Something I am learning as I get older and grow my business is that it's not always best for me to be stuck at my desk all day every day, I find it very draining and very uninspiring. So now I am looking at different ways to work that keep me productive, but also inspired at the same time. Our final question for this 5 Creatives 5 Days series discusses working technique.
Q5 - 5. My business partner very much believes that working hard and being successful requires full days at the desk no matter what, and for many years I did too. Now I am much more inclined to step back and take a breather if I’m not feeling it and instead work in focused and more productive bursts. What are your thoughts about hard work, how do you like to work?
Beci Orpin - Illustrator & Art Director www.beciorpin.com - I think there is a natural ebb and flow, and you have to go with that. You can’t work at a super frantic pace all the time - you will just burn out. Sometimes you are crazy busy, and sometimes not. I used to stress when I wasn’t frantically busy, but now I use the quiet times to do research or take a mental health day. I still usually try and use the down time in a productive way, but i’m not super hard on myself if I dont.
Ryan Romanes - Graphic Designer www.ryanromanes.com - I would agree that working hard (at least in the beginning) is the only way of getting ahead. However, it’s also important to be reflective and make sure you’re working productively to avoid burning out. I typically work with 3 to 5 clients at once, so enjoy switching between various projects. This refreshes my mental state and triggers a new perspective that can influence ideas for other clients. Working 10 hours straight doesn’t necessarily mean you’re accomplishing more, especially in the communication industry where methods are becoming more ideas-focused over technical craft.
Taking regular short walks or going to the gym mid-day allows me to enter a fresh state of mind that sparks new ideas. If I know there’s x-amount of hours of administrative tasks I take my laptop to a nearby cafe and work from there. This has become something I do at least once a week and actually look forward to it.
Biddy will work during the day and into the night, I get all the running around and admin stuff done during the day and then start drawing at night. From about 10.30pm til 2am are my magic hours.
It is important to step back take time off and come back with a clearer head and refreshed. Especially if somethings not working. We appreciate any time we can take away from the desk. That's the benefit of flexibility and everyone reaches a point when they realise they need to do that or your physical and mental health suffers, and what's the point in that.
Adam Bryce - Photographer www.adamcharliebryce.com - its a tough one. I think about this a lot, the thing is for me, I would rather be taking photographs than anything else, so I never really have that feeling of wanting to go on holiday and sit at a beach, if I was at the beach, I would wish I was shooting. That said, I do think that if you're not feeling it then you definitely need to walk away. I still do some creative direction and strategy work, and in this case its more relevant to this question, if I don't have the answers, or things aren't feeling right, I will definitely walk away, do something I enjoy more and come back to it at a later date.
Jasmine Dowling - Typographer & Blogger www.jasminedowling.com - I always like to start the day with the intention I will stay in studio all day, but I don’t like to hold myself to that. If I finish a brief early and have a day spare sometimes I like to still go in and get creative for no outcome. That allows me to either come up with new ideas or expand my skills without any pressure of a brief or outcome. There are also days where nothing cooperates and (if the turn around allows) I just get out of the studio and do something else for the day. When it feels like I am pushing it I normally stop, do another task then return to it later with a clearer head.
I think it always depends on what you feel is ‘success’ to you? Probably in the last year I realised success is not in big clients or income, it is in being able to do what you love and actually being able to enjoy it. If you are always pushing yourself to reach tight deadlines and sitting at a desk all day you probably won’t be enjoying it as much. Where as if I can work on a project in the morning, at midday go visit the flower markets, then come back to the studio to email and finish up a project in the afternoon.. I will be enjoying it.
That's it for this months 5 Creatives 5 Days, I hope you have enjoyed the discussions so far. Next month I'm going to be talking to New Zealand Fashion Designers about Fashion Week and what goes in to making a show come together. If you have something you would like to know submit your question below, or by using my "Just Ask" box to the right of this blog post.
Have a great weekend guys!