Last week I participated in an online workshop “Build A Freelance Illustration Business” with Salli S. Swindell of Studio SSS, They Draw & Cook, and They Draw & Travel. The recording of the workshop is still available online, and there’s a great Facebook group too! Salli did a great job with the workshop, providing lots of useful information about many of the practical details of working as a freelance illustrator. I’ve been finding myself very attracted to the idea of moving in a more illustrative direction with my work, as it seems like a good middle ground between fine art and graphic design. I sometimes wish I had just majored in illustration in art school! There was so much material to digest from the workshop and I have so much to learn still, but I’m excited to finally feel like I’ve made a tiny step in a new direction.
My ongoing experiment with time- and project-management continues. I’ve been dedicating the first hour or more of my working time each day to creative projects, which I think has worked out really well. I’ve always considered myself a night owl, and thus tended to assume that was the best time to do creative work. However, I’ve found that my energy and focus is actually not that great in the evening, and it’s easy to get distracted with other things. I actually feel more motivated in the morning to get to work knowing that the first thing I’ll be doing is whatever creative project attracts me that day. And then when the allotted time is up I feel happy that I’ve completed something important first thing in the morning.
I like this article/infographic that I came across recently: Why Working 9 to 5 Can Harm Your Productivity. I’ve been playing around with various work/break cycles. I think I wrote previously that I had settled on a 52-minute work/17 minute break pattern, but I found this a bit cumbersome (Strange numbers!). Before that I tried Pomodoro, but 25 minutes is way to short to really get into something before taking a 5 minute break. I would skip the breaks because it annoyed me to have a break just as I was getting into a working flow. So now I’m trying 90 minutes work/20 minutes break, which I like a bit better. I’ve also had great success using Google Calendar to organize and plan my time for each day, and the 90/20 fits better with that.
This week I planned to write here every day, but it hasn’t happened. Like everything, I just need to make it a habit and then it’ll be easy, but I keep forgetting and then I have to spend a lot of time scanning and editing multiple journal pages and it just seems daunting. Also, I have currently assigned “Art Journal Writing” as an evening task, which just like with leaving creative work to the evening, just doesn’t work.
Some inspiration: “Great Artists Write.” Although I think it is horribly pretentious to place oneself in the category of “great artist,” there is a lot of good advice there.