Inspiration Strikes

…at inappropriate times.

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WIP of Lady with Birds. 

Woke up in a daze this morning around 6 o’clock and had such a vivid image in my head that I had to draw before going back to sleep. Needless to say, the going back to sleep never occurred, but at least I have another illustration to show for it.

Here is the finished product;

ART _01Have you ever had inspiration strike you at inappropriate times? Let me know what you think.

Thanks again!

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Redundancy and Muay Thai.

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A couple of fighters from a Muay Thai fight show

Earlier on this week, I had an impromptu meeting with my boss who asked for a quick 5 minute chat.

As a freelancer in a 3D company this can only mean one or two things: a contract or being let go. Unfortunately it was the latter.

I couldn’t say I was surprised, I had noticed how quiet the studio had gotten, the panicked look in my superiors eyes as the weeks ticked by with no more jobs should have tipped me off.

The only thing that was going through my mind was: why me?

When we lose our jobs, its almost like losing a person. A part of your identity. I had gotten used to the daily grind in our studio, letting it seep over into other aspects of my life and help mould who I am.

Because of this I think its fair to say I experienced the 10 stages of grief; shock, denial, sadness, anger, sickness, panic, guilt, loneliness and finally settled on healing and acceptance.

I don’t think it was a good week for emotional outbursts or for my poor boyfriend who tried his hardest to help me see the bright side; less work, less stress, more freedom to pursue art etc. I know its not too bad because I  have a secondary job and had some money saved up “just in case”, but that doesn’t stop you from questioning yourself and wondering where you went wrong.

No matter how many kind words people say, or how they relate to your situation, no-one can help unless you accept you need to start helping yourself.

The one thing I found did help was going to the gym, a lot.

Since the start of January, (New Years resolution, cliche I know…) both my partner and I have been going to Muay Thai.

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Boxfit Glasgow: Muay Thai Gym.

I used to go a few years ago, until life got in the way. I always remembered thinking how motivated and uplifted I felt whenever I went, whether I was making progress or helping out some of the other trainers.

This is what I’ve latched on to since losing my job. Being a part of this team has greatly helped, and punching and kicking a bag to the point of exhaustion is fantastic for getting your frustration out!

So thats what I’m going to keep doing. More training, getting fitter and focus more on myself and things I love rather than how a job can make me feel.

Maybe I’ll work in 3D again in the future, who knows. But right now, life is not as bad as I thought.

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Juggling; Not just for clowns.

Climbing mountains

Overcome challenges balancing work and fun by doing what you love. Reaching the summit of Ben Ime, Scotland, 2014.

 

 

Doing what you love as a career gives a massive sense of achievement. Everything you’ve worked towards has paid off. You’ve made it. But now is not the time to take a breather. You must keep on top of your fantastic new position by working, if possible, even harder than before.

But what does that mean for your private life?

As I have mentioned in a previous post, I currently work as a freelance 3D Architectural Visualizer. As well as a Game Artist. And in retail. And personalized portrait artist… See the recurring theme here? I’ll go in depth in a future post about what these careers entail, but essentially they have taught me to become somewhat accustomed to a finely tuned balancing act. I’ll try and share some tips that I’ve learned along the way.

1. Take a Break.

To begin with, working non-stop 24, with no breaks to eat, sleep or poop, is not the most efficient way to manage your time. Theoretically, using all the time available to you within a day might seem the logical way to go about it. Without rest your cognitive processes slow down making your work even harder. You become more irritable All work and no play makes Jodi a dull boy.

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Fooling around and visiting Der Klimm in Amsterdam

2. Have Hobbies.

Don’t ever give up something that you enjoy for a job. Other than helping take breaks and keeping mental levels on the up and up as mentioned above, this is also who makes you, you. If you are lucky enough to get a job in your field, chances are they hired you more than your clear cut c.v. Your personality and what makes you you are a major component of why you may have been employed. Losing hobbies and yourself, might make you unhappier as a person and either feel like you can’t keep up with your employment or maybe make an employer think they’ve made a mistake.
Going for a run, baking cakes, climbing mountains, even binge watching shows on Netflix (albeit in a lesser amount) will all help maintain the happiness balance in your life.

3. Look After Yourself.

All the things mentioned have been to help with your mental health, but another major factor is your physical body. Exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep. All these factors are essential in keeping a healthy body to supplement a healthy mind.

4. Be Passionate.

If you are wanting to become a master of the juggling act in taking on multiple projects, there is one way they’ll never coexist together. And that is if you don’t want to do it. If you are putting in your time, effort and your soul into some projects and not others, you’ll start to resent your time given to one, when it could go towards the other. So aim to only work on stuff that will give you a sense of achievement with clear cut advantages. Financial situations allowing.

5. Get Help.

And by getting help I don’t mean hiring other people to do work for you. But if you find yourself wasting your valuable time figuring something out when there could be someone with the knowledge within talking distance. Don’t be too proud and just admit you could use their help.It doesn’t make you any less of a person and if anything, it’ll give that person a nice boost that they could help you out.
6. Be Organised.

Im going to end on what might seem to be the most simple piece of advice; my calendar is my best friend. And I don’t mean the one on my kitchen wall. I use an electronic calendar that syncs automatically up with all my devices. This allows me to organise and see quickly everything I need to do in that day. Its great to get into the habit of waking up, checking what you need to do and setting out tasks that need to be completed on each day. Not only does it simplify everything in your own head, it also makes sure you don’t double book yourself for much needed appointments or even down time.

So there you have it. Although there are possibly MILLIONS of ways to help balance yourself in your busy life, these are the 6 major points that help me. If theres anything you think I should include or try, or any tips you can think of, please let me know and I’ll try and cover it in a future post! Also if anyone is helped by this post please don’t hesitate to let me know 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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How to lose friends and expatriate people.

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Selfish Friend #3. Paris.

Next Tuesday? Sure I’m free to hang out. Could I walk your French Bulldog Frankie? Er… yeah. Did I have Soandsos’ birthday, a four page group report and 16 Bar Mitzvahs to attend? Yep, but of course I can make time for this too 🙂

Sound familiar?

Everyone struggles with finding balance in life. This can be even more so within a demanding career. Keeping your brain fresh and your wits stimulated can only help keep the creative thoughts flowing. But why do we let ourselves be overused and overworked by people we consider friends?

Because we are afraid.

No one likes the idea of hurting someones feelings. No one likes the idea that they could somehow let people down in a way. If you don’t attend Soandsos’ birthday party, then that must mean that no-one will go. No one will share with cake and laughter. No one will bring gifts or cards. Soandso will be sitting alone, party hat askew, wondering what they have possibly done to offend you so. Birthday in tatters.

When it comes down to it, unless you are putting off performing life saving heart surgery to grab a coffee and paint your nails, being selfish is pretty much one of the best things you can do every once in a while.

Any real friend would understand the need for some much needed personal time. And if they don’t, then you don’t need them.

If you have had had the same group of friends since primary school, I would love to know your secret. From what I have experienced, either one or both of you change. Grow up. Meet new people. Get busy. Stop seeing each other so much and eventually it fizzles out.
If you find yourself putting your happiness and your needs on the back-burner, I urge you to re-evaluate these friendships. Of course you’d want to keep as many people as possible in your life. But its also reasonable to assume you might need to let go sometimes.

I am comfortable with losing friends if they don’t treat you well, don’t let you grow or if loosening the bond lets them or yourself realise your dream. But always do whatever you choose gracefully. Burning bridges make them a lot harder to rebuild.

I have several what I affectionately call “Selfish Friends”. People who understand to never hold themselves back from doing what they need to to better themselves. In every aspect of their life Liking to travel obviously has the natural downfall of being attracted to like minded people. But the issue lies when these other travellers then want to better themselves and travel. And that means away from me.

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Selfish Friend #1, Leeds.

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Selfish Friend #2. Australia.

Here are some examples of my extremely close friends who have left for new pastures.  Some I still talk to daily and some I don’t. Do I miss them all terribly? Yes. Would I turn back the clock and convince them to stay? Not likely.
This is the one time it is not okay to be selfish. It’s fine to feel anger, dismay and even extreme jealousy at the thought that your best friends could leave you. But thats also coupled with pride, happiness and yup, extreme jealousy that they are living their dreams. Its hard as f*** but you would never want to be the person to hold someone back. And all of these emotions push you to wanting to share that freedom. Get you out of your comfort zone. And hell, can make for a lot of free boarding across the globe.

Have any of you had to let someone go in order to make them or yourself happy? Have any of these people came back to you? I’d love to hear of any stories of anything similar.

Thanks for reading!

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A day in the life of a creative something something.

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ONE o’clock . Thats the time I left the office yesterday.  And if you’re thinking to yourself where do you sign up, let me clarify this. By one o’clock I mean one am. Leaving me looking this morning very much like a burst couch. With a cat on my face…

And I chose to do it.

To start, as like many of you out there, I’d like to classify myself as a creative person. And although that might conjure an image of drinking cinnamon lattes in dusky bookstores. Arguing who is really comparable to The Smiths and waiting for my flippant muse to grace me with her presence. The reality of it often is unemployment.
Or at least unemployment in your field.

I have been lucky enough to have been plucked a few months after graduating for a freelance Architectural Visualisation job. This is where I work on a monthly rolling contract for a 3D firm within the city centre of Glasgow.

I use the word lucky as thats pretty much all there is to it. If you know any one with talent, anyone at all, you’ll also know the struggle it is to get work.It doesn’t matter how s**t hot you are, how intuitive or unique. You have to assume that every one you are competing against is also as s**t hot, intuitive and unique. The difference between them and you being hired is how much you put yourself out there. And the luck you’ve got going for you at that time. Its all to do with contacts.

At university, I pretty much set myself up as a Yes (Wo)Man. And to anyone who’s read the novel by Danny Wallace or the motion picture starring Jim Carrey, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. (And if not theres definitely a strong recommendation that you do.) Essentially, you say yes to everything asked of you. Could you help me set up my class? Yes. Do you want to apply for this internship? Yes. Do you want to come for drinks with me and so and so? Yes.
People often forget that the last one is pretty much the most important. Talking to people and taking a break for yourself is one of the best things you can do to refresh your brain. People can’t live with work alone. You can also never be sure when you could meet someone that could change your life. Professionally or otherwise. Now when it comes to the rest, even if you don’t know how to do something or aren’t confident is doing so. The saying yes forces you to do it. You’ll learn. You’ll wing it. The worse that can happen is that you chime it down to a bad experience. But its an experience none the less.

Now staying till 1 in the morning because someone asked you to help out isn’t exactly ideal. But it is so rewarding. Not only do you get browny points with the higher ups (and working in freelance, where you can get let go at any minute, this is probably extremely important…), but you also get the learning experience and the chance to push your creative self to its limit.
If I never stayed late last night, I wouldn’t have woken up with the standard of work I produced this morning. And although you can be tied up with delivering deadlines and appeasing clients. Last night I took a risk, out with office hours, to try someone a little different with my image. A little bit more me. Because lets face it, thats what they hired me for.
And other people were willing to help me do it. All because I had stayed late to help them.
The risk paid off this morning with the client being extremely happy with what I had created for them. Although what I produced is extremely confidential so unfortunately I can’t share with you at this time. Taking this risk probably ensured more work from them in the future. And left me with what all creative people live for; pride in my work.

And thats pretty much all there is to it.

If anyone has experienced love for their work or a bad experience in this industry I’d love to hear it! Just leave a comment for me below.

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