It's a lonely life...that of the necromancer, er freelancer

A blog by a designer and illustrator, for designers and illustrators which may contain musings on art, movies and random weirdness.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Keeping the Spark Alive

My output as an artist has varied greatly through my life. Sometimes I have had periods of incredible productivity, followed by long dry spells of producing little or nothing of any significance. I am in one of those fallow periods now. I'm not talking about what you do for a living, what I do in my job as a Graphic Designer. I am talking about personal work, the projects that you dream about doing. The things you would do if you didn't have to earn a living.
As you get older, it gets harder and harder to believe that you will ever get one of these dream projects off the ground and bring it to successful completion. How do you keep the spark alive?
What gives me hope?
Through periods of productivity and non-productivity I have always maintained the habit of carrying a sketchbook and drawing in it daily. I have done this even through the worst personal experiences. This gives me hope. Ideas come to me every day. Ideas for images, ideas for stories, observations. Most of them are crap, but a good number of them are very good. Although I may lack the time, self-discipline or enthusiasm to bring them to a "finished" form, I have to get them out on paper. This is my most basic and irreducible creative drive. This is how I keep the spark alive. That I do this gives me hope when it seems like I have the artistic equivalent of performance anxiety, when completing a personal project feels like passing a kidney stone.

Will these little sketchbooks become "seeds" that will eventually grow into something more substantial? I don't know, but like anyone who keeps practicing their craft, even at a very basic level, I hope so.


  1. I know it may seems a long way in the future,but when you retire there will be time.

  2. Beautifully expressed George. Very honest and so true of me, as well. The daily frustrations and distractions are sometimes overwhelming. I especially needed to read this today. Thanks