To pivot or to persevere? Or more bluntly – to give up or to not to give up? This is a haunting question, a question that has ramifications far after an answer has been chosen and it’s also a question that almost everyone in our community has had to face at one time or another. How do you know when to give up and when to keep trying?

Yvonne Byers | Science Illustrator & Tattoo Artist

How to know whether to keep going or to give up…. This question can have the illusion of being so easy to answer, in both cases; it is so easy to give up, yet so profound when the answer is there to tell you to keep going. For me, the defining factor is choosing- or deciding – whether or not you want to keep going. I didn’t grow up religious, but faith, to me, seems like the crucial factor in the decision to continue doing what you’re doing, change up what you’re doing, or to completely give up. If you don’t have faith, what other reason is there to live? For me, faith is defined as something beyond myself: that something is nature, mother earth, the cosmos. That is why my art is inspired by the natural world, it is why I can’t help but create illustrations, images, that represent the beauty beyond ourselves, which is innately a part of ourselves. Read more>>

Roshi | Painter & Confused Monkey

Check in with yourself regularly. If you seek for truth in your life and honesty with yourself, then you will always find your way back to the reminder of who you are and what matters to you. Sometimes there’s tension with the path we think we should be on, often it comes from a comparison of someone else’s path, or the expectation of what you have already assumed something to be like ahead of time. If you take a little break to find some quite and peace to listen to yourself, you find it easier to see what your needs and desires are vs those adopted through contact with others on your journey. If you can take an honest look at yourself, there is never an ultimate failure- there are only questions to ask, new things to learn, and open possibilities for finding a more honest way of growing who you are. Any failed experiment is more valuable than one unexplored, just pay attention to the feedback as it comes so you dont linger unnecessarily. Read more>>

Natara Bjaranson | Artist & Prison Arts Collective Teaching Fellow

I think knowing when to move on is different for everyone, it may be determined by past experience and levels of motivation. I often ask myself, “Have you tried everything?” “Have you asked for help?” “Is this process teaching you something from trial and error or is this process holding you back from moving forward in a different direction?” It is important to consider your level of effort and be honest with yourself when weighing if something is adding or taking away from your life. Personally I have a hard time giving up on people and projects and its only when my sanity and my solutions have fallen short and decide its best to start something new. Read more>>