of like these little things that in and of themselves. They're, they don't, you know, they're not dangerous. They're not bad. It's just like, all of them put together just kind of feels really heavy, you know? And then it's like, why was even worried about that. But again, it's about just like, if you can't get these out, write them down.Focus on sleep. And meditation.nature walks personally, like right now I'm actually out at a cabin, far away from people. I really like that. Yes. And it's,I mean, I know I can afford to do that, right? Like it. This is actually my my boyfriend's mom's cabin. So we're borrowing it for the weekend. And it's awesome, because the weather's nice.We're out in nature. The day before yesterday, we went on this really long hike. And it's, it's great, because the three of us are painters. So we were all just looking out, that's my boyfriend, a friend and I, and we were just looking out at the horizon. And like all these beautiful landscapes from the top of the mountain, like, wow, like, this looks like a DaVinci painting or like I really want to paint. So it's, it's like by resting. It's so funny how it's counter counterintuitive. It's like by resting, you're actually recharging this excitement that, you know, I had for painting, right? So it's like, I hiked up this, this mountain, it took us like two hours to reach the top and then another three to get back. At the top, it's like, Ah,I feel recharged. It took like a lot of work, but I feel so recharged emotionally and like, inspired.

Olya Babich Konell: 18:10

You just said inspire and I would like to just highlight the if the word in SPIRE to be inspired, we must breathe in, we must intake you know, and so we must go. What, and that's kind of a, I was gonna add to your to what you were saying because you started doing these little experiences when you feel burnt out. You're physically emotionally mentally drained. But I personally think for me, if you know rest, sleep is important. But when I'm not sleeping, when I want when I'm burnt out from what I'm doing, the key is to go do something else. Don't just lay there and sit there and just feel but just stop beating yourself up and say alright, for the next four hours, I'm gonna go do whatever I want. And I'm just giving myself permission to do that.And then going for a walk going to the market, you know, going, looking at things, going to a cafe you've never been to before going on a walk, but intentionally do something that just you've either never done.Ghosts walk somewhere new, that could be the new thing. Play with something new. And that is like that experience. As simple as a walk can do wonders because we're as artists, we're always looking at things with extra attention. And it gives us an opportunity to start in inspiring ourselves breathing in and I just love that. I love doing that from the top of the mountain.

Laura Arango Baier: 19:41

Oh, yeah, it was it was amazing. And also, you know, it's specifically things that are I mean, I think nature obviously it's like one of the best places to go out and recharge just the sounds of the birds and like the sounds of waves if you're near water or the sounds of like just rushing water, if you're near a river, that's like, it's very healing and other people up there. Maybe they live in a city like New York City, and they can't really do that. So even just listening to the sound of the wind through the trees, you know, like, if you go to like Central Park just like going there, and really does feel like you're not in New York City anymore. But you know, venturing out somewhere, even if it is surrounded by city, somewhere green, that makes such a huge difference. And then, yeah, I think the other really important thing is picking stuff that specifically things that are other hobbies, right, other hobbies that you enjoy, just for the sake of doing them. Don't place like not placing this heavy emphasis on focusing on the result. Just results, results, results results. I feel like when I love Yeah, when you when you love a hobby for real.And it calls to it is the process that you enjoy. You know, it's the doing. And actually, I get kind of sad when I finish a project. Like I feel like, Oh, I did it, but then also like, oh, no, what am I gonna do? You know? Yeah, exactly. So how have you know,Edward? How have you explored?You know, other ways of finding that joy?

Olya Babich Konell: 21:23

Yeah, well, all the things that you just mentioned, were huge, because I think, actually, I'm gonna highlight this. So Clint wrote an article about his experience with burnout. So quince, the founder of BoldBrush, and FASO, everything we're actually talking about is actually kind of highlighted in there, it's the steps of how to get out of burnout. And I just had that light bulb go off. So if you're not subscribed to the newsletter, already, you can go and you can go read it, you can go sign up and read it. But anyway, you know, so when this phenomena is so huge, you know, founders of companies experience it, artists experience it. But as far as what I do, what you just mentioned, and another big one for me is, and there's a lot of data behind this, I actually, it's on my phone right now, but I wish I would grab it, no, maybe I can access it. Yeah. And I can actually share these links with you. So you could link them in the show notes. So I've sold a study. So there's a site, you can go to And it has, you know, all of the studies published there that have been, you know, that are legit studies, and there's many, but the one that I pulled is a summary of studies. So the study that studied all the studies, and lists all the different ways that you know, our devices, our electromagnetic devices that use electricity, our laptops or phones, impact our health, and why I was kind of mentioning COVID, and the closures as we become more connected to our electromagnetic devices, which on their own are fine, but too much and not having enough physical connection. When I say physical is us connecting with the ground, there's actually an electromagnetic like exchange of electrons that happens when we are barefoot on the ground. Like I will give Laura the links. And you guys can go check it out yourself. And it impacts the the viscosity of our blood, it impacts our stress levels.There's so much so my husband and I've been eating dinner on a picnic blanket in the field as much as we can the last two weeks. And that has been amazing for my sleep. I have not slept so good. I'm just like getting goosebumps and forever. I think it's the act of being outside for 20 minutes, you know, before bed. But I would you know, for me, it's been reconnecting physically, because I'm on my computer a lot. My job is heavily dependent and I love technology. I'm not anti technology. But it really has been I even bought these hippy sandals that have a copper thing on the bottom and metal wired in to the strap so I am constantly grounding when I'm walking around if I'm going for a short walk, so that I've been doing and that's my you know, evidence for myself but it's been effective. And then two more quick things. So I've noticed for me when I reorganize my art studio, and I just do a clean a cleanse, I feel almost refreshed. So I went through all my brushes, clean the good ones, throw away the ones I will never clean because they're way too crusty where I left Have them in the cup and they're like, oh, you know, so deep, deep clean my art supplies. I did that deep clean my art studio over the last few weeks I did that. And then I went through and I spoiled myself as a kid, we want to buy a new toy, you know? So I'm like, Okay, I want I've always wanted to try this. I've always wanted to mix my own paint with the glass Moeller, you know, the little thing where you, I love the videos where you take the power, you know, I just want to experience that process.I may not do that forever, because it's time consuming. But I treated myself to one of those, you know, little kids.And that's my new toy. And so rest, you know, nature clean, because then I feel I can walk into my little space and it's organized, and then treat myself with a toy. And now I'm actually feeling this like, tingle of excitement of like, I you know,I kind of need me outside inverts. I need you lay a certain way. I need you to position I'm going to oppose you. But I need some reference images for something I want to make. He's like you want me to do what? Like I'm gonna pour some sand on you.

Laura Arango Baier: 26:19

Yeah, that's awesome. No, I mean, I, it's I've been like off painting since February. So I don't but it wasn't until March today initially decided, yeah, that I officially decided like, Okay,I'm taking a sabbatical. And I'm just going to focus on enjoying things. And part of that was actually like, not checking my email anymore. Like, I'll have it for specific, my specific email, you know, like for the podcast and stuff. And I do have like alerts for like, important emails, but I won't. Like I used to every single day, go through my emails and delete and like organize blah, blah, blah. I haven't touched my emails, which is also I didn't know about Clint’s article, because I've just been completely off in that way. Like if I've, if I'm on my phone, I'm reading a book, actually, I'm trying to read a book, or it's interesting, but also like, you know, going to like the educational videos on Instagram to have like, you know, archaeology or like, nature or health. Because those are also other things of like, it's not just like, mindless like laughing, right? It's, it's like, oh, wow, I didn't know that. That's like a really, like, I found books that way too, that I can, I can read and I can explore which ended up happening that way to where I'm reading a couple books on Eastern philosophy, because that's one of my favorite topics. And that's also actually been feeding back inspiration into my paintings.

Olya Babich Konell: 27:50

You're taking in

Laura Arango Baier: 27:54

taking in things.

Olya Babich Konell: 27:56

Yeah, and the interesting thing about learning so to add another tip is learn something new, or learn by reading by watching, because learning, you know, inspires that feeling that it actually gives you a dopamine kick of like, wow, that's a cool fact, I didn't know you know, and it really does help kind of recharge, because and then anything you take in, will feed back into your art somehow, in some way, shape or form, it's going to influence if you know, if you're learning about, you know, a certain philosophy, it's gonna shape maybe a vision or a message, you know, that you want to embed into your piece or your composition or something. So, absolutely,

Laura Arango Baier: 28:48

yeah. And also, the other beautiful thing about exploring things outside of your typical comfort zone is that you are also learning more about yourself. And I feel like with painting, it is always an exploration of the self. And if you're always in that comfort zone, it's almost like you become too familiar. You know, it's like you're, you're too stuck in your little world. And maybe that's also why you know, you burnout. Because it's like you're not taking in anything new that teaches you something new about you, and then propels you into the next stage of growth. You know, it's like, it's a stagnant moment. And unfortunately, it's a stagnant moment that also somewhat pulls you back by force. Because it the longer you let the burnout, just like work itself, you know, in your day to day life and the longer you resist, the worse it's going to be to recover.Like the harder it is, you know, the harder it's gonna be to step back and be gentle with yourself, which is so important.It's like you can't or you can't punish yourself for something that your body needs, right?Like you were saying earlier, you're cutting was empty. And you can't give from an empty cup, you need a full cup. Right?So and then, actually, it was actually on on Instagram that I did find I came across a very important video on burnout.Where this this girl, she gave such a different perspective on prevention, because I think at this point, we could talk about prevention of burnout, right?And she gave such an interesting perspective that I've been thinking about it for days, because, um, it you know, I feel like a lot of us we see burnout as this thing that is inevitable or will always happen,

Olya Babich Konell: 30:41

right? Like, we almost assume it's like a season, it's almost like, well, it's going to happen.

Laura Arango Baier: 30:46

Exactly. At BoldBrush. We inspire artists to inspire the world, because creating art creates magic, and the world is currently in desperate need of magic.BoldBrush provides artists with free art, marketing, creativity, business ideas, and information.This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles, and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists, we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free at BoldBrush That's BOLDBRUSH The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now, more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special link forward slash podcast, you can make that come true. And also get over 50%off your first year on your artists website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think there's a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly, e commerce print on demand in certain countries, as well as access to our marketing center that has our brand new art marketing calendar. And the art marketing calendar is something that you won't get with our competitor. The art marketing calendar gives you day by day, step by step guides on what you should be doing today, right now in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link forward slash podcast. That's f a s Forward slash podcast. So to continue, so that clip, you know this girl, she said something like to prevent burnout is because you were saying, you know, people think it's like a seasonal thing. And it's, it doesn't have to be we don't have to make it like this punishing thing. And actually, I heard this from this girl and also a bodybuilder because I do bodybuilding for fun. It also sounds kind of crazy. But you know, mind body connection is really important to me. And they both said the same thing. It was like, you have to change your values. And you have to change the way that you approach these things before you like if you keep burning out and it becomes very repetitive. It's not just the thing that's burning you out. It's how you approach it.It's how you're moving towards this thing. And if you're if you're doing the same thing over and over, right, we all know that quote, you're crazy. You can't expect a different result.Yeah, so for me, the thing that I kept doing wrong, and I've been doing it since high school is being too strict with myself in terms of a schedule, like I have to do this from this time to this time. And then I take a break here. And from this time to this time I do like it just doesn't. Every single time I've done it, I've burned out like this. Which means either I have to approach it in a different way. Or I have to not be so strict. Right? Maybe I could maintain these routines, but not be so hard on myself because I feel like, again, if I don't start doing the things at like two o'clock at two o'clock, I have to do this. If I don't start at two for any reason, you know, things happen. I will punish myself. Right? Like, I'll just be hard on myself like Yeah, yeah. Oh, no, like now I have to like shift my schedule over and everything's turned off. Right. And that's not Yeah, that's not right. Right.

Olya Babich Konell: 34:33

No, no. And, and I wouldn't say maybe for some people. So that's an interesting thing, too, is we are all unique, how we work and operate, it's going to be you unique and productivity and being responsible and getting things done is absolutely important. We all have responsibilities to ourselves to our work to our families, you know, all this stuff. adulting the responsibilities, but there's this find balance. And I've been learning this too. So there's this fine balance if you you really have to be observed.And if you catch yourself feeling like me, I have to take a two hour lunch, I break. What so I start, I really excited in the morning, I feel blocked mid day, and then I get really excited to get in the eat in the evening. So I've identified a pattern that my body goes through. So now instead of forcing myself to be on the strict schedule, from this time to this time, like I used to,I've actually, you know, I literally, like, will stop what I'm doing. I'll take a break.And then I come back when I'm excited. You know, so I go do other stuff, I go play, I go check on my animals, I go for a walk, I do my farm chores. I watch something fun, go eat workout, whatever. And then I come back when I'm like, oh, okay, I feel good. Now I can come back. And sometimes my break is two hours, sometimes it's one hour, sometimes it's three hours, it just depends on how I'm feeling. But I still have a sense of Christopher Remmers said this in one of our webinars, it's like a playpen.But it's very, it's like there's some structure, but it's very free, you know, with, with how you're doing certain things. i It's not super timed. You know,I just know that I want to get this done. But then I'm like, I give myself a little bit of freedom to be flexible to a degree.

Laura Arango Baier: 36:39

Yeah, yeah.And I love that I love the word plays specifically, because I think so many of us, I was talking about this with my boyfriend to where so many of us were painters, we go to these academies, or we we do this, obviously, for a living. And it can be really difficult when you are putting the wrong and this is also why I'm mentioning values. You're putting, say like the value of this is a painting I have to sell, and I need money, you're putting that above the actual painting, the actual creating of the painting. And what's interesting, too, is like you're almost reducing the value of the piece. Two, unlike say, like if your rent is maybe like$500 a month, right? If you're renting or seven hundreds rent is crazy these days, you're reducing your painting to the price of that. Right? Instead of something higher, because it's worth is not necessarily a number, obviously, yeah, you sell it and you need money for it. But yeah, limiting it, you're putting this glass ceiling on it, and you're not letting it breathe, you're not letting yourself be authentic through it. Because money, money money, right? It's like, oh, it's like, right there. It's like a heavy thing. So it's, it's about yelling again.

Olya Babich Konell: 38:10

Yeah, it really is about playing again.And the other thing, I had this incredible aha moment, I was gonna tweet something, post something, but I didn't know who to talk to. So I just thought about it wrote it down. And then that's it. But I'm gonna share this crazy thought. We're talking about our paintings and how we value we will also when we assign value to a painting, it's a lot of artists, we often transfer through that value to ourselves. So if we're not painting, we feel like we're not like you said, not not an artist, or not a good artist, or we start having this crisis of identity. But an interesting realization I had is, what is an artist? Know, what is a painting? Without the artist?What is more important? Does the painting even matter? Without the artist who is the artist, the identity of the artists, the story, the story of the inspiration? Honestly, there are so many paintings and art pieces, I realized that they don't really I mean, yeah, they might be beautiful and well done, but they don't really matter unless the artist realizes that they matter until the artist starts seeing their worth and communicating that, you know, you know, when we're been around confident people, and they just have this glow above them and they just have this energy, they walk into a room they don't say a word, but they have this vibrant energy and you're just like, wow, like I want to go talk to that person because there's there's just something they're radiating. I feel that we need to get to that place. Because that energy and BoldBrush the circles of art market like we they talk about that a lot that is so important because that will naturally shift into your art and your art doesn't matter. or without you?I mean, it's when people collect an art piece, it's because it's done by certain artist, right?Like, what good would that piece be on its own. And all of this, you know, self care to prevent burnout, to know ourselves, to discover what inspires us, and then to communicate that not just our art that's going to make, that's going to fix that sales problem, that's going to make the art more desirable, because people want a piece of the artist, not just the painting, not just a canvas with paint on it, they want a piece of the artist, and kind of like a musician they want, they want an autographed, you know, you know, something like they want to shake their hand, they want to meet the person. So it is the same with with an artist, I know, it's, we might have impostor syndrome, we might feel weird thinking about it that way. But we are almost like Oracle's to seeing things in a certain way. And we communicate that through the medium of creating things that the rest of the world now gets to participate in and see something they've never seen before. And so, you know, what good is that without us, so we really need to care for ourselves. And really put that up here. And then it will just trickle down to everything we create. So that Hollywood knows, what is the art without the artist, if it's nothing, I mean, maybe, you know, if it's 1000s of years old, the fact that it was created 1000s of years ago, it's valuable. But you know, in today's world, yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 42:06

And you know, that also, again, like back to the idea of values, right? You know, putting ourselves in that spot of, I'm a channel, like I said, how you said, you know, I'm an Oracle,I'm a channel for this, this image or this message that will resonate with specific people who will, you know, want to part of that either by print, they'll want to meet me, they want to talk to me, because they saw themselves in it. Right. And I had a beautiful conversation with Tina Garrett about this last week, where we talked about that. And the part of valuing, right, so I mentioned that I heard this also from a bodybuilder and he was mentioning how a lot of people are very hard on themselves in terms also of, you know, they tell us compare yourself to yourself, right? But there's also what values was I holding on to at that moment, because if you are valuing technique, overstorey you can't necessarily compare the two in the rightful way, because they're two different goals, right? If my goal before was I would have honed my craft, I want to push it to the next level that's very different from I just want to explore a story, or I want to play with value I want to play with this. It has a much, much more different effect. And I really love that because that also comes down to comparing like your student work right when you're just learning compared to your professional work. And of course, your professional work has more stuff that goes into it, you know, it has like, color composition and then actual composition of the figures. If you're doing figural stuff, it comes down to a lot more elements than just mere technique. So not comparing yourself to yourself in the past anymore, but deciding what values do I hold now that resonate deeper with me than what I was doing before? Because sure, maybe in the past, oh, I just I loving this technique stuff, just doing technique, and then it gets a little boring.And that's again, you're stuck in that comfort zone. Yeah,

Olya Babich Konell: 44:24

you know, so I'm going to bring up one of cliffs. Last week's article, I think I want to say he said something. He said the most exciting place for an artist or for a writer for anybody. It's when you're dancing on that line of incompetency. So you're growing so you're pushing yourself to try something new.Do something different. It's it's it's that discomfort? It's that awkward word. I don't know how to explain it when I don't know if anybody's had Invisalign or braces. It's like that pain.You'd have your teeth moving, but you kind of biting down and it feels good. That discomfort in that comfort is the happy place for artists because we're constantly, you know. And on that line of incompetency, so you figure out what you're not, you know, you've never done it and that, and that's where you're always pushing yourself if you always aim for that. And but as a result, you click, you said, you can't compare yourself to yourself. Same thing with with speaking of exercise, so I'm 37. And I look at pictures of myself when I was in my 20s.And I'm like, oh, I want to look like that. But I can't, that was10 years ago, my body's different. My body has changed.So my values now are like, you're going through this strength, you know, I do I want to build strength. So my values are I want to be strong, I want to have a strong shoulders, I want to feel strong. When I'm holding up painting, I don't want to have back problems, I still learn and work, you know,I need to reassess. Yeah, I need to reassess what my values are my values are i as I'm aging, I want to maintain my muscle mass.So I'm focusing on maintaining that because that actually is important for you know, women, especially. But yeah, you really can't compare yourself to yourself. I mean, I look at the things. Gosh, look at the things I post we all posted on Facebook, when it gives you your memories. I mean, don't do not compare yourself. Think about who you want to be.

Laura Arango Baier: 46:40

Exactly and what your values are like, what is important to me right now.And for me, it has definitely been rest. But also, I'm part of a philosophy book club. And that's my other hobby, right? So we've been covering and like going through books that have also inspired and touched me in ways where I was like, I needed to hear that. And I'm the type of person who I I don't think that things are just coincidence. Sometimes I think everything happens at the moment that it's supposed to happen. I know it's kind of crazy for some people. No, no, but oftentimes, yeah, oftentimes, you hear the message that you need to hear exactly when you are ready to hear it, you know? Yes. Yeah.Because you can hear it multiple times. But it will click when you're until you're ready to lift that veil from your eyes and see, it's like, Oh, my God,I didn't I noticed

Olya Babich Konell: 47:41

that.There's a quote, I need to find this. Yeah, teacher, student.There is a quote, I love this quote, and I need to find it.Ah, when that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. And so that's the quote.So what you just said, it is so true. And I am wondering who said this, but it is so true.When we are not ready? That information does nothing for us.Yep. And, and so it really. And if we're in stuck in the same spot, we will never get there.And going something I just had an aha moment to something you previously said when you feel burnt out. Yeah, it's almost like you're being pulled backwards. Yeah. And the reason for that is momentum, the world is moving forwards. Time was going forward. So when we feel burnt out, growth, and everything is evolving around us, but we are stuck, therefore we are going backwards.

Laura Arango Baier: 48:44

Uh huh. Uh huh. And it feels that way.It's, it's, you know, oh, my God just tied into one of my other.One of my other strange obsessions, which is astrophysics. And one of those things that they talk about is parallax, which is the exact thing. It's like you're on a train. And it's this effect that you get when you're on a train, and the train next to you starts moving, but you think your train is moving. But it's not your train, and it's the other one.And it's like, it feels like you're moving backwards, but in reference to what, right, you can't properly reference it so easily. It's like, everyone has such a unique path, that you're not moving backwards. Right?Like you said, it's like momentum, you know, the things around you seem to be continuing because of course life continues. But maybe it's not that you're moving backwards.Maybe you're just moving in a different direction. You know, maybe like, you just have to explore a different direction.And you know, to tie it back into that burnout. You wouldn't, you know, if you're burnt out, of course, identify, just to recap, identify it. I'm tired.I'm unexcited I hate my job basically, like I can't do this anymore. I don't want to get up in the morning.

Olya Babich Konell: 49:56

Yeah, and especially if you normally love it like you love but you hate it right now. That's kind of the key. Like, I do love that, but I hate it right now.

Laura Arango Baier: 50:05

Exactly.It's like, oh, I'm an artist, but I hate my job right now. Or I hate my job. And I'm like, I just can't understand why. It's like, why I love this, why do I hate this? Right? So identify, then take, you know, tell yourself, okay, I'm gonna give myself this amount of time.Personally, I don't like giving like a time limit. But some people, you know, it might help them. In terms of, okay, I only have this amount of time I can spare to play, right? So okay, give yourself X amount of time, even just a date, like, I'm gonna give myself two, three hours of just free time of, I'm gonna put my phone down and just let my brain allow me to be like, I feel like baking or I feel like cooking. I feel like walking. I feel like swimming, you know? Like, what do you need right now. And just take that, like, allow yourself, forgive yourself and allow yourself gently, like, give yourself permission to just exist and have fun. And then, in that time period of just fun and existing, read a book. Or maybe watch a movie without guilt, of course, without any guilt. And you'll see that you will hear something. Or see something, maybe an image in the movie, maybe a movie you've been wanting to watch for months, but you haven't been able to because, oh, I have to work after work after painter I have to be doing this. And then you finally watch it. And it turns out the answer was in that movie.

Olya Babich Konell: 51:39

You know exactly. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 51:41

Yeah. Yeah.And then reevaluating, of course, how do I allow myself these periods of rest? You know, it's like, everyone has to take a vacation sometimes, right? How do I allow myself these periods of rest where I can recharge.And that's the intention is to recharge, be intentional with it. If if you're like guilting yourself the entire time, you're not being intentional. You're being punished. I I'm doing this because I have to. And

Olya Babich Konell: 52:11

the irony, the irony of, of when we say we can't i, this is true for me.And like no, I really want to just I want to walk down I have a creek that intersects our property. And I'm like, I really want to go just walk down there and sit there and have some tea and, and I'm like, No, but I really got to get this done.When I don't give myself permission to take that hour or two hours or whatever. Like in the middle of my day when I realized I need it because I have way too much work. I'm like, I can't afford that today.It takes me twice as long to do any task because I'm not engaged in it. And when I come back, I have less time and I get more done. And I do it with an excitement and an enthusiasm.And so I think in this is going to be different that schedule for every person, but is first of all, listen to yourself, if it helps you to write down how am I feeling at this time of the day, every day? How do I feel also look at your weekdays. So Crona biology is the science of perfect timing. And we all have a certain Chrono-type. So identify when your peak creativity is. I'm a lark. So my peak creativity is my ideas are just like this, I wake up in the morning, and then I'm slightly delirious, still tired. But I am like exploding with ideas. And then I go through my low mid day, and then I go back to I want to start doing more things.So I have I didn't know this until a few months ago, like or not maybe a little longer than that. But within the past year,I've identified this. And I've also identified the same pattern on my week. I have, I have to take my Wednesday is my day, or other things, but I can't be doing like I start strong. I kind of put her out intentionally I just I don't you know, I might run errands that day, go get coffee, get sushi, go grocery, I just do other stuff, just whatever I want to do whatever I need to do, but I don't give myself a strict schedule Wednesdays at all. And then I hit it. I hit it hard on Thursday. And then I kind of I intentionally try to disconnect as much as possible on the weekends because that's my that is my chronotype that's my personal pattern. So identify for yourself. Like just watch yourself, observe yourself how am I feeling? And then build your life around that you know build your life around yourself.Don't try to get yourself into a shape of square peg circle whatever.

Laura Arango Baier: 54:50

Yeah, the square peg round hole thing.Exactly, exactly. Um, and you know, just to end things off like if anyone is facing burn out to, you know, talk to other people to, like, connect with other people who are also facing burnout. And just, you know, talk about how they've coped, or maybe you'll find that maybe there's someone else out there who has coped with it in a certain way that has benefited them. And maybe you resonate with some of it, and like you said, and reconnect with your inner, I guess, like, your inner rhythms, you know, like, how, like, what if I didn't have to do anything today, at all, no responsibilities? Exactly. What would I do? What would I allow myself to do without a cell phone? Of course, like, it's like, without knowing about technology. Secondly, it's like just, I mean, I have actually found myself sometimes you're like, I don't even feel like looking at my phone, especially with this burnout. I just like,I don't want to, I don't want to do anything. I want no stimulation coming in. And I realized that I'm like, Wow, I feel like, you know, maybe it's kind of like, people in like, the 1800s. So 1700s, like, what did they do? Right? Yeah. And so many of them were really successful writers and musicians, because they had that emptiness. Like they don't didn't have music playing all the time. They have cars beeping outside, they didn't have 90% of all the external stimulus that we have today that's just driving us crazy. They just had the sounds of nature outside.And the silence of being indoors, you know, like, there is so much creativity hiding in that silence.

Olya Babich Konell: 56:38

Yeah, there's creativity. And I think sometimes we don't hear we feel burnt out because we can't even hear ourself. Yeah. And he gets it gets muffled out by everything else. And that's why writers had their writers cabin.And something I do on the weekend. So I'm a huge gardener.My inspiration from nature comes from there. My husband's like, I can't get a hold of you. I'm like, buy me a pager. Because I don't want my like, I just I leave intentionally leave my phone. And this thing doesn't work, why I have little HealthWatch. It doesn't have I can turn the Bluetooth off. It just tracks my sleep and my steps and things like that. But I don't, I don't want to be connected. And it's we were not created. We were before technology, human beings, our bodies, our brains. We're not wired to. I heard this somewhere. So I can't take credit for this. We are not wired to hold the burdens of the whole world on our shoulders.That includes the news, knowing everything that's going on with her friends, and being connected to all the status updates with so and so's dealing with like, yes, we'd be compassionate and help. But I honestly don't want to know if I can't help you.Except, you know, it we were not designed for that our emotional be state is not designed our mind is not. And we can't hear ourselves weak. How could we know who we are? If we it's too loud? So yeah, absolutely. Yeah.Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier: 58:06

And, and also, you know, personally moving forward. I can already sense that little light at the end of my total of this burnout.Like, I already see it and I already feel myself. Like I get like, ever since I was a kid, I would get this itch in my hands.Like I need to hold a brush.Like I just need to, it's like it

Olya Babich Konell: 58:27

starts right here. starts right here. And it kind of tingles down and then

Laura Arango Baier: 58:33

I'm ready.I'm ready. And I'm I'm feeling it now. Because especially in this time that I've been reading these books that personally I feel drawn to that's the other thing you know, what are you drawn to? I have been getting hit with so many epiphanies of things that I had to put on a backburner years ago, because I was so focused on school, so focused on painting for school for school for school, to realize there was separating these two sides of me that when I first started painting, we're just one side. But with with school, they were like, drifting apart. And that hit me when I was reading about, you know,Eastern, and specifically, it was actually Tantra, which it's not what people think it's not about sex. But it there was something about it were like, you know, the writer in the book, he said something about how they're, the art is not separate from the spiritual side, like they're not, they're not these two things. And I feel like I secularized my work for school. I made it this thing that wasn't necessarily breathing, or like helping me breathe that other side of me that needs to be fed. The whole reason I even started painting in the first place, right? So, again, moving forward, I'm just gonna, I'm not gonna push myself to like go to the studio right now. I'm just gonna let myself because I feel like just one day I'm just gonna wander in there.I can already see it wander in there and I'm just gonna get to work and I don't have to push I don't have to pry. I don't have to. It's just gonna be like, it's the day, you know.

Olya Babich Konell: 1:00:07

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. And I'm excited for it because you weren't an incredible artist, which people are not. Go check out her work. And yeah, it's, I agree. That's exactly how I feel. And I'm, I'm exactly what you said to I'm in the same place of, I've identified what causes my burnout. And I, we talked about values, and I redesigned how I'm doing things, how I'm approaching it, to prevent it. Because it's not fun. Yeah, it's not fun at all.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:00:45

No. And actually just realized I didn't actually answer your question earlier, what actually caused my burnout was I have been painting for school for over a decade, actually, actually a decade because I started, yeah, over a decade, because I actually started painting for school back in high school. So it was high school. And then it took kind of like a little break for like, a year in college. But then I took an art class in college, so I could build a portfolio to go to the school in Italy. And then from Italy, I went directly to New York City, I didn't have any barely any time to really tune out. Like I, I know people who you know, they can they can manage, in all of that chaos. I can't, I just couldn't, I had, I don't know, I had like, I mean, living in New York City was already gotten enough. But because it's so much stimulus all the time. And I know the people that they can't sense it.For me, it was like, so I realized that my burnout was mostly just, first of all separating myself in that way from my work. And then second, the endless deadlines of I have to do this for this day, I have to do this for this day after this. Write it. I was it was like I was just a machine. I like it was like printer.Exactly. I was just press the button. And here you go. Press the button. And here you go.There's no, it's just rudimentary. So that was just to answer your question earlier.

Olya Babich Konell: 1:02:10

And as I say, that was a part of mine as well. And I didn't mention this.But I started out painting, I went directly into commissions I got really lucky with, I jumped into, I don't know, just you know, friends of friends of friends. So I started doing pet portraits and people portraits and which was great, because you know, word of mouth, you're selling like I had no following.But I was actually making, you know, a lot of these little portraits. And, you know, I tried to stick them keep them small. But I felt like a machine. And then I started questioning because I want to do with my life. And this is a couple of years ago. So it started I got back into creating. But then I got into other creative mediums. But I towards the last two years ago,I felt that I initially hit my brick wall of this is not what I should be making. I am capable of it. But it does not bring me the same joy anymore that it used to. Because in the beginning, I was perfecting my technique and getting better and my skill was growing. It's like I didn't go to college. I went through practical school. We had school of life. So I went through my schooling through life and hit that and now like, and then it was like a midlife crisis. Artists career crisis.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:03:27

So yeah, which, yeah, which I think it's very interesting, because I feel like that a lot of people go through that crisis in their late 20s or early 30s. It's like, you look back, you're like, oh, like what actually matters to me, right? What?Yeah. What is that there's no pressure. In my life, that's my purpose, and actually an Eastern philosophy just to finish this off. And Eastern philosophy.Their perspective is not at all what is my purpose? Because that's not what it's about. It is about experiencing life. Like you are here to experience life as a piece of the divine purpose is not some, it's like something that just doesn't really exist in Buddhism, at least during like, the stuff that I've been reading. It's like, you can do stuff, but that's not the point.

Olya Babich Konell: 1:04:19

I feel like maybe what is my purpose puts too much emphasis on me. And when I know for me, I've had little mini bouts of, you know, melancholy or depressed little bits of depression, especially seasonal. Whenever I focus too inward. That is when I start, but when you focus outward, focus your attention on other things outward. And stop thinking about what is my What am What am I you know, the eye, the eye, the eye, the self? When we really, you know, yes, we need to value ourselves and listen to ourselves, but don't put too much attention on ourselves at the same time when it comes to you. Defining your life, your life is all the things around you. And what like you said, experiencing that and going out in inspiring Breathing in, I think

Laura Arango Baier: 1:05:13

and enjoying life. I think so many people just find life to be something so heavy like a burden, like you were saying. But there are parts of life that are wonderful. And they're playful and like that's the other great thing, in this whole stage of recovering from burnout, which is rediscovering it's almost like reconnecting and rediscovering your child self, your inner child. Like if I was a seven year old or six year old kid right now, what would I want to be doing? Like it's like, yeah, wake up Saturday morning. Cartoons maybe? Or like, just like, oh, go play something like go do something that you're used to?Yeah, anything? Anything.

Olya Babich Konell: 1:06:00

I love this.This has been an a riveting. I don't even know what the I can't even think of the right adjective or the right word. But this has been an amazing conversation. And I agree, I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me, because, you know, we've both been in some spot of that. still functioning. Yeah, still doing things. But you know, it's, yeah, we're not the only one. So if you are listening, and you have experiences you want to share, you know, I don't know what platform you're listening on. But drop a comment.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:06:35

Yeah, yeah, drop a comment. Or even like, you know, you can also like, go to my website and email me through there. Because I actually just ended off to I posted actually a blog post talking about that. How, like, the title was literally why I quit painting, which I love that. Yeah, yes, I got such beautiful responses. If you're listening to those people who responded, thank you so much.I'm still trying to figure out how to respond through my website, but I will get back to you. But there's so much. And yeah, just email either Olya or email me or even if you're in the Marketing Center, you know, comment, or, you know, in the, in one of the forums just say something like, oh, you know, I'm battling, battling with burnout. And I just want everyone to know, you're not alone. So yeah. So I love that.Thank you so much. All Yeah.

Olya Babich Konell: 1:07:28

Well, I hope you go enjoy the rest of your wonderful day in your beautiful cabin. I'm going to go check on my raccoon children and see how they're doing.

Laura Arango Baier: 1:07:37


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The BoldBrush Show. Interviews with today's finest artists and creatives. Watch here or listen on all major podcast services.