Sometimes, being creative is a double-edged sword. Your artistic pursuits inspire and motivate you, but the fast-paced, high-stress world of the creative professions wears on you. Unfortunately for many artistic professionals, this leads to battles with depression, addiction, and other mental illness. But pursuing your passions doesn’t have to mean being a tortured artist. David Kiirya, a freelance 3D Artist and Designer for over 6 years shares his experience working in the Creative industry and how challenging and stressful it can be. ‘’There’s stress that’s self-initiated as a way to push you out of your comfort zone to create something new, and there is also unhealthy stress which comes from external sources, like expectations and needs of others. ‘’ Prior to starting his freelance career, David was very fortunate to have a steady stream of clients every month. ‘’I was travelling for work and everything was great in a way that I didn’t have to do any kind of Inbound and Outbound marketing to get work. I relied on repeat clients and referrals until the tables unexpectedly turned.’’ Reality hit hard when he was away from home and struggling to land any gigs or even create to make ends meet. ‘’It was the most difficult point in my professional career and most of you might relate to this.’’ David however got a light bulb moment while watching one of his favorite YouTube channels. ‘’One day I was home watching my favorite YouTube channel (Complex News) and they were interviewing John Lorenzo and John Meyer and almost coincidentally, they talked about “the need for creatives to go away” for a period of time in order to reinvent themselves confirming a lot of advice I had heard before. I took this advice and began to awaken a stream of passions and talents that were buried deep within me. Most of these were things I had tried out earlier in my career but forgot or just simply dropped, while others were completely new and shocking to me. As creatives, we often box ourselves into doing one thing the same way that we stagnate and stop growing. This was true in my case. Fast forward, I am out of that place, and know better. I’ve now picked up more skills to add to my arsenal. This realization has pushed me to go after my long term dream of owning a Creative studio. I am in the latest stages of setting up one. The biggest lesson here is: Sometimes you need to let go of control if what you’re doing no longer fulfils you. If you feel like you want to quit, it’s counter intuitive. Contrary to the more popular ‘’don’t give up. Keep going’ slogan, David’s experience has taught him to do the opposite if it feels right.