I’m of the school of thought that you always have to be doing something productive to grow as an artist. Until I met my wife, I felt that you had to work all the time, and rest very occasionally. You have a limited amount of time on this planet and you have to make it count. And while I still work a lot, one of the lessons I’ve learned from Jenn is that it’s not always about working the hours, but how smart you work in that time.
For example, I am pretty much useless in the morning. My brain hasn’t rebooted completely, so doing highly creative thinking and creating isn’t going to happen right away. I’ve learned over the years, to deal with more menial tasks, like responding to email, or do some social networking. This starts to help me rev up my brain engine. I’m not a Lamborghini, which can go from 0-60 in less than 10 seconds. I’m more of an economy class car, dependable, hardworking yet you have to maintain it well, or else it will break down after a few years.
Which is why Jenn and I are taking a bit of a vacation. Part of the creative process is recharging the battery. You need to get away from the desk, go to a new locale and do other things that aren’t what you’ve been doing for the last year. It took me some time to wrap my head around that concept, as I do feel weird not working on my comic book, or other project on the queue. It’s about working smart, and you need to give yourself a rest to be able to do that.
So if you can, take some time for yourself. Take that day trip with some friends or loved ones. Go on a staycation if funds are low. But give yourself permission to relax. You need to recharge your batteries every once in a while.