For a few evenings, I sat on the couch with a brand new sketchbook and a random pile of markers, pens, pencils and charcoal. I wanted to see where my mind and the use of these materials would take me. Over the last few years, I've been complacent with personal work. I've been finding myself concentrating on commissioned work heavily which I am grateful for but missing out on the experimentation process that I always loved and what has helped me continue to grow as an artist. As a result, I've felt somewhat uninspired more times than I prefer to be. We all get uninspired occasionally - that's part of the gig. But it becomes a hazard and really can kill momentum especially if it continues over long periods of time.
If you're churning out piece after piece for client work and not spend an equal amount of time (in my opinion) creating work and experimenting for yourself, you may end up being more and more lax in your work which will translate into your business. Further, while I think being an illustrator is the bee's knees, it does get tiring treating my creative life continuously as a sort of commodity. I am under no illusions of how people out in the world view art or illustration, even some clients unfortunately. I, of course, view it much more personally and put my life into this and not in a 9 to 5 way.
Over time, remaining enthusiastic about working sometimes wanes - and this could be the death of an illustrator. No matter if the subject matter changes daily and the stories and projects of varying interests pass the drawing table, if you feel like you're just hacking and slashing away daily, you're going to die as an artist. That's why I need to do this sort of thing.
At least this has been my thinking lately - and it really hasn't anything to do with this kick ass woman, Agent T. I have no idea why she is Agent T right now or if it will even develop. I've had a great time creating this series and I learned *SO* much from doing these few. It was the first time in a while I was geeked up about messing around in the sketchbook.
"Agent T - The Next Gig"
(Click on the image to view larger version to be able to read the story.)