I was sitting with a friend of mine the other day and we were talking about what projects I had going and what my priorities as far as time management goes.
After complaining for a good 15 minutes my friend said to me.
"You look tired."
He didn't mean physically.
He was talking about my mental state.
I think everyone who has a long involved career at some point wakes up, looks in the mirror and wonders if they have had enough. In my heart of hearts I still love what I do. I still enjoy drawing although everything I want to do artistically is very involved and time consuming for me. No easy fun stuff. I spent my 20's learning and doing a wide range of quality, from epic fail level hacks to professional shockers.
As I grow older each piece takes on a new significance to me. I'm not satisfied with showing what I've done again and again. I'm about surprising myself and finding that bleeding edge of my work where the true growth and all the roads I've taken lead to. The problem is the amount of energy it takes to get there. When I first started drawing any half draw John Byrne face I did was an accomplishment. I had so much to learn and I knew so little every thing taught me something. Even if it was just repetition it still gave me hand eye control and moved me farther down the road. Over the years I followed different creative paths. More detail. Less detail. Color. Painting. Inking. Cartoons. Illustrations. Concept designs. Graphic design. I was like a fat woman from Alabama at the Balagio buffet (Go bama Go Tide!). I wanted to try everything until my hand broke or my my brain exploded or both. In the end I became a jack of all trades a master of none.
I ended up with a multiple personality artistic brain. I am the art Sybil. With all this swirling around my head it can be tough to power through the wall of artistic inspiration and experimentation and get to that place where I can perform at my best. If you add in the amount of time I spend doing freelance and the amount of frustration it creates and the toll that takes on my mental state. Well you have a perfect storm for lack of true productivity. I'm not talking work. I'm talking artistic expression at the level I want to express myself at.
I'm not tired of art.
I'm tired of not getting the quality I want out of my art.
I'm tired of doing mindless freelance jobs.
I'm tired of chasing the green guys.
I'm tired of being tired.
My goal is to clear off some of these minor jobs I've got going and make time for the projects I really want to do. They say the worst thing you can do is start a drawing without an idea because 9 times out 10 you will draw the same thing over and over again. Which as we all know if the definition of insanity. I have the ideas. I just need the mental space to create them.
I am also going to start posting a sketch every couple of days. I might put it up for sale. I might not. We shall see.
First up. My take on Thor by way of 300. Drawn all digital.
A new feature in my blog called "Bitch Corner".
I bitch and maybe we both learn something from it:
I had a meeting recently with the client of a client. Which means it was someone I was working for who in turn was working for someone else. I didn't really want to interface with my client's client but he wanted to cut out the middle man and have me pitch to this fellow straight up. Between drive time this cost me about three hours out of the middle of my day. If I was billing for that time it would have been a cool $225. I didn't bill for it because I had settled on a flat rate which didn't include me going to meeting with client's of clients. So I met the big boss and as most Hwood types are they think they are mini Jim Camerons and that their time is more valuable then yours. Hence the waiting and waiting being entertained by his cronies and their mindless Entertainment/Internet babble. Dude I read WIRED too.
Anywho the head honcho shows up. Looks at my work and proceeds to undo everything my client has asked me to do. A sort of client's client cock block so to speak. After showing zero understanding of what it takes to create what he "wants" he confessed. "I don't understand this world." World meaning this particular type of art and project that he seems keen on making money from. He proceeded to ask one of his cronies to gather some related media and I quote "download" it to me. Yes download it into me. Do I have a USB jack in my skull? Am I wearing one of those fancy Daft Punk helmets? Does my name start with R2 and end with D2?
Suffice to say the lessons learned in this addition of bitch corner.
Never pitch to the client's client.
Stay away from flat rate gigs.
Always bill for your time including meetings and drive time.
Get a USB jack hardwired into your dome piece. (Fancy Daft Punk helmet optional)