Sunday, January 20, 2008

Struggling with Structure (Resolutions)

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement for me to attend the SCBWI conference! Every comment received gave me a jolt of energy, I will be sure to report back and share what I've learned.
Is it too late to post new year's resolutions? I've noticed while blog surfing that many people come up with a theme for the new year. I thought it was a great idea, and the word for me would be Structure. On the illustration front I am sailing along, but I've been struggling with work/life balance as a freelancer working from home. I never thought that would be such an issue, since how great is it to work from home? In a lot of ways, it is. But there are alot of downsides that I would like to address this year, and also other little things:

*keep a more regular schedule: I'm admittedly a night owl. There are days when I go to sleep at 5am and wake up at noon. Especially in the winter, I'd like to catch more sunlight. Although some parts of me think why I need to fight this. Its the natural rhythm of my body. But I don't think its too healthy in the end.

*leave the house more: When your work is fun and your work space is five paces away from your bedroom, the days can pass and you realize you haven't left the house for a while. A walk is always good physically and mentally.

*Organizing that paper pile: since I still sketch by paper and pencil, there is the inevitable paper pile next to the desk. To remedy this, I'd like to start learning how to sketch on the computer. I have a wacom tablet and have tried it in the past, it still doesn't seem very natural to me yet.

Other goals include writing my own children's book and learning flash. There I said it. Now I 'm really going to be held accountable!

12 comments:

Eren said...

Hi Jannie!

Thanks for sharing your theme and goals for the year. Visiting your blog and work is always an inspiration!

And thanks also for sharing some of the challenges freelancing can bring. I'm a little new to freelancing but I can totally relate with everything you mentioned. There are sometimes I feel like I need to get out and get some vitamin D from the sun. And there are some family and non art friends who think I do nothing all day. But when it comes down to it we are doing what we are most passionate of, and it is truly rewarding.

As far as the paper pile goes, I actually kind of eliminated mine. We got a Cintiq this year and it is fabulous!! It's also a time saver for me so I highly recommend it.

Anyhoo, thanks again for the inspiration, and best wishes for 2008! Can't wait to see your children's book and future flash skills!

- Eren

Chickengirl said...

Eren-thanks!

Ah I know all about how some friends and family think we can just go have lunch and go shopping with them during the day, its quite tough setting the boundaries (yes, we DO work!)

Cintiq...LUCKY! I've been eye-ing that for a bit now. It will be a big learning curve for me, but yes, I think it will save me some time.

Thanks for the well wishes, all the best to you for 2008 too!

PaMdora said...

Sometimes I wish I could still work in my pajamas, but truly there are pro and cons to working at home or in an outside studio. Good for you for listing your Stucture theme! good luck too.

Diana Evans said...

Hi Jannie...what a great post...

and it is so wonderful to put things down on paper...a focus...I always start the year off with a formal Business Plan...yeah it sounds boring and crazy but it sure helps keep me focused and on track....(although I still have days when I just work and work into the wee hours...

I too love to draw on paper...just seems more natural...but I do love to modify and colour my work digitally....

Thanks for sharing your plans..and your structured 2008...

I have some lasagna on my blog if you get hungry...

Cheers,
Diana

marcisenders said...

Good luck! I have a Wacom at work. I find myself still doing my sketches on paper. I used my tablet to go into my fine details and/or clean things up. So not really a paper saver for me but definetly a time saver.

ChatRabbit said...

From one night owl to another, I hear you.
I also want to train myself to be a quick sketcher on the Wacom tablet, but I never seem to have enough downtime for the learning curve. Maybe I will just jump in there and give it a shot. Good luck with your goals...all good ones!

Diana Evans said...

I hope you don't mind me adding you to my links...cheers...
Diana

mrs. b. said...

Hi Jannie!

I admire your moxy, taking what you need to do out of your head and onto your blog! Putting it out in the universe always makes it more real and places more accountability on us to actually accomplish these things!

I do sketch on a Wacom, all the time, and while it's easy and you can go from sketch to final in a smoother transition, I also find that I lose some of the spontaneity and life that comes from a traditional sketch, as the habit of "fixing" it rears it's ugly head with the dreaded "command z"! Pencil sketches are fast and many, a digital sketch, if you're not careful, could just be one or two, and I know I don't expand on an idea as much as I should, because I can just undo and redo, right on the rough...I think it looses something...

I understand the paper pile except mine is a reference pile, and I wish for a more organized way of viewing all of my "stuff" that is supposed to inspire me! I do have a digital library. I've taken digital snaps of everything I buy, and then organize it on my desktop, but there's nothing like the feel of a sticker pack, seeing the glitter or feeling the flocking...Again, digital is ironically only two dimensional!!

Best wishes for 2008, and let's pick each other's brains now and then, I know it keeps me sharp getting lots of creatives' input!!

take care!

a : )

Kathy Weller said...

Wow, you're brave to write the tangible goals on your blog. I am impressed. Doing that scares me. Maybe that is a reason for me TO do it!! ;)

I hear you on the wacky sched -- I have one too even though I do freelance as ell as keep a full-time job. Sometimes I have no idea how I function, and I am no spring chicken, either - I'm 38!! Hah!!

And, Jannie, PUHR-LEEEASE about feeling "not good enough" to attend SCBWI!! I understand and acknowledge that we all have our own set of rediculous, subjective, nonsensical hang-ups. But your work ROCKS, PLUS you are so uber-published -- for goodness sakes, you could be on a panel, with all of the experience and wisdom you have collected!! Sheesh!! ;)

Have a FAB time -- I look forward to going to my first NYC in the future!! Perhaps next year!! For now, I attended the New England one in spring 2007, and it was SO worthwhile. I can only imagine the NYC one being EVEN BETTER!!!

Take care and have fun!!

Kathy Weller said...

Cintiq - - I have to second Eren!!! It will change the way you work. I highly recommend it as well. There is a learning curve but it is revolutionary for the artist!! When you find it convenient for you, please do go for it!! I cannot imagine you regretting the purchase!!

Chickengirl said...

Mrs.B, I have the same problem with sketching straight on the computer with the ease of command-Z! I tried but I seem to be deleting every two seconds. Very interesting you address that it "loses something" when the sketch is done digitally. Its definitely a different way of working.

Kathy- I hear you since I worked a fulltime job while freelancing for a very very long time. It can be very exhausting. Hang in there. Ohh boy, you are another person who is convincing me to get the cintiq....sooo tempting!! :-)

"Maggie" said...

Great resolutions! I file all my preliminary sketches in hanging files. It's fun to go back through them at the end of the year and see the process and the progress, so rewarding!