Saturday, October 20, 2012

Commit To The Project

No matter how busy you are or how how challenging your time can be, if you are in a big project then you need to get it done. You need to commit to the project. 

We've all heard the expression-Focus on the main thing and you will get it done. Yes, sometimes other things have to wait. Things like social networking, updating your website, promotions and even other commitments may have to be put on hold. The idea is to not spread your time too thin. Some projects are very time demanding, so taking on more assignments may not work out. 

"The secret of happiness is to find a congenial monotony." -V. S. Pritchett 

I'm not talking about a couple of illustrations here and there-I'm talking about the REALLY big projects that come our way that can go on for months or even a year. It's easy to get distracted, or even feel the monotony of the same assignment day in day out. However, if you have a contract then you have a deadline then you've got to get it done. The great reward is a payment and the pride of finishing.

Why we get the big project blues: 
• It may not challenge you as an illustrator.
• It may not be something you love.
• It may be too art directed with no freedom. 
• You could be asked to illustrate in a way that does not always feel natural to your style. 

"The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind."- Albert Einstein 

How to combat the long project blues:
• Take frequent breaks.
• Work during peak times.
• Give yourself deadlines within the project to keep yourself on track. 
• Work when it's quiet.
• Get feedback from your clients or colleagues to make sure you are on top of the project. Too much work isolation can take you off track and away from the projects purpose.
• Create a side project to go along with your project as a diversion. This can break up the same-old-same old. This is not designed to take up more time- the idea is to promote much needed motivation. If you are illustrating cars and you have no love of doing that- illustrate something on the side that you do like. 

"When all is said and done, monotony may after all be the best condition for creation." -Margaret Sackville 

Also, you can embrace the sameness. This is what illustration is all about-long projects, short projects with all sorts of deadlines or no work at all. Monotony can be a good thing. It can challenge you to stay focussed, perfect what you are working on, and get you to focus on what is really important- creating in the now. Most of all, it can stretch your creativity because if you can make a long project work from start to finish along with everything else life hits you with-you will do just fine! 

Yes, it's important to have projects lined up after the big one is done. Use that as a motivator sitting on your shoulder cheering you on while this project is moving along nicely.  

Until next time, happy creating!