Go Back to Sleep

Strange day — the day after Father’s Day. I woke up and felt like I’d been hit by a metaphorical bus. I hadn’t managed to get enough sleep, and the sleep I DID get was restless.

Today isn’t a performance day, though, so I could afford to go back to sleep. And I needed to, but I still toyed with the idea of staying awake. My amazing wife settled that dispute and SENT me back to bed, like one of our kids. And she was right to do so.

I have time. So do you. Go back to sleep. You’ll feel better.

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Compounding Catharsis

I love the feeling of “flow.”

When you lose track of time, push yourself really hard, and while the work is still challenging, you start to solve problems on what feels like autopilot.

It’s an amazing feeling, and I wish everyone would experience it. Sadly, not everyone does. They find their soothing moments in television or drugs. I find my catharsis by working on something that I love to do.

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A New Approach

I finally moved on to Nicolaides’ version of gesture drawing from The Natural Way to Draw today — and I really enjoyed it. It’s much more energetic than I’m used to drawing gestures, and I feel like I managed to make some really good marks on the page, even though they’re a bit messy compared to what I usually do.

Just being able to let the gesture flow out of my arm based on what I was “feeling” in the gesture was an incredibly interesting exercise.

I also started a new graphite piece, but didn’t make enough progress on it to post anything worthwhile.

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Art Management

Working on projects for clients can take up more time than you expect. At least it has for me over the past week. I have yet to miss a day of art-making, but the home stretch of the commissions ate up more time than I thought it would.

Fortunately, I’ve finished the first round of private commissions and actually made the time for a bit of practice today instead of working exclusively on a finished product.

Back to the drawing board. 🙂

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Work Rhythms

Yesterday I mentioned going analog for my planning. Well, that’s still awesome, but today I tried to do something with one of my favorite digital tools.

It’s a timer app on my phone called Clockwork Tomato. It’s a Pomodoro Timer (for the Pomodoro Technique) that you can set up to remind you to get up and move at certain intervals.

I can usually only find deep focus for about an hour at a time, and I like to get up and stretch quite a bit, so I have MY custom little timer set up to go off every 19 minutes for a 1-minute stretch-and-drink-water break.

Every three rounds and I get a 15-minute break to stretch out on the floor, do some light exercise, go for a walk in the woods around the cabin, or read a little bit of a book — then I’m back at it!

I love the simplicity of the technique. It keeps me energized, focused, and limber. Most importantly, it gets me up out of the chair! Rhythms are important for more than gesture drawing, they’re essential for maintaining your health, posture, and energy.

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Analog Geek

I really love technology. I love finding apps and programs that make my work easier. I love to tinker and create templates and checklists and systems…

But I decided to try something new today. Instead of typing out my morning journal and planning…I did it on paper. With my fountain pen, because I can’t COMPLETELY un-geek.

And you know what? It was incredibly effective. By not cracking open my laptop and letting 5 tabs open up in the middle of my writing…I was able to get it done in record time. By slowing my thinking enough to WRITE it by hand…I was able to think more clearly.

Now — I’m a convert. Or a revert. I haven’t done hand-written journaling in about 3 years, but I will be from now on.

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Not a Mechanic

The starter went out…and I tried to fix it.

I learned a valuable lesson while trying to fix the starter in my car, though…I’m not a mechanic! I’m pretty good at tinkering with things, doing minor repairs to my vehicle, being MOSTLY self-sufficient.

But I’m not a mechanic, and the starter is a very difficult part to reach in a cramped engine bay. So I decided to hire a mechanic.

That’s a good thing to do, honestly. I spent half of my work day yesterday failing to repair my vehicle. How much more bandwidth would I have had if I’d just outsourced it to someone who was more efficient, more effective, and just overall better suited to the job?

Probably a lot. Just a thought.

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Welcome Home

I got home from vacation yesterday at approximately 430 am. And promptly went to sleep. I didn’t get to follow my regular protocols for the drive home, so I needed a day of recovery.

That’s hard to pull off with kids! But it’s nice to be home and back on track.

I’m very much an introvert, so I love being at home, I love my solitude. I love quiet time to sit and think. I’ll be pushing for more of that in my life over the coming months.

How about you? Do you prefer to be around crowds or to sit in a quiet room with a sketchbook? I’ll take the sketchbook, please!

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