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Since around August of last year
, I have been attempting to structure my daily routine around my art. Making comics, other illustrations, and various crafts, all in the hopes that I’d be able to make a job of it. It’s been about 5 months since I started and frankly I have been having some serious trouble.
I knew it was gonna be hard, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for exactly how hard it would be. Issues have cropped up, of the emotional/mental kind, and they have made a mess of my original plans. All the deadlines I had set for myself, the schedules, the ideas, everything kinda got lost in this whole situation.
I’m still trying to make it work (in a way), don’t get me wrong, I haven’t given up, but I am nowhere near where I had hoped I’d be at the half way mark. I’m constantly missing deadlines, starting though never quite finishing works, and spending days away from my studio just goofing around. I guess I’m not quite sure how to make this work. The stress seems to be getting to me, giving myself all those deadlines to make, and projects to do, has caused me to dislike drawing. At least in a working sense (and working for free).
For the past couple of days though, I have tried thinking differently about my art. I’m no longer looking at it as a job and I’m not viewing myself as a working machine. I mean I’m not getting paid to do any of this anyway and trying to frame it as a job has made it rather miserable. Nobody wants to work on things they don’t want to work on unless they are getting paid for it after all. So I stopped worrying about deadlines, stopped worrying about how long it’s been since I updated my comic, stopped worrying about what I think people are expecting me to upload, stopped looking at my art as something to sell, and just started enjoying drawing again.
Because of that simple change in thinking, I have drawn more in the past two days then I have in the last two months, and I’ve actually enjoyed it. I don’t think I’ve actually enjoyed drawing since before college!
It kinda surprised me how a simple change in view made all this so much better!
I’m still making myself available for artistic work, but unless someone hires me to work on a project or commission, I’m going to draw what I want to draw, how I want to draw it, and when I want to draw it.
I’ve felt so artistically free for the past few days, and I intend to hold on to that feeling, even if it seems selfish, but I think I have a right to be a bit selfish every now and then.
So in short, looking at my art as a job doesn’t work for me, it may work for some, but all it does for me is make me want to avoid it more.
I’m no longer expecting to make enough money to live off of just from my art (though I definitely wouldn’t be complaining if that happened), in fact, once my year of drawing is up, I plan on searching for a normal part-time job. I've accepted the fact that art alone isn't going to cut it at the moment. I’m also still planning on applying to artist alleys, not because I expect to sell a lot, but because I think it’d be fun and it would be totally cool to meet more artists like myself.
My year of drawing is kind of getting a restart, with much less time available, but I believe it’s for the best. Drawing is fun again, and I intend to keep it that way.
It really is true what they say; you really need to just enjoy drawing and not expect to make money from it, otherwise you're going to hate it.
I had to learn that the hard way...
Anyway, that's it for my half way point update.
~ Later days