I'm going to make an honest confession. When I don't have classes that force me to be have like a human, I have a horrible sleeping schedule. A really terrible sleeping schedule. I wake up at 3p.m., work til around 2:30a.m. and then spend the next three hours trying to go to sleep. I'm all turned around.
This wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't heavily dependent on sunlight, social interaction, and overpriced coffee drinks with a heart in the foam served to me by someone with at least three tattoos. You see, I'm usually working from home, and while I can set an alarm to wake me up at a specific time if I have a time when work NEEDS to be in, for the most part, as long as it's turned in on that date, I am fine. This means I keep hours that most working professionals would scoff at and wait til weekends to pick up my mail, since by the time I've done my 'morning' chores, bathed, and put on clothes, the mail center at my apartment complex has closed (winter hours end at 5:00PM on weekdays). My morning chores usually include some warm up drawing (or finishing work for the night before), checking email, sending emails, and cleaning up after cats.
Other downfalls of this near night owl schedule include my prime business hours being from 8:00PM-12:00AM, the sinking feeling that all I do is work or sleep, and a lack of in person social interaction. I do not promote this state-of-being at all.
Every night, I attempt to go to sleep with the best of intentions. Try to go to bed early. Try to wake up at a decent hour. And every 'morning', I wake up thwarted. Alarms mean nothing to me, without the dire threat of 'lateness' hanging over my head. I could sleep through the apocolypse, so long as my bedroom cold and my blankets snug.
And while I'm making damning confessions, I might as well admit that I, like many artists, wear pajamas all day while working on many an occasion. I promise you that they are clean pajamas, and that I did indeed shower that morning and have also brushed my teeth, but they are pajamas none the less. Since I do the majority of my work on the floor, it makes sense that I work in something comfortable. Today I was feeling swank- I wore a jersey tunic and a pair of leggings. This is in stark contrast to my 'going out' attire (which is worn any time I leave the apartment or someone comes over), which is usually a dress, heels, stockings, and a sweater.
And another- I usually survive on coffee milk alone until around 7:00P.M. Wellll...coffee and hazelnut chocolates. I do love eating, and I enjoy food, but I don't necessarily dig cooking or washing dishes. I also tend to be fairly single minded while in the zone, so stopping to eat a real meal doesn't usually come to mind.
As bad habits are hard to break, and I'm doing my best to break these. I set alarms for 30 minute intervals between the hours of 7:30 and 11:00, I schedule social interaction (because if I didn't, I'd just work forever), and try to be satisfied when enough is enough. As artists, many of us have the unsavory trait of constant and complete dissatisfaction with self, which is counter productive to growth. In order to flourish as artists, we need to figure out these counter productive traits we've cultured, and work towards a more positive work ethic. Your schedule should help you produce art, not cram you into a depressing cycle.
What are some bad work habits you'd like to break? What's your ideal workday like?
Friday, December 21, 2012
Vigilante comic artist, illustrator, and comic craft blogger at www.nattosoup.blogspot.com. I have an MFA from SCAD in Sequential Art, which means I'm highly educated in the art of drawing funny picture books. I specialize in comics aimed at young girls, and enjoy the finer things in life- seinen manga, whiney autobio graphic novels, and science fiction.