I posted this on my blog deal. Figured I'd repost on here since aside from my Mom (I hope) I don't think many people here visit my blog. I would really love to hear what all of you on here have to say about the subject of art time vs/and relaxation time. C&C would be great.
Artists are a motivated breed. Well maybe not in the traditional sense of what youre thinking motivation is. Maybe we dont strive to climb a corporate ladder or max out our 401ks. But Artists want eat, breathe, and live their art. We, as Artists have a desire to learn new techniques, push ourselves to new limits, be pushed by peers, and generally improve in our art. Ideally that is wonderful and every Artist should strive and achieve this goal of being the absolute best Artist they can be. But that is not a realistic or healthy goal.
Think about it for a second. At least one of your parents worked. Maybe your Father was an Accountant or your Mother was a Doctor. What if your parents did not feed you, clothe you, or take care of your skinned knees because they focused 100% of their energy on being the best Accountant or Doctor they could be? You most likely would be dead by now. At the very least you would have skinned up knees, be naked, and really hungry. So why should you and your approach be any different with your life?
Now please do not read the previous sentences and think this guy wrote a great piece for me to validate slacking off and not doing any art for 6 months. Because that could not be farther from the truth. You should stay focused and dedicated to your craft (game art I imagine if youre reading this). You should also have a balance to the process of becoming that great Artist you want to.
Achieving that balance is the hardest part of this whole thing. I recommend for those of you that like the sort of thing that you make a schedule and stick to it. It sounds lame. But 8-10 hours of crunching polygons, textures, and animations gets you 2 hours of video game, movie, or significant other time. Maybe that whole process is a bit rigid for you. Something like make a new project then take 2-4 days off and then rinse and repeat. That is the way I tend to work nowadays. Knee deep in 3D painting, sculpting, and modeling for a couple days, month, whatever. After that an appropriate (emphasis should be on appropriate) time off. Taking 1/5 or 1/6 of the time you worked on the project off is another healthy approach.
Having this balance makes you a more rounded person, candidate for a job, and also prevents you from being burnt out. Which is when youve focused so long and so much on one task or set of tasks that you have trouble finding the drive to complete those tasks anymore. That is something as an Artist pushing yourself and your art to the zenith of its potential should avoid at all costs. You can relate it to being a runner and overtraining yourself so much that you get injured and cannot even compete.
Do you art push-ups, get your artistic abilities as maxed out as possible. Just dont be afraid to relax every now and then. Please feel free to comment below on this.