Aug 27, 2013

Taking a Break and other plans

Dear followers, readers, friends and whoever reads this.

I decided that it's time for a break from illustration work.
What that means: I won't be taking official illustrative commissions for the moment, until...I don't know.

Reason is that after two years trying really hard to establish myself as an illustrator commercial-wise and creating art for others, I feel like I have lost most of my motivation to make art/illustrations in general.

Being an illustrator means so much more than just making art, and I guess I'm not that good at the business side. For's pretty hard to cope with companies and clients. People I don't know and 'suddenly' have to work for. Usually the expectations are different (than I thought) and it takes a lot of effort, energy and social skills to know beforehand what people really want from me as an illustrator or to fix the balance later on.
Even when last year I got almost no commissions at all, it still got me stressed whenever a client contacted me. I prefer to establish a bit more personal and stable relationships with people in real life, I think. I don't have a problem to create work for people I already know because usually I have a good understanding from what they want and they know what I'm capable of. Unfortunately, these days it's more common to not know your client that well and to accept a commission based on a small amount of info. It's something I'm not good at and brings me a lot of unhealthy stress.

From the other perspective as well: I just took on any commission that came to me because, well because they are scarce so I took on everything. I don't have the luxurious position to choose because I need the experience and money (well the latter a bit less because of a side job, but it's important nonetheless).
Since I'm still a starter I didn't and still don't know everything that is important to me and how to make the right choices. But I do know now that some things are too much and that I should take my time to consider what is good for me and what kind of work fits me personal-wise, instead of taking on everything.

Of course I had good, even great, experiences as well and I'm happy to have had them and to have learned from everything the last years.
And to make sure: it's not like I'm going to stop making art. And I won't stop with my more-recent graphic design work either. But I need some time to get my Petra-has-inspiration-and-wants-to-make-art-mojo back. I think that motivation is the most basic thing you need to do something, so without that it just won't work. I am planning to start creating art for myself, stuff that I like and get excited from (I want to try to paint big paintings again!) and maybe create more merchandise like cards or other goodies to sell.

Next to that: we are moving back to Groningen and will officially live there from October on. I'm very happy to live back in the neighborhood of my family and some friends again. It's another thing I learned last years: so important to have 'your' people close because..well..humans: we need others, to have fun and share things with. And also: to live in a city. Because there's so much more to do and it's probably easier to learn new people that are alike. I'm so excited :)!!

Hopefully none of you is really too much surprised or disappointed from this news. I think I didn't know myself that much, but at least I know a little bit more now. We'll see what happens after the break :).
Thanks for reading,