It was sometime around Anaconda: The World’s Longest Dribble that I began to lose interest in Cardistry.
I didn’t fully quit; after all, I was still with The Virts at the time, and rigorous practice was still part of my daily regimen to ensure that I’d always have my chops ready whenever we were set to record our next videos.
But whereas I used to look forward to checking out new videos and staying up-to-date on what went on in the forums that were available, I found myself tuning out from those resources for a couple of reasons.
For one, if I watched a video that was sub-par, it just lowered my opinion of the current state of Cardistry, which was depressing. But on the other hand, if I saw a video with killer moves and incredible production, it made me feel jealous and incompetent for not matching up to that standard, which was equally depressing. And on the forum end of things, with custom decks starting to come out everywhere, I found that online discussions in the community began to focus more on decks than actual Cardistry, and so I stopped reading and contributing to them like I used to.
It wasn’t until I saw Andrew Avila’s segments of the 2013-2014 WKC compilation that my passion for Cardistry was re-ignited and I was inspired to enter back into the game.
When I look back at my half-decade hiatus between 2009-2014, I realize that the time I took off from Cardistry was spent on other pursuits that enriched me as an artist. I got to read what would become some of my favorite novels, which heavily influenced my writing and way of thinking. I was able to scour for new music, much of which would go on to comprise the soundtracks of future Virtuoso videos. And I also got into Origami, which expanded my worldview of what was possible with paper, something that has undoubtedly left its mark on my approach to Cardistry.
I get a lot of people asking me about ‘burnout’ sometimes, and what they should do about it. My response to them is that they should just take a break from Cardistry: put down their deck, step away from YouTube and Instagram, and just explore the world with fresh eyes. I tell them not to worry about when the Cardistry bug will bite them again. If it’s really meant to be, then they’ll just naturally come back to it eventually. Over the years, I’ve seen several of my close friends in Cardistry go through the same process: losing interest, taking time off, and then inevitably coming back to the art several months or weeks later with a new flame ignited in their soul.
The upside, you see, is that even when you’re not developing your own Cardistry, you still have the rest of the community – thousands upon thousands of hobbyists – working their very hardest every day at coming up with new moves and pushing the boundaries in this open-source art form we all share.
So if you’re feeling that Cardistry just isn’t inspiring you any more, that’s totally okay. It happens to the best of us. Take some time off, look for inspiration elsewhere, and I promise that somewhere down the line, you’ll be reminded of why you took this up in the first place.