Wits and Wisdom: My Life in Order...a 2022 Update
Updated: Mar 24
For most of my career, I’ve sacrificed important healthy things like sleep and exercise in order to put more hours into my art. I always thought that if I put in the extra time, I could somehow find myself ahead of all my client work and I’d finally have the time to get my life in order. That’s what I called it…"getting my life in order". Achieving this was the center of all my goals, the hope of countless failed work-life strategies, and the subject of many prayers. Because, if I could get “my life in order”, I’d finally have time to study and master color and composition. Finally release my secret personal project. Finally get back to painting on canvas. Finally learn Spanish. Finally lose that weight. Finally get seven hours of sleep a night consistently. Finally devote the appropriate amount of time to my spiritual strength, mental resiliency, and emotional health.
But then I realized something. The client work would never go away. I love my client work and I’m grateful for it…I want it to keep coming. I NEED it to keep coming. But if I waited for some gap to open up in my schedule that would allow me to get all the long-awaited things accomplished, I’d be waiting for a very long time.
So, this last year, I made some changes in an attempt to break the cycle.
At the beginning of the year, I cut off social media. This opened up a lot of time and relieved a lot of stress.
This summer, I decided to temporarily stop scheduling new projects and I’ve made a conscious decision to be very selective of the projects I take for now on. For a long time, my philosophy has been to take any job I can get. Thankfully, I’m in a position to turn things down and my schedule is still full through the end of 2022.
Two weeks ago, I decided to shorten my work day from 11 hours (roughly 7am to 6pm) to 9 hours (9am to 6pm). Those added 2 hours a day are now being spent in personal study, exercise, or added sleep. I wouldn’t be writing this post right now if it wasn’t for this decision.
For the last three years, I’ve juggled an average of 5-6 projects at any one time, though often more. To pump out that much art (while maintaining a high standard of quality), I needed every moment I could get (Change #1 was a good start). By turning off the spigot of new projects early (Change #2), I’ve been able to finish most of the backlogged projects that have been on my schedule forever. By doing this, I’ve finally brought that juggle to a manageable 3 projects at a time. And in the coming months, it should go down to a heavenly 1 or 2 projects. And if it weren’t for the lighter project load, I wouldn’t have allowed myself the personal time necessary for my continued health (Change #3). I hesitate to say that my life is, indeed, “in order”. But, for once in a long time, it’s heading steadily in that direction.
So what am I actually going to do now that my life is coming into order? If I’m able to maintain the momentum, here are some results you can expect to see from me and Wits End Studios.
Better art all around. For my clients, for my fans, and for me. I’m always trying to improve my art, but dedicated time for art education will allow me to level up significantly.
Faster progress and greater transparency...for Wits End projects that I’ve teased about, but have, rudely, under-shared.
More consistent newsletters…whether you like it or not :)
More consistent blog posts. I’ve always had too much to say…but now I’ll have the time to say it. Buckle up! These will be organized and insightful…basically life changing…if you’re an art nerd…and you don’t read much.
More items on my web store.
More personal art-for-art’s-sake art. I’ve had a desire to paint and illustrate ideas and stories that are important to me for a very long time. But this has always been put on the back burner. No more! How this will be shared, and how much, is yet to be determined :)
Six pack abs. Hahahahaha! Just kidding...I already have them. But I only show them to my wife.
Hopefully much more, but we’ll see.
So, here’s to a new year and to getting my life in order! I’ll try not to screw them up :)