Fighting Distraction, Fighting Boredom
It's tough for me to put in long hours at the drawing board. I get bored, I get distracted, I get depressed. For me, there are three things that are key to maximum productivity: variety of work, variety in setting, and a balanced schedule.
Variety of work:
Doing one task for 11 hours a day drives me batty. It gets monotonous and frustrating. Progress can be slow. I'm most comfortable as a cartoonist when I have several project going at once. If I get tired of thumbnailing my graphic novel, I'll pencil in my sketchbook, or ink my mini comic.
Variety of setting:
This is a step I take towards making drawing a more social event. When I lived in Brooklyn, I would draw at a friend's apartment, or in a coffee shop. Now I live in a small town in Vermont, there is no coffee shop. I've had to become creative. I've gone to restaurants, public parks and bars.
A balanced Schedule:
My weekends are the only time I have all to myself, so I really try to make some progress then. I’ve dedicated my Saturdays to Alec's 11-hour schedule.
Here's how this Saturday went:
11:30 (Damn, I slept in again) I go have some lunch at the Tip Top Café, the only restaurant in White River Junction with a reasonable vegan selection. I get there when they open and order a meal I can nibble on. My mind is most sharp early in the day, so I do work that requires thinking: writing and thumbnails. When I get bored of this, I'll switch to some inking.
2:30 I feel like I'm wearing out my welcome, so walk a block to The Upper Valley Food Co-Op. They have a small cafe area where customers can eat sandwiches or drink coffee. I purchase a vegan cookie and draw for an hour. I switch from inking to thumbnails again.
3:30 Break time! And how convenient, I'll do some grocery shopping, then some errands around town.
4:30 Now back to my apartment – another change of scenery. I work for 3 hours. I listen to various music and audio books to keep from getting bored. I write a little, but then I switch to sketching and inking.
7:30 My biggest block of work is behind me, and I’m not bored or exhausted yet! Now for a big break. I mess around on the computer and call a friend.
9:30 Ugh. I’m not eager to start work. I put in my Ghost World DVD listen to it while I draw in the other room. I do some mindless inking and plough through. When the movie is over it’s almost time for my break.
11:30 Break time, call another friend. I need support.
1:30 This is the tough work block. My brain feels a little mushy. I put on some comforting music make it through. I tell myself I sure am lucky I'm not in relationship, I'd never be able to pull something like this! Yes, very lucky.
3:30 I fall asleep immediately.