today is may …

something, which means that I have less than two months left in my leave-without-pay. Which in turn means that I can see the ending now –– and how my remaining time has to be about trying to shape what that ending should look like.

This week: I spent half of Sunday drawing (for the sake of drawing) and the other half designing (the cover for a book being published by our imprint). All of Monday I spent designing (the interior of said book). Tuesday I spent drawing (things that will end up either on Etsy or Redbubble –– things which may or may not sell).

So: some purely creative work, some work-for-hire, and some speculative work. And all of it drawing or design. No writing, no painting.

Etsy: going well (if only in fits and starts; the biggest challenge, as always, is attracting visits/traffic).

Redbubble: not quite going anywhere yet. Still figuring it out? I worry that my work –– based on real objects, made by hand –– doesn’t have a place amidst all these software-generated designs (a lot of semi-transparent triangles, it seems).

Supermarket: didn’t work at all so I deleted it.

And what about the writing? It seems like the only writing I’ve done lately is my last Tinyletter, and that was mostly just a list of things I’m trying not to write about anymore.

The trouble: I’ve reached a point where I have so many manuscripts kicking around that I don’t want to write anything new. I need to edit, re-write, mash together, tear down.

In other words, I’ve done the homework, now I need to write the tests.

My last book came together rather easily, and that was mostly down to certain lack of concern –– approaching the work without fear, without care … in fact, going at it like a barely controlled forest fire.

That’s what I need to do again, another ruthless round of that.

Painting: that comes in from the corner, where the easel is a bit like one of those time-lapse movies … one day I lash the wood board to the easel, another day I prime and tint and add some background texture, another day I paint blocks and outlines, another day I finish. I just need to be consistent in keeping that all ticking forward.

Finally: I’ve done more design (read: production) work than I ever wanted to during this leave, and so I’m trying to finish that up. Because when I go back to my regular work, my salaried job, it’s to do … more design (although that kind of institutional design –– can you line that up with that? and make it higher? HIGHER –– will feel more like a break).

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