Monday, June 04, 2012

The Importance of the Occasional Break

This week, I am in lovely Orange Beach, enjoying a little sand, sun, and down time. The weather is fantastic, and although I'm here for the R&R, I've still packed a little work to keep me productive. By and large, my time has been spent on the beach, absorbing nature's finest vitamin D, doing a little sketching, and a lot of reading.

In the comic community, there is a tendency to overwork oneself. This is largely necessary- many of us are self employed, and no hustle means no paycheck. We surround ourselves with likeminded folks, equally motivated self starters who are our companions and our competition, people who inspire us and unintentionally crack the whip. This environment makes for a hamster wheel mentality- we always run for a goal that perpetually moves further in the distance. All hustle and no play makes Bec a dull girl, and a little break from the daily grind can whet one's appetite and replenish one's stock.

You don't have to hit the beach to recharge your batteries, any change of environment can spur inspiration. If your purpose is to restock your store of inspiration, a daytrip to a national park is an affordable option that's snorkle-optional. Other fun options include visiting a neighboring city instead of your usual hotspot, exploring the historic district in your own homebase, hitting the zoo, or just spending the day at the local park.

The whole point in taking a break is to take a break from work, so while your sketchbook is optional, don't load yourself down with to-do's on your list. If necessary, disconnect yourself from the net, and throw away the yardstick you use to compare yourself with others. Your break is wasted if you're trying to fill a quota. If you've only got a day to spare, make it count. Turn off the cellphone, bring only the bare essentials, and have fun.

Sometimes we need a reminder that its ok to have fun. Summer tends to be a busy time for artists- convention season's in full swing, schedules go haywire, and the heat forces many yo adopt a more nocturnal schedule. If you can grab a free day to enjoy guiltfree, do it. There's no telling when you'll get another chance.

EDIT: On my way back now. I would say fully rested, but an 8 hour drive really takes it out of me. Can't wait to upload the loads of reference pictures I'vr taken to my Flickr.