Having wrapped up my most recent illustration project at the beginning of the month, I've been pretty good at keeping busy during my abundance of free time. Between doodling, visiting with my sister and the new baby, working on various website updates, and assisting with a few extra-curricular design projects, I find myself going to bed each night wishing for longer days because I'm feeling so good about life that I don't want to go to sleep! I think this might be the happiest I've been in a while. Undoubtedly one of the key factors I've discovered is having things to look forward to. Whether it's on a per-hour basis (i.e. I want to read this afternoon)"or on a per-day basis (i.e, "today I want to make a doodle") or on a long-term basis (i.e."I'm going to do two more craft shows in the Fall"), setting attainable goals is essential in feeling hopeful and happy about life.
Working at the theatre Mondays & Tuesdays is great exercise for my design muscles, and I can feel it benefitting my personal design work at home. Doodling and maintaining the professional side of my little business feels great, too. And illustrating here and there as projects come along is what I've always wanted. Having so many outlets is really keeping me engaged and stimulated. It keeps the guilty feelings of non-productivity away which FEELS AWESOME.
Also--I started my nightly walks around the neighborhood (I go for 1 or 2 miles, starting at 11:30pm---the best time to walk!) and hope to get one in every night of the summer, weather depending. I find them extremely relaxing---usually I'm listening to a Harry Potter video game soundtrack which gets my imagination going. Last night I even had some ideas for how I may be able to actually make something out of my all-but completely discarded and forgotten picture book manuscript I wrote while at RISD.
Mental think time = extremely important!
I don't know quite what the summer has in store, but I sure hope it's continued productivity.