I figured I'd write this down whilst it was fresh in my mind.
These days we're always busy. All of us. It's the times we live in. Whilst my work usually encompasses the full seven days of the week, it's what i choose to do and what I love. What that does though is enable me to be a little flexible every now and again... to cut myself some slack.
Most weeks, if I'm lucky I give myself an extended lunch break on one day . Usually I pick a nice sunny day and walk down to the local cafe. During this time I 'turn off the clock'.
Why do I do this?
Because I feel allocating yourself time for reflection is important. To step back from yourself and evaluate what you have achieved, not what is still to be done. To be honest, If you're like me you spend way to much time in the 'what is to be done' phase.
This is the time I use to try and find a little bit more Bruce Banner, and get rid of a little too much Hulk.
It's funny that a conversation I had on social media triggered this thought as I sometimes feel that my social media feed can sometimes channel way too much Hulk for my liking. The conversation I had was around artists being paid and not doing work for exposure. What surprised me was that I would normally be one of the folks worked up by this topic, yet somehow, as I was in Bruce Banner mode I felt relatively calm and balanced on the subject.
It made me reflect on the fact that we cannot change people to be more how we want them. We just merely need to adapt to how we want to accept this. For me, the most liberating moment was the day that I realised I could just merely say no to any job I didn't want to do. It was like the shackles had been broken.
I hear all the time about artists not being paid what they should, people offering exposure as payment. It used to make me "Hulk out". But then I realised, just say no. Why take anymore of my time dwelling on this and making myself angry. I'd rather spend my time in a happy place doing what I love.
No I don't belittle the fact that I'm in a lucky situation where I can pick and choose, but really if the job is not offering any money and that's what you need, then don't waste a second more on it.
Tradesman don't work for free. The plumber that installed my hot water system didn't. I paid him good money cause I wanted the job done right and didn't want to skimp on quality (I hate cold showers). As artists we have to be confident in the same.
If someone doesn't want to pay for a job, then they may be the same as the person who wants the cheaper plumber (and by pay don't forgot that a person with no capital can always negotiate for joint creator owned properties as an alternative - don't belittle this if you believe in the project - this is after all potentially half rights to something they hold dear). The simple fact is that if a person doesn't value your work then they're probably not the right client. Don't worry about trying to change them, just move on.
I think about the changes and evolutions I've gone through with my own person over the years. None of them were because someone told me to, I had to work it out myself.
Now on this subject of clients with no money. This does not necessarily make them the 'villain'. Hell, I want a Lamborghini but cant afford it. I'd love for someone to give me one for free. But this in itself does not make me a bad person (Trust me I have plenty of other qualities for that!).
As artist's we all want to succeed, and it never comes fast enough, and in a lot of times, ever. That's the truth of it. All we can do is be true to ourselves and work hard. We also need to keep in mind that we are pursuing a profession and need to conduct ourselves so.
I've seen the public lynch mobs on social media go after the company that offers exposure instead of payment. I say let it go. Just say no and move on. I am a firm believer that karma comes around (if not in this life then the next). Why make yourself aggravated and unhappy when you could be spending the time making yourself even better for when the right client comes around.
And all this reflection came of my extended lunch break. A nice meal, some beautiful sunshine and some time to reflect and be happy for what I've done so far. I now feel re-energised and ready to tackle some awesome sequential pages this afternoon. Probably with more energy and vigor than if I'd just had a quick ten minute bite to eat.
So there you go. My advice, there's always some time to take a step back, regardless of how busy we are. Trust me, give it a try. You might enjoy it.