08 June 2011


I was talking with someone yesterday about the reasoning behind keeping numerous projects active on a regular basis, and during the conversation realised that it's not always clear as to why a lot of artists do this. I assume the reasons are different from person to person, and for me it's the result of a number of things.

The main two reasons are motivation + efficiency. The greatest benefit to having multiple projects going at the same time is that you can bounce around between them. Sometimes the paint just doesn't want to land right, so I jump over to a comic page, and so on. Other times a project can hit a wall, and rather than waste all your time stressing about the situation you can channel that energy into something else while figuring out ways to break through that wall. By doing this you can remain focused and maintain a solid output of work.

I also find it helps to balance a range of long-term and short-term projects. Long-term projects can carry a range of issues with them, which can start to weigh you down a bit if it's your sole focus. But you can lift some of that weight by diving into a new t-shirt design or commission job, which are usually more freewheeling affairs. The short-term projects provide a more immediate pay-off (financially and psychologically) which can help to keep your spirits high.

The dream projects are those that include a combination of long and short term time frames, such as the work I've been doing with Crippled Black Phoenix. The various projects that fall under that banner offer me the opportunity to spread my creative wings and experiments across different themes and mediums.

Today is a great example of that, as I started by cutting out a stencil for the exhibition, then roughed out a new t-shirt idea, and am now moving over to listen to demo tracks while working on some concept sketches. After that I'll be working on one of the inkwash illustration pieces for the exhibition, coming back to the project I started the day with. A nice full circle with some exciting detours along the way.

That's a good day right there.


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