Posted on | November 22, 2010 | No Comments
Posted on | November 19, 2010 | 2 Comments
Posted on | November 17, 2010 | No Comments
Here is a little palette fun inspired by a walk along Chapman Creek. (Can you find my shoes?) I hope you are all having a wonderful day!
*Download the Adobe Illustrator palette here.
Posted on | November 15, 2010 | 6 Comments
The house is on chilly side and Jack is on the feverish side, so my left arm and hand have been commandeered to be his pillow while he watches cartoons.
It’s slow and tedious and I’m feeling a bit guilty that both arms aren’t comforting, but I just realized that today is the second ‘anniversary’ of my last day of my last ‘real job’. The last day of a designated desk, co-workers, tech support. To mark the occasion I thought that I’d pop the laptop open and do my best to capture my thoughts.
Hopefully the laptop doesn’t slide off the couch, cause then I’m really hooped.
But this awkward little situation I find myself in is pretty much the best metaphor that I can think of for how having a baby has changed my life. Instead of having said desk, co-workers, tech support, I have to do the best with what I have. One arm. Sick kid. Weird British puppets. Attention constantly divided. Not the most ideal of working conditions. I think this was my biggest fear on my last day of work.
Why bother; Try again later; I give up; The voices that I have to constantly fight against. But really, they’re voices of perfectionism and if anything, having a kid makes me realize that perfectionism is unobtainable and counterproductive. Kid gains a point.
So I’m determined that this little article will get done. And so will all of the other projects that I’m working on. Paintings will get finished, just maybe not in the weekend it used to take me. Illustrations will resolve themselves. Productivity will happen as long as I have one hand free.
I wish that I could have told myself this 2 years ago on a cold night walking home with a bag full of my personal stuff on the final loot of my desk. It would have been reassuring. Better yet, I wish I could have told myself this for all of those times I ignored and procrastinated on goals because the situation wasn’t ideal.
I sort of wish that I could skip ahead another 2 years to reassure myself that I’ll still be able to get my work done when my other arm is filled by baby #2 when she arrives in March.
Yeesh. Maybe I should start the training now to type with my toes.
(Updates from later in the evening: the illustration was completed with both hands. Jack’s fever broke just before bedtime. I realized that I’m wearing the same maternity pants that I was wearing 2 years ago today.)
Posted on | November 15, 2010 | 2 Comments
Another Monotony Monday: a pretty pattern of my daily drone.
Jack’s reaching the point where he wants to colour. All the time! So fun and great that I can bring out all of the art supplies that have been ignored for so many years.
Happy Monday all! I hope that your day is full of colour too.
Posted on | November 12, 2010 | No Comments
Posted on | November 9, 2010 | No Comments
I’m feeling a bit swamped by my to-do list lately. That kind of swamped that makes you want to throw it all in and go to sleep. The freelance is getting in the way of the art, which is getting in the way of the household stuff, which is getting in the way of the blogging, cleaning, appointments…blah blah blah.
This isn’t anything special or interesting and I’d still, deep down, rather have a full schedule than an empty one.
Like a lot of people I have to stop myself and write it all down, or in this case, put it in my Google Calendar just to keep it straight, or at least keep it on my radar. If you’ve asked me to do something lately, but haven’t seen it come to fruition, you can be guaranteed that it’s there. When it will be checked off is another story.
When the list is this large, I refer to a few strategies to tackle it. Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years when my inner procrastinator is throwing a tantrum over my to-do list. Most of these tips were learned while in school for programming (another post) but still applies to pretty much everything.
Getting through the to-do:
- Start small. Do the smallest/easiest/fastest/funnest task on the list first. Check! Done! Hurrah! Getting that first thing checked off the list gets the momentum going. While it might not be the most important thing on the list, it can get the ball rolling.
- Stress Test. As your eyes go down the list, what is the task that makes your gut wrench a bit. Identify and accept that this could be the procrastination trigger and tackle it first. Once you’ve completed the stressful task, everything else just seems easier. (see #3 if it’s not that easy…)
- Break it down. Sometimes the tasks on the list aren’t really a task, but a project and a project can be overwhelming, especially if time is limited. If you keep skipping over an item on your to-do list because you don’t have enough time, or concentration, or aren’t sure where to begin, break the project down into smaller, quantifiable chunks and write those down. A few of those tasks completed will help you get the larger goal accomplished and sometimes if you really get into the project, the completion will come because you’ve been able to get over the mental block.
- Simplify. Write down your list as if you were explaining it to a 10-year old. This is a great technique for when you’re feeling completely overwhelmed. It takes a bit longer to break the tasks down in to instructions, but no matter how stressed or distracted you are, you inner 10-year old will be able to follow the instructions to completion.
- Set a timer. Whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, having a time limit will help you concentrate. Turn off all distractions and challenge yourself to get as much done as possible in this self imposed deadline. Also time your breaks if you decide to include those.
Insightful, hilarious and sometimes sombre, To-Do List by Sasha Cagen is a great look at our to-do lists and what they say about us, from our day-to-day tasks to life time goals. This book is great and anyone who finds it around my house is instantly engaged. Happy Tuesday!
Gotta go. Stuff to-do.
Posted on | November 8, 2010 | 2 Comments
My favorite, go-to, roasted root vegetable recipe:
-pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
-chop veggies into large yummy chunks (yams seem to cook faster, so make them a bit larger)
-add whole cloves of garlic
-put in a casserole dish
-mix olive oil, spoonful of curry paste, salt and pepper and pour over the veg; mix well
-cook covered for 45 minutes; uncovered for another 15 or until soft
-Yom! Happy November!
Posted on | November 5, 2010 | No Comments
Posted on | November 4, 2010 | No Comments
Some recent work for the Vancouver Concet Co-Operative. Check out their site to get tickets for the January performance!
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