Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Momentum is a momentous thing!

"Sometimes being pushed to the wall gives you the momentum necessary to get over it!" -Peter de Jager

Isn't it amazing how momentum can feel like a momentous occasion?  

We all have huge hopes for each new day. We wake up with a fresh head. We gather ourselves together in the morning and eventually make our way to our desk. Upon sitting down, our ideas should just come naturally, shouldn't they? You'd think so! We have all the equipment, tools and our creative brains on alert. So what's missing? 

Momentum isn't about a kick ass studio space with stuff or the romantic notions we have about what our careers should look like. It's a process. It's a schedule mixed with ideas, doodles, messes, piles of paper, sticky notes and many good and not so good habits. 

It's the secret spice to getting it all done. When we get momentum, we don't want it to stop. We want to bottle it and a do a dance around it. It feels that rare! 

When we lose it, well... I don't need to remind you how bad that feels. 

I've lost my momentum numerous times in the past 5 years. Being an adult comes with hiccups and earth shaking changes. I took some of it in stride and other times I just felt like being quiet. Those frustrating times were the moments that counted. These times forced me to make decisions and evaluate everything. Now I know momentum comes at certain times and in spurts. 

"If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum." -Holly Near

One of the many concerns illustrators have is the worry of not being able to keep it all going. Freelancing is slippery state. Burnout, boredom and mistakes can be motivation killers. We dislike being derailed and we dislike the uncertainty it causes even more. People might notice that we are not a 100%! We could be found out ...because of course, we all need to appear that we are working 14 hours a day as illustrators. We worry so much about so many freelancing things. 

"One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals." 
-Michael Korda

Often we need to trick ourselves into momentum. It needs a reason and a purpose...and some cases, a theme! For me, I start small. I start with one thing. I start by creating a series of ideas. I sit down and do something...anything! By going against the grain, it often starts a new habit. 

To me, this habit is defiance. On the bad days, I twist the mood a bit. I do the opposite or I just deliberately make a mess. That's fine with me as long as it's something. 

I've learned momentum requires movement. Momentum needs to be coffee fueled, nudged and given a purpose. Momentum cannot be put off. It needs to be given the attention it deserves when it comes to visit. When life changes your plans (and it will) your brain will still force some ideas to come out. It's best to take advantage of that time even when excuses are easier to make than actually working. 

Momentum requires belief and commitment. You need to believe it's all worth it and that you can produce great things. Commitment is the glue of momentum. I may have ups and downs as an adult, but the commitment remains as a reminder that I'm on a good path however skewed and rough it may be feel sometimes. 

Happy making! And as a reminder: it's nablopomo or as many like to call it, national blog posting month. Happy blogging! 

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