Monday, May 16, 2011

New Laptop! And freelance frazzle.

I just bought a second hand macbook because my netbook was slowing down, and also because it seemed a good idea to have a portable studio computer... and it's BRILLIANT!
You can't see it here but this is me looking at it.
So Shiny!
Otherwise: all is well, I'm mostly finishing he graphic novel. A page a day of adjusting linework to actually fit the speech bubbles, and then colouring it in.
I've been slightly out of sorts because I made myself a strange schedule - I suddenly felt I should work more, and I did not realise my plan added up to nine hour days working on three books. This made me feel kind of rather unwell. I promised myself to remember that four hours of creative work a day are THE LIMIT. And sometimes two are ok, especially if there is a mountain of admin to be dealt with.
Freelance work is great, but more stressful than you'd think - being paid in extremely uneven chunks of money long after you finished your work so that sometimes you're paid while you do nothing and sometimes you're poor while working double shifts. Keeping track of what you need to do and when without working yourself into the ground or freaking out about maybe being lazy... it's hard.
I wouldn't want it any other way, though.


Maja said...

I'm always in a freelance frazzle. There's always too much or too little work but always too little money to spread evenly throughout the year. I'm currently waiting for my chunk payment and with each passing day I seem to lose a nail - a nasty habit from my childhood.

At this stage I work anything from 8-12 hour days, 7 days a week. I keep telling myself that one day it will get better, I will be able to take weekends off, re-charge battries like a normal person.

I love illustration and wouldn't change it for the world but it gets hard sometimes.

I love your work!

Viviane Schwarz said...

Is that 8-12 hours of actually making art? - HELP!!! I could not do that. I mean, I have done on occasion but then I'm in pain on the floor the next day.

My way of working mostly requires me to be in a quiet state of mind, and getting there is sometimes a problem... but I just can't do brush or pen drawings when I'm stressed, they come out awful. Thankfully when I am working I work very fast.

Maja said...

Yes, I often spend that much time at my desk creating art. And yes, I do get quite sore from sitting, my hand ends up in cramps and I start getting neck pain. I try to give myself short breaks and ideally prefer to not to work like a maniac, but deadlines often get to me and I simply have to.

Right now I have no deadlines (I've chased everyone away) so I'm doing some leisurely drawing and doodling which feels like bliss! I'm busy with my new picture book on marine conservation. I'm hoping to get it published overseas i.e USA. The market here in South Africa is quite small so I need to branch out sooner than later.

Here is my page if you're interested


Katie Cleminson said...

Ah the work/life balance conundrum... I go to every meeting feeling sick that I've achieved hardly anything, and then all this work appears out of my folders and they say "You've done so much" and I'm genuinely surprised, and confused.

If I have a day off I feel guilt at not having worked, if I work too much I feel guilt at being a hermit who never goes out...

I have a Macbook Pro, and it's probably the best thing I own. Good luck finishing your comic, it's going to be exceptional!

Ps. I saw Croc and Bird, it was heartbreakingly beautiful, just perfect.