I’ve noticed that when I was younger I spent a lot longer stretches of time at the drawing table. When I was breaking in to comics, I would wake up at 4am, work part time at Starbucks until 10am, then hustle my day away at the drawing table until 7pm or later. That grind life, bruh.
Yeah, those days are gone. But, I’ve figured out one thing recently. Those days aren’t supposed to be around forever.
I make better art, faster, where I am in life now. Why? Because when I was younger I spent the energy to develop the skills to do so. This doesn’t mean I’m the best. It doesn’t mean I won’t get better. But it takes quite a bit of energy to get up to altitude. Once you’re there it still takes time and energy, but not at the level to overcome the initial inertia.
There are different reasons why I can’t sit for uninterrupted stretches at the desk. Some of it is family responsibilities (I didn’t have a kid back in the grinding days..bruh.) Some of it is being 46 instead of 26. And some of it is I’m handling more things business-wise. Promotion, taxes, planning, publishing–there’s a lot more moving pieces now. And it’s still just me for the most part. One guy wearing different hats.
Routines change. Things develop. Moving forward isn’t tidy and neat. I’m still figuring out how to make things go more efficiently. And trying not to stress about it.2