The tiny studio is not an ideal place during the summer. The intense brightness from the outside makes this windowless corner even darker in contrast. It also gets the full blast of the television noise which is frequently turned on from lunchtime until everning, with very short pockets of quiets in between.
The bedroom has good lighting because it has big windows but lacks floor space for me to set up even a small comfortable writing desk.
This morning I remembered that I used to work in the backyard when I had to do reports. I stopped because at some point it was no longer effective as an isolation space for dayjob tasks. But what if it works as an extension of the studio?
So I took my journal and coffee to the backyard to feel it out. Promising, so far. But I need a more efficient and orderly way to move my materials. I have to be quick when it suddenly rains — this year’s summer is also rainy, and the sky alternates from very bright to cozy grey in a matter of minutes.
I successfully completed a spread for The Sketchbook Project (after a few trips back and forth the indoor studio to get the materials I needed). I think I’ll need a spare electric fan for when there’s no breeze and the air starts to become stiflingly too warm.
I want to shut down for at least the first two weeks of May, and extend it as far as I can. By shutting down I mean absolutely no dayjob emails or tasks. Also very minimal social obligations. Minimal errands. I want to pour all attention to the art-making and story-making. I’ll stay out of Facebook and will only post as absolutely necessary on the art page, but mostly rely on the linked posts through Instagram. I want to work on my Etsy shop. I want to make new art pieces. For breaks I will read books and go out on simple Artist Dates. I am even thinking of disengaging myself from the house hours and routine — essentially just eat and sleep when I feel I need it and not just to comply with the routine. I want to eat what I want, prepare my own food if necessary. I want to get up in the middle of the night and start writing or painting if I am moved to do so. I want to nap at odd hours.
Next week I’ll work on a commissioned piece. And also close the deals on original paintings put on reserve. For a period I want to live as if I am already a full-time artist. I will probably try to make some pieces for a portfolio to send to a German company that a friend has advised me about. I’ll work on replenishing my stationery inventory.
First paycheck finally cleared so rent is safe for this month and the next. So little is left to cover other household bills. I am ever grateful for my Patreon patrons who help take care of studio needs. They’ll be getting nice packages by May — long overdue gratitude gifts.
Voice is fully back but still very rough. Maybe by the weekend I can dare to enjoy a coconut caramel ice blended drink, or a bingsu. 😃
I finished reading two books and making progress on a third. By end of May I should have caught up on my Goodreads challenge already -- and probably needing to buy more books (hehehe).
Two paychecks are clearing by end of the week so that should let me have a peaceful enough break, without the perpetual worrying on how the bills will get paid.
The remainder of this week will be filled with errands -- bank, post office, courier service, veterinarian, art supply shops (I can start making inventory again), fresh produce market.
The summer heat is a drag, though. I'm not a fan of summer. I work better in cold weather. Summer heat makes me lethargic and turns my brain to soup sooner than usual.
Voice is back but still sounding like an old lady monster. Energy not yet up to regular levels, I run out of battery more frequently than usual, and could not sustain late-night reading (gasp!)
I might be able to go on a proper Artist Date though, after going without for months or making do with compromised dates. Also the last few times I attempted to go I had to cut short because I started feeling ill from the sheer fatigue catching up with me as soon as I sat down and opened myself to a moment of rest. The exhaustion ate up the resting moment, and flayed my body with aches.
At least the studio is not as horribly messy as it usually is. I haven't done a pop-up since early March. What I need to do more of really is to make new pieces.
Maybe I'll start a new piece today.
I'll be tinkering with Stories too so drop by there sometime.
I have a dayjob meeting today but it is the kind of dayjob project that is a bit more flexible than the usual since it's a consultancy rather than a full project (research design/ implementation/ report). As consultant I engage primarily in discussions, make reviews on existing data, and make guidelines on how to do things based on my expertise.
Hence I do not expect it (I hope) to be as demanding as the recent dayjob projects. It was very demanding during the first few weeks (way back in December and January) because we were establishing the basics of things but now we are in the tweaking/finetuning stage.
In any case, the whole point is that after all the various toil and labour I am now owed THREE paychecks and I have the mind to take the whole of May off from dayjob duty while I wait to get paid and also to give myself time to fully recover from everything (including the recent flu and its remnant of a cough that has rendered me literally speechless.) I'm getting one paycheck today and that should tide me over for next month. I'll use it to reclaim some studio time and shop time.
As for shop time -- everything is free shipping at my Etsy shop until May 31 so do drop by and something magical might find you.
Five things on my priority list today and for the next few weeks:
1) Finish the Sketchbook Project and send off by courier on or before April 30.
2) Update the Art Portfolio and send to BGC Art Mart to complete my application and maybe still get a slot for the May setup.
3) Update and promote the Etsy sale. I'll be adding notecards and postcards this week, plus notebooks with hand-painted covers. Also thinking of extending it into an open studio sale kind of thing.
4) Launch my Commissions page and start accepting projects (as well as start and complete existing commissions).
5) Make that crucial step in changing my freelance/work status -- I'll start the process to be a properly registered artist under my own name with an official receipt and unify all freelance work under it.
The Sketchbook Project is making progress but I still feel a 50-50 chance of not making it to the deadline.
Regardless of whether I get to send it off of not, I am quite happy with how it's turning out. I've been wanting to explore the use of watercolor graphite and this was the perfect time to experiment since it does not bleed as much as watercolour, dries fast, and has a distinct character from sumi ink. I think I'll have a series of separate work with this medium and style later on.
My health has been a bit poorly because my rest keeps getting interrupted -- dayjob tasks, meetings, even house chores and errands. I seriously need a full vacation away from any form of duty except the ones required by my creative practice. I have neglected my creative practice far too long as it is. It, too, needs a full recovery and time to do its own work.
I'll close this post with a show-off of artworks from 2015 VS 2018. I like seeing how I am changing and getting better, no matter how small, no matter that until now not so many people "get" it, no matter that I am still more invisible than not.
Lost my voice due to a bad cough and overwork and stress. Last weekend I had flu. This weekend I have silence. Better, in a way, because at least I'll get to paint, perhaps. I must paint. Write. Make something. Make magic. Make my amends to the wildness.
Funds are really low. But since I'm sick I have to stay at home. I need to be in the studio anyway. It'll be too much trouble to carry around all the paints. And I also want to try a piece bigger than a notebook.
Reading slot secured -- I'm going to catch up on my Goodreads target yet. Also reading for research of a sort. I want to make some radical changes on my freelance setup. And if there's a decent interesting job in a library or museum out there I'm open for employment.
I want to go back and review the basics and beginnings of this path I refuse to give up. Tweak a few things. Resurrect some ideas and practice. Have better plans to break later on. Be better at breaking rules and changing the game. Forget the game. This is not about winning. This is about living, and being true. It is about falling in love. Again and again. Fall and fail. Fall and fail better. Be brave. Love anyway.
A friend shared this link from The New York Times, I read the article, and was moved to write down my own case on the matter.
The matter of being a full-time artist versus being one with a dayjob has been a rather delicate issue. Especially if one is still in the beginning stages, and have not gained enough patrons, supporters, and buyers to be able to sustain a good number of hours for studio work. There will always be those who will force the "be practical", "be realistic", "be reasonable" argument which has somehow always rubbed me the wrong way. There will always be those who will insist to just focus on the money, regardless of the how and the implications of performing the work that made that money (oh, I just helped sell products that will dump more tons of plastic waste into the ocean... and also convinced people that buying processed is better than the trouble of buying natural).
I believe the trick here, for my case, which is what I have been trying to master, is finding the kind of dayjob that will complement the artist, until such time that indeed the art is able to fully support a decent living, or the dayjob is an enhancer rather than a disruption. Mine is very similar to the example of James Dickey -- "I was selling my soul to the devil all day...and trying to buy it back at night." -- except that I could never quite buy it back and the interest has been compounding 😱 Equally apt is Stephen Dunn's description of how his work affects his poetry "a zero-sum universe in which the moon gobbles up the sun’s radiance." I would like to have a dayjob to ease the pressure of income from my art-making but I want a dayjob that can play and pay fair -- unfortunately in a developing country one does have to sell a soul to even earn minimum wage. 😅
My dream job is to work in a library, a book shop, or a book publishing company. Many years ago I had that in my hand. It was two roads diverging and I was fresh out of college. The other path led to the dayjob I am doing now. But I listened to "be practical", "be realistic", "be reasonable". Also, being young, I was carried away by "be cool and glamorous" (which had fine print conditions no one ever pointed out).
So here I am. Years later I've found myself on a similar diverging path and took the one less traveled by, albeit with so much baggage now everything is wrought with delays, detours, and doubling back. But I like to believe that I am at least finally moving towards where I was supposed to go. I will win my soul back yet, whole and alive and true.
Yes it's Day 3 because I was barely functional on the first two. Today the fever's taken a back seat and I'm dealing with the attendant symptoms of muscle aches, sore throat, and cough. A few more days and I should be in full working order.
It was sudden onset. I was standing outside of the coworking building in the business district. Early Friday evening, waiting for my dad and sis to pick me up. A gust of wind, and then I felt chills travel up and down my body. I had dinner with my folks, but two hours later I was shivering and feeling very ill. Fever was raging by the time I got home.
But I have to get back to dayjob duty today regardless. The most I can do is take it slow and easy. Certain things stressed me out severely last week and I think that made me vulnerable to the flu. One of the stressful things has been temporarily resolved today but it will have to be dealt with more definitely soon.
My sense of time is slightly distorted because of having to spend a lot of time in bed. Fever dreams have a tendency to mess up my perceptions of reality, and I knew I was still worrying a lot even while I was trying to rest.
But there are little things I find along the way of a day. I have yet to make something of them, find the hidden messages. But their appearance reassures me that the battle is not entirely lost. I have not exhausted all possibilities. Plus there are the impossibilities, which in the wildforest are more like possibilities that just need a little bit more magic and the wildforest is magic in itself and so anything impossible is possible.
My days in bed unable to do anything "productive" had at least given me thinking time (distorted as they were by fever visions and mangled by aches). If anything I have at least gained better resolution on a few things. I'll work on them in the next few weeks and see how they go.
And all I can offer you at this point is a sedate photo of my workspace where I toiled for almost seven hours straight sustained primarily by water and ginger mints because I did not dare take a break and give any of my selves the chance to pull the plug on my energy flow.
Before I left this morning I prepared a small bundle of art materials thinking that maybe I could make small drawing during short breaks but in the end I decided not to take breaks because any of my selves could steal the rest of me away and then there would have been no progress on the report.
The report is not yet finished but I have figured out a good portion of the knotty bits especially for one section which will be a template for the next section. Most of the work today was composition and layout, and stitching data together so they sort of flow into a logical narrative. That takes time, and lots of brain energy, especially since I'm wired for forests and gardens and it's hard to write with heart.
I'll work again tomorrow morning, and then on Sunday morning. I'll leave the afternoons free or else I'll go mad.
...I'm checking back in at the coworking space tomorrow because being Friday my selves can get particularly tricky and not let me work.
Today I made good progress. Next time I'll be more firm about using the coworking space and check in early. Maybe I can even negotiate a weekly rate or something. Then I can just bring a packed lunch to save on meals. Today I brought my own tea cup and tea leaves. I'll bring them again tomorrow.
The task I have to do is really more of the writing part, and that can be tedious because all the supporting data have to be put in just so to make everything flow towards the recommendations. As always, I underestimated how much time it takes, and today I thought I'd get to finish a whole section. I guess I'm no longer as fast as I used to be. Maybe also because my heart drags heavily.
Anyway, one full day tomorrow -- I will TRY to check in by 8AM and out as late as I can, as near closing time of 8PM as possible. I wish I could buy myself a nice dinner but funds are low and there are April bills to pay in a couple of weeks.
Let's look at some bright spots : these were delivered today. They're second-hand and very cheap.
I got home at around eight and after dinner I thought I'd have strength to paint or maybe work on the Sketchbook. But I only have enough wits to write something in my journal and then to bed.
The news has announced that it is finally summer. The first time in my whole life that Holy Week was NOT summer and was actually comfortably cool instead of searing hot. (As a child I've had the superstitious belief that the church knew exactly when summer would be at its hottest and would schedule the Holy Week then, as part of the Lenten sacrifice.)
The news also said that summer will be short because towards the end of next month, the rainy season will begin.
I'm thinking, after I've made certain progress in the dayjob tasks today, I'll do a Summer Sale on my Etsy shop, to last the whole of the short summer. Free shipping on everything. I'll complete all listings first (still have a few stacked up items waiting to see the light of day) and then make an announcement.
New pieces are lined up to be made (it's a very long line) and these will reflect new prices when listed for sale in June onwards. So anything I put on Etsy within the summer (April-May) will still be at current "friendly" prices. I've been working on making my art pieces competitively priced in the global market so there have been small adjustments here and there. But generally, all my foreign friends and customers say I've been pricing way too low (I've seen a few local artworks for sale and regardless of artist popularity my pieces are indeed priced on the very low range).
I will also (finally) open for Commissions, once I've sorted through the guidelines and fees (and my heart). I'm targeting this for next week, at the latest.
It has been a while since I've painted and I'm feeling the hollowness of not creating. Dayjob work has been taking up time as well as other daily chores and duties. There has not been enough time to go deep and get into the heart of Things. I'm stuck at the shore and a too-long ebb tide.
Today, with the weather temperature rising, it's no longer comfortable to work at home. Although to be honest, working has been a pain lately, with the daily wrestling against my selves that want to run off into the wildforest. Exactly like herding cats. So I'll take a pinch from the budget and check myself in into a coworking space (free coffee, airconditioning, wifi, wide windows, ample table space, quiet).
I'm bogged down by a lot of things lately and I want to un-bog myself.
I'll sign off on this post with an #artvsartist collage that's been going around again among artists.
I gave in to the hauntings, and puchased a passport -sized Traveler’s Notebook. Right now it has three notebook inserts — two original Traveler’s and one Field Notes. The first notebook will hold my 100-day project for the year which will be 100 field note entries from the Wildforest. It will be a play and experiment with words and images and storymaking. The second notebook will hold, as the title hints, Rambles, Fragments, Seeds, & Stumbles. The third notebook, which is the Field Notes one, is a more practical notebook of lists. I started off with a list of all things that I buy and which I plan to improve/evolve to become more conscious towards sustainability, health, animal cruelty-free, and less plastic waste.
The small size is perfect for being able to finish, and more forgiveable to mess up.
Meanwhile I am not working as much on the Sketchbook Project as I should. In the end I may not even have the postage fee for it. We’ll see. But I like how it’s going so far, and it has in fact been the inspiration for the 100-day project I’ll begin as soon as I finish the Sketchbook.
I’m still doing a dayjob project on the side so my energy is largely spent on dayjob tasks and dayjob anxiety. But I’ll be opening up my Commissions service soon so maybe I will be able to do more paid creative work in place of the dayjob work. That should be less painful to do...right? 😆
I stayed away from social media yesterday except Twitter and Instagram in the late evening.
So, the cramps were gone but then a migraine had taken its place for most of yesterday morning. Then last night it was all-out insomnia that did not let me sleep until 3 AM. I'm not certain what my body's telling me. What's certain is I still haven't progressed as much as I wanted and needed with the dayjob report. So I will restart the whole thing today. For most of Saturday I was plastered in bed or on the couch, held hostage by many aches. When I fall asleep I sleep like the dead, long and deep. My dreams have been strings of seemingly related convoluted impossible scenes, but all with a theme of getting things in order, finding what has been lost or missing, cleaning up messes, and many confrontations.
Yesterday I had a small social event that lasted the whole day. It was, I think, a break from everything that I sorely needed. I still need a follow-through but it was a good start to reset the coming week.
It has been a long hard heavy week. I can't seem to get out of being tired of it all.
The social event was a get-together among three artists so it was an Artist Date. A lot of delicious food was involved, and visiting art supply shops.
The art supply shop visits naturally resulted in a few purchases.
We chanced upon a beautiful exhibit by a Filipino artist, Elmer Dumlao. He left an advertising career to fully embrace art-making -- definitely a path I am working to carve for myself.
The evening concluded with a Japanese meal for dinner.
Today is a holiday but I'm going to do some dayjob work. Let's hope I make good progress.
At this very moment I am at a cafe, with lots of natural daylight but also airconditioning that tempers the soft beginnings of a summer weather. I ordered a cappuccino, while sending a quiet thanks to the person who sent me coffee money.
I’ve had to get out today to soothe the frustration of a plan gone awry.
I was all set with my packages to go to the post office this morning. But when I woke up I had cramps. I also had to finish one more hour of video data review for a short report I’m due to send today. The morning passed with me curling with cramps in my chair while doing the data review.
So, by lunchtime I was felling better though worn down a bit. I prepared a large bagful of Things — the packages for mailing, my work stuff, my journal, survival kits. Then I couldn’t get a cab — for some reason it was high-demand-high-fare period and no vehicles were within the area willing to take my fare. Too far to walk or I would have walked it. I tried for half an hour, nothing. Then I thought if I got there I might have a hard time getting a ride back — and pay more. Which would totally defeat the whole point of shipping orders to earn money because all the money would go to the transport fare. So, change of plans. Move the post office trip to Tuesday morning (because Monday is a holiday). But proceed with going out to somewhere walkable, and get the other tasks done outside of the house, with brighter surroundings, cooler temperature, and an easy slip into a small Artist Date afterwards. I need some cheering up!
So here I am at a “third-wave” coffee shop that, of all days, did not have my favourite sausage rolls available. I’ve just finished and sent the short report on the video data review. I have one more dayjob task to get done and then I can “shut down” on the hard money work for the day. It’s 3:40PM. I should be able to swing it. (Let’s hope the cramps stay away. I can feel them lurking.) Worst-case scenario, I extend the dayjob task work to tomorrow morning and submit the promised document by noon. We’ll see. I’ll get it all done eventually.
Interestingly I recently started reading Ursula K. Le Guin’s version of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. And it speaks much of doing without doing yet everything gets done. I need that kind of energy flow. I’ve been too wound up lately, being so pressured into performing and delivering on so many things.
How is your Friday going? Not much of a Fri-yay for me, hahaha!
I'm behind, hahaha!
I've overestimated my own energy supply as well as underestimated the time it would take to get the tasks done. I keep forgetting I'm no longer in my twenties (my motto then was: I'll sleep when I'm dead, now it's more of I'm dead-tired I want to sleep)!
Still, a lot gotten out of the way. The hardest was completing and submitting drawing drafts for a commission project. However it taught me a few things on how to do my commissions in the very near future (watch out for that page soon).
As of today I am behind on a couple of dayjob tasks. I had to put the post office errand on priority because there's an Etsy order in it. I'm also late with sending out Patreon rewards so I'll ride a few on the post office trip.
My to-do list for the remaining two weekdays are:
I have a small social event on Sunday which I'm looking forward to. Wondering if I should just ride all my other going-out errands on it (artshop and office supply, a few basic clothing and personal care necessities, a few groceries) or make a separate solo trip on Saturday. I also feel like maybe work in a cafe tomorrow after the post office errand. I could use the change in scenery and certainly more natural daylight! I recently received some coffee funds so maybe I will. ^_^
This post is primarily an answer to a question that was asked of me.
It is not the first time I have been asked this question. In the past few years that I have embraced my art-making and story-making I have received incredulous reactions to my "productivity". The question is usually how am I able to make the time to make?
Last week I read a post by Joanne Harris on Twitter that basically sums it up:
Joanne even had another related post on how she gave up house chores and in the process she had a messy house but 18 novels.
It will vary with each person. Even for the same person, it can vary on what you can give up at a given moment. It's not just one thing. Maybe one or more major things and then a lot of little things that make up a day.
When I decided I want to be an artist it was a life decision. I was just two years into freelancing and still received employment offers because of my dayjob skills. But my desire to be an artist is a soul call that outweighed the call of financial stability and security. I gave up more than one dayjob opportunity. I stuck to being freelance. When I have dayjob projects I screen them for value in terms of money and time and energy. Even if it will pay me a lot (and they rarely even pay enough), if it will cost me too much recovery time because of the intensity of mental, physical, and emotional demands, I say no. (The saying no part is very hard. I believe one has to literally reach a certain age to be able to do it well.)
I gave up an old lifestyle and status that were largely based on the expectations of others. I became clear on what really mattered to me on a day-to-day basis. I overhauled my way of faith and trusting in the Universe (or God, or whichever belief system you subscribe to goes here). I redefined every rule I ever learned or lived by ever since I became an adult.
I gave up people and relationships. I kept those that are truly alive and that keep me authentically alive. This meant less obligations, less duties. And if I would really rather stay in on a weekend than go out for a meal (or even attend a reunion) I don't get judged or guilted.
I gave up traveling, and a lot of big-ticket spending. I have been working on zeroing all debts. I gave up the things that would keep me in debt (credit cards, home loans). This meant I don't have to work so much and for so long for a lot of money. This meant I can use time to make art. I still want to travel but I want to do it for the right reasons and with means that are true to the path I have taken.
I gave up "shopping" and "retail therapy". I buy what I need when I need it and I pay in cash. I still indulge from time to time but these are meaningful (and eventually useful) indulgences. Like books and art materials. Like a nourishing delicious meal. I've trimmed my closet and accessories to essentials that I get to wear every week and also feel and look good in. I have hopped off the trend train long ago. I buy items that will last as long as possible. I repair as much as I can. I buy local and from small business as often as possible to help out others who are like me. I also realised I don't need as much retail therapy when I am making art.
My dayjob work is very taxing mentally, physically, and emotionally. The nature of the work I do for money goes against many of my own values but I am also breadwinner for the household (parents and sibling) so I still have to compromise a lot. When I have a dayjob project there is a battle that goes on. The dayjob spirit tends to choke the creative spirit so I often need recovery days. I have been trying to find a good "balance" for the past six years but I have yet to find one that works more than once.
What's working for me now whenever I have a dayjob project:
It may also help to mention that I am very much an introvert. I don't have very active social circles or activities. I don't spend a lot of time chatting online either. My social media is mainly for sharing and creating content. I limit my online interaction and engage only when necessary. In real life I go out with friends less often than once a month. My own parents and sister are introverts so on weekends we also tend to be in our own spaces and get together about once or twice a month for half a day each. So all supposed "social" hours are instead put into creative time. That could also be a variable.
It's a bit funny because I often feel I am not as productive as I should be. I do Asian drama marathons as well as reading marathons (but I have to say, these do a lot to inspire my art-making). I spend time doing nothing -- when everything just goes blank and empty and needs to take a long pause. I like my sleep, taking my eight hours' worth at night and naps in the afternoon. I have my totally lazy days when I let go of all attempts at being productive.
My Instagram sometimes looks like I have an ideal life but I scrape by day to day. The not-too-hidden price of my creative productivity is also the occasional panic on whether I will meet next month's rent. Every year I think about taking back one of the biggest things I gave up -- the monthly security of a regular paycheck. It has been eight years so far.
I hope this post helps. :)
I have started on the Sketchbook Project. But I have also braced myself for the possibility of not being able to complete it on time.
Yesterday I started on a "strict" implementation of a plan to be able to to do, well, everything. The first good thing is that the dayjob project has a decent timetable for once, so I am able to manage it better. What I've done is this:
- I assigned the morning, which is my most productive, awake, and alert time of day, to getting dayjob matters done. This can extend up to two hours after lunch.
- The rest of the afternoon is assigned to studio work, with priority on the "shoulds" such as shop orders, commissions, and shop admin. The Sketchbook Project falls here because it has a deadline set by someone else.
- The evening, if I still have the energy for it, or if I am particularly inspired, is for personal creative works such as the storymaking (painting and/or writing). If I am too tired but really moved to create, I make space in the very early morning before I start on the dayjob (The key is to get the dayjob started within the morning because I can get more done in two-three morning hours than if I spend a whole afternoon and evening on it.)
There was a lot I was not able to do, but also a lot I got done. But I have to acknowledge that there is still too much I need to do in a day. Yet I have to make it a daily practice to challenge the dominance of the dayjob in defining my days.
Today I am supposed to do two specific dayjob tasks and then stop when they're done, and leave the next step for tomorrow. Since I woke up later than hoped (I had a bit of insomnia), I may have to extend the dayjob hours into the mid-afternoon, but still have the late afternoon (and daylight) to do studio work.
My body clock is very sensitive to the dayshifts so I have to pay attention. If I keep pushing myself out of my natural rhythms I only weaken myself further. This is not about comfort zones. This is about listening to my body and making sure I am in the best condition to do what I need to do. I am not a young person in my twenties. I have to take care of myself.
Yesterday I dealt with a handful of dayjob tasks that took all morning. After lunch I fixed my calendar for the week, moving schedules about in an attempt to estimate my own energy supply, budgets, and patience. The point is not to let myself spend time nor money nor energy unnecessarily. So listening to myself is crucial for the minute-by-minute decision on what to do next. Forcing to get a task done when my brain has shut down, or when I am thoroughly blocked in one way or another, is a waste of effort. (This is why I hate unreasonable deadlines.)
There are studio tasks that are as important as getting the dayjob done and yesterday I was able to hit multiple targets with a single stone. A warm-up that is also a project getting done that is also a long overdue token that is also how the wildforest finally extended one of its infinite hands to meet me halfway.
I have two more drawings to finish this afternoon, after the dayjob tasks. Then it's another attempt to draft the drawing for a commission. Then it's going back to the Sketchbook Project and maybe finish a page for progress.
I am optimistic I'll do even better than yesterday. I have to be.