So, I refer to myself as an illustrator / designer, yet I have a confession to make. I don't think I've picked up a pencil in about three months! I haven't launched any new products since father's day or even made any notes for product development ideas since May.
I have a pile of theme/trend reports for upcoming gifting seasons from Not On The High Street, which although I've downloaded, they've been sitting expectantly on my computer homescreen for some time, unopened ...My motivation has taken a serious nose dive and I'm not quite sure how to get back on track :o/
Having a mortgage and bills to pay kinda puts a dampener on free creative time. I feel like my 'design time' can't be wasted, and I should be working on things that will develop into products to sell, instead of just doodling and drawing for the sake of it / for myself / for fun, regardless of whether it will appeal to a wider audience (or even be shared), or be developed into a product to sell.
Sometimes I miss those days at college with the freedom to design and create, without the pressure of projects actually leading anywhere. You only had to impress the tutors, not actually make money from the work! Each project was a fun learning process where there were no mistakes, no 'wasted' creative time, no pressure.
Maybe I'm romanticising it a little, but all this pressure (which is self inflicted) is stifling not only my creativity, but the very basic thing that makes me an artist - my imagination.
I've looked at some old artwork from my school days and thought, how did I ever come up with such original ideas, and of course there's the dreaded comparison of oneself to other artists and designers. When they launch a simple yet absolutely brilliant product, giving me a crashing crisis in confidence, questioning, why on earth am I not coming up with genius products like that, or prolifically launching new products?!! What's wrong with me? Am I a fraud?
And in all honesty, over the summer I've had zero motivation to put any effort into my business. My social media has fallen by the wayside, and marketing or product development? Pah! While most designers have finalised their Christmas offerings, I cannot think of anything worse and have been pushing it to the back of my mind, thinking I'll surely pull something off at the last minute, as usual :(
Yep, I'm in a major slump.
I need to get back to basics and fall in love with drawing again. After all, that is the most enjoyable part of my business - actually putting pencil to paper. I just need to remember that and rekindle this love.
So this is where I am setting my intention. I'm putting it out there for some accountability. I am going to:
Allow myself and MAKE TIME to be creative. without feeling guilty about all the other chores I could be doing, whether it's my business accounts, or the dishes!
Stop wasting time mindlessly scrolling through the blackhole of time that is social media. Instead of relaxing on the sofa (or in bed!) with my phone on an evening, take a sketch book, read a book, do some colouring, do a crossword...
Get out of my studio for a change of scenery and take my sketch book and camera with me.
Finally take my new Cintiq out of its box and learn to use the thing.
Most importantly; play, not design.
Apparently it takes 21-28 days to form a habit. Well, I'm hoping this will lead to a habit of drawing regularly without forcing myself to make time to do so, and as a 'byproduct' of this creative play time, new product ideas will come naturally and product development will easily fall into place.
Do you have any tips on rediscovering your lost mojo, not bowing to life's pressure and just get back to enjoying what you do?? I'd love to hear your thoughts / advice.