Sunday, October 6, 2013


When you're working by yourself you tend to run into the Robinson Crusoe syndrome a lot: I really enjoy doing this work, but is anyone aware of it besides myself? There is the freedom of working on whatever creative endeavor strikes your fancy, but there is also the problem of day to day motivation when the external stimuli that you usually depend on (boss, weekly paycheck, co-workers opinions,etc.) are no longer around.
(This is a new version of a painting I did a few years back)
 After I left my teaching job and was working as a freelancer in the early days of my career, this was the situation that I found myself in. I wasn't good enough to get the work yet, but I had to keep myself motivated to continually improve so that I was eventually in the work pool. Being young is a great asset to believing you can accomplish anything.

In those days, people in my situation were few and far between; most had real jobs that they went to everyday. But with the advent of the global economy and the web, more and more people who once had those regular jobs are finding that they are now what is now called  "contingency workers", essentially freelancers chained to their monitors for their existence. We probably should start teaching some classes in maintaining your sanity while working by yourself as that seems to be the new order.

(A new Emma Peel in progress)

 The best advice I can give for working in a vacuum is don't. Get out of the house and stay social. E-mails are nice, but make sure you continue that face to face contact with your cronies. Do lunch.
Take a class. Teach a class. Join groups. Unless you continue to interact with the world, you won't have much to offer it.
 Speaking of teaching, I'm starting a seminar at the local high school. Hopefully I can pass along some of the knowledge and experience I learned over the years to a new generation. I'm looking forward to it.  As mentioned before there is nothing like youth to revitalize the creative energy.

I've just finished pencilling the first Mad Mummy book, and here is your sneak preview. And that is not me as  Adam Ray; I used a lot of shots of actor Ray Fiennes as the model. (Maybe people are telling me I look a lot like him...)

There are also some illustrations I've finished recently and a couple of commissions. (Thanks, Shaun!)

Next week a visit with and a look at the career of Harry Borgman.


  1. Yes, I completely agree! I've gone from teaching full-time, to splitting my weeks between my studio to paint and teach afternoons and evenings. I crave human contact after a full of being in the studio. Meanwhile, I love that you're also teaching. I wish I lived closer, I would love to take the course, or sit in some time.

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