I’ve begun teaching at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) on Mondays, which means that I have to commute to Baltimore Monday mornings, teach a 5-6 hour class, and then head back to New York on Tuesday to get back to my freelance work. I’m not the only one, however, Frank Stockton, bad-ass illustrator is doing the same, although he teaches a 12 hour day. That said, he is several years younger than me, so it must be those young genes that keep him vivacious.
Has anyone ever called you vivacious, Frank?
Today I woke up at around 7am because my dog was barking to tell me that she went pee in the bathroom, and therefore wanted her snack. I tried to ignore her, but then decided to wake up. I figured that if I got some work done earlier, then I could free up the rest of my day, and then maybe finish up the last bit of my work in the evening. Sundays are the days when my boyfriend and I hang out since both of us work so much; it’s necessary to keep my personal life intact instead of pouring every part of my soul into my art because I’ve learned that those good feelings associated with achievement and recognition that I receive from my career, as important as they are, can be fleeting. That’s not to say that I take them for granted; my career is incredibly important, but equally, it can become really lonely when all I have is my career to keep me company. I should know, I’ve tried it, and I don’t like. Still, it continues to be an incredible to challenge to balance my personal and professional lives.
After leaving my apartment, I made my way to a cafe a few blocks away where I decided to have my breakfast and respond to some interview questions for a book for which I’ll be contributing. I had almost forgotten about that as well. This has been happening quite often – my forgetfulness. I don’t want to attribute it to middle-age memory loss, or the embryonic stages of early alzheimer’s (knock… knock… knock…on wood) but I think it has more to do with the fact, that I’ve had more-to-do in addition to my freelance illustration work. I said to my intern the other day that I’m finding that I have so much paperwork and other peripheral things to do in addition to actually drawing. I spend the first couple of hours in the morning, sifting through emails, writing people back, invoicing, booking keeping, doing office administrative tasks that when I’m done with those things I have to take a few minutes to exhale and then start the next component of my day. This of course doesn’t happen everyday, but it happens often enough that I come to expect it to occur.
As a result, I’ve started to keep lists like the one that is posted at the top of this entry. It’s my action list, and it’s taken from a book that I’m currently reading called, “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky, founder of Behance – the design Think-tank in New York. My friend who works there gave me a copy, which I began to read immediately.
Through anecdotes and case studies Scott presents ways in which creative types can learn to organize their lives, via maintaining and prioritizing their to-do lists, in order to grow their businesses. Yes, I wrote life not career, because it includes one’s personal and business lives; it’s the marriage of these two things that quantifies the idea of fulfillment. It’s been tough to try to keep this list up from day-to-day, and I’ve missed a few days here and there, but so far doing so has prevented me from getting too distracted working on things outside of what must be done in the present.
So when I arrived into the studio I responded to some emails, critiqued a student’s sketch from the class that I teach at SVA (School of Visual Arts) and then I began to work on my rough sketchs, which I’ll aim to finish this afternoon/evening, and then put on the finishing touches to my illustrations for Runner’s World, after which I’ll complete my aforementioned interview, and then go over my notes for Monday’s class.
Thank goodness for that list.