Working from home requires a lot of self motivation. I've always had this, but hadn't really noticed until studying on my Art Degree course, where we were pretty much left to 'get on with it' for 3 years. No classes, one weekly lecture about nothing particularly helpful but access to a studio space 5 days a week.
Since graduating and working freelance in a similar way for over 3 years I have come to find lots of ups and downs to this way of working.
Right now, for example, I have lost my mojo.
I work 7 days a week and have done for years. During the week I work on my illustration projects and at the weekends I work as a bookseller (which is lovely). However, there is only so far you can go doing this. Every 6 months or so I seem to grind down somewhat. I still work every day but seem to achieve almost nothing. I spend days on one panel for example, never getting it right. These days start to tick by and in the very back of my mind I have the awareness that i'm not not progressing or earning any money.. this starts a sort of underlying panic. Once I get like this, whenever I sit down to work I soon work myself up into a mess.
This is when I realise that I need to take days off. This sounds like it would be easy to do, everyone likes a day off don't they? But when your work is your home, and there's always work to be done, it's very difficult to have a guilt-free day off.
During the course of a normal week I feel there is no time for an off day, but when I take into account that every 6 months I have a pretty much entirely useless month where I produce nothing of any use, I realise that this useless time should have been spread out over the past half a year in the form of regular, intentional days off. Then of course, I carry on as usual, not taking my own advice (or the advice of those around me) and the whole thing happens all over again.
One day. I shall learn.
Have a healthy work ethic kids. It will bite you in the ass later if you don't.
p.s I spent the day yesterday not even looking at any of my other projects and just drawing fun things, in the hopes it would bring me back to life a bit. I has worked a little (although I feel like two weeks away somewhere would work even better! hardyhar). The sketches above (from yesterday) are all from a version of the Norwegian Fairytale East O' The Sun and West O' The Moon illustrated by P.J. Lynch. It's a beautiful book, I recommend it!