Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Definition Of Creative Idling

Sometimes you just have to stop to let the good stuff in! 

Creative idling: basically it means stopping. 

I get days when being an adult with constant multi-tasking feels completely over rated. In a nutshell, I'm busy. I've got a lot to do. I often get caught in the weeds! 

One thing that I have been allowing myself to do is stopping when I feel unproductive and just plain tired. Working 50 to 60 hours a week is not good especially when I look at how much of that I actually get paid for. So I'm going to avoid burnout but try to maintain a living because feeding my kids is extremely important to me. 

I'm adopting another personal permission of working smarter and taking time to do things unrelated to illustration. I've been allowing myself to do the following lately:

• I've stepped away from the computer on Sundays.
• I am making more time for note taking, mindless doodling and sketching.  
• I've been giving my eyes a break when they get tired. 
• I'm breaking up my day to focus on different tasks. I find this actually helps me get things done faster while adding creativity to my tasks. 
• I'm looking into asking for help. This is a challenge because my resources for that department are slim. This will come in time.
• I'm also giving up the idea that everything needs to be done as I originally planned. It's not reality. Sometimes letting go of some control allows change to happen. It adds an element of surprise and that can be used in a creative way. 

I'll let you know how all this goes. 

Holly :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Big Idea- The Notebook Code

I've been spending more and more time with my notebook lately and less time online. I think stepping away from all the technology noise can help me clear my head, boosts my mood and lets new ideas in. The best part- it's contagious. One idea leads to many. Even doing the dishes, which normally seems tedious has now become a great time to think and mull over creative thoughts. My notebook may get a little damp but it's being used and that's great productivity to me.

The notebook code creates good things:
• It gives me the chance to come up with more ideas on my own.
• I can sift through ideas I've written down that can jog my memory that can lead to more ideas.
• It lets me get back to basics. Old school!
• It helps me focus on what I'm thinking instead of a what others are posting online.
• It helps me stay focussed.
• It helps me come up with self projects, promotion ideas and new ideas for current projects.
• It helps me to wind down after a stressful day.
• Lastly, it's total freedom. These are my own thoughts so I can let loose and write and doodle about whatever I want. No one has to see it but me!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Going It Alone

In this blog I plan on being much more open and honest about my career ups and downs. These are just observations because even though I've accomplished a lot, I still have to work pretty hard to keep it all going. To many in the industry, some illustrators look like they have it pretty easy. What appears on the outside is only a glimpse of how hard illustrators work. Does luck play a part? Absolutely! However, working your creative ass off takes care of the rest. In a nutshell, I work my ass off and I probably work harder than some. But then again, its all relative right? 

Some illustrators get recognized early in the game, get agents and make a pretty good living at what they do. They are admirable and inspirational. They may appear to have had their careers handed to them but they worked hard to get where they are. It all comes down to luck, circumstances, talent, location, personality, hard work, sacrifice, business skills and community. 

My career did not happen overnight. I do what I do on my own. I do all the writing on my blogs and I find my own work. I also run after two kids and do all the housework too. For one girl, I wear many hats 24/7. 

For me, I have a case of small town-itus. Defined this means, I live in a town that is challenging when it comes to creativity, illustration and a like-minded community. I define it this way in a joking manner of course. 

But not all is lost. This just means I have to be more creative and resourceful. It's not an easy path doing most of it on my own but the reward can be huge. Since I never give up easy, I'll just continue to learn daily and work smarter. My personality does play a huge role here too- I am a perpetual learner with no positivity off switch. In other wards, I can make anything work if I try hard enough. This is probably why many describe me as being approachable and down to earth when it comes to illustration and advice. 

One thing is for sure, illustrators DO need people. The more support you have for what you do and create does make a huge difference in your career. So for those of you who have small town-itus like myself, what can you do? 

Some ideas to consider: 

• Create a strong online network. 
• Participate in Illustration groups online like Illustration Friday, The Little Chimp Society or Sugar Frosted Goodness.
• Start your own illustration group. 
• Reach out-test the creative waters in your area. 
• Offer classes, informational seminars or talks about what you do. 
• Chat with local schools and students who plan on going to art school. 
• Offer advice or mentor.
• Get spotlighted.
• Advertise a meet-up for those looking to connect with other creatives. 
 • Lastly,  this is a code that I live by: If you cannot dazzle them-wear them down. This means keep trying to get yourself out there in your community. It may take time, but if you professionally keep offering and advertising yourself, you will eventually meet the right people.