Musings After Mid Night

It is 12:17 am Pacific time and I am sitting here ( for 18 minutes now) waiting for my scanner to finish a high-res scan of my cover artwork to Power Cubed #2.  My wife installed new system software on my computer which then in turn created the need to upgrade many of my existing drivers.  The one for my ScanMaker 9800XL has a ton of new and extraneous settings on it that I am still trying to figure out.  This appears to be a 25 (or longer) minute scan.  My hi-res scans were usually in that 5-10 minute range prior to the upgrade.  I’m sitting here hoping that I didn’t mess up the settings because if I have to re-scan this……

I realized this afternoon how rare free time in my life has been for most of the past year and so far all of this new year.  I am working full time for DC Comics (on Convergence right now) and then spending any left over time in the evenings and weekends on my creator owned book, Power Cubed.   Normally I would take that extra time and do commissions or art for prints or paint or something else art related.  But I rarely had to do it.  Now I do.  20 years ago it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Now it is tough.  I am no longer a young guy trying to make it as an illustrator, now I am a “on the higher side of middle age guy” trying to remain relevant in the industry and still grow in my craft.   Doing something you have to do is far different than doing something because you want to.

I’m not saying I don’t want to do Power Cubed, I just would rather do it as a full time gig than a part time side project that is taking up all of my sleep and recreational time.  It wears you out as you get older, that is for sure.  My mind is willing but my body is….well, you know the adage.

Such is the life of a freelancer.  You can never rest in what you are doing, you always have to be worrying about the next project.  The allure is you get to be your own boss and work when you want to.  The truth is you are subject to your client and deadlines like someone who has a regular job.  But you usually end up working more hours and don’t get overtime or paid vacations or health insurance but you do have the illusion of freedom which is really quite liberating.   Just don’t take the time to meditate on the fact that the reality of it is only in your mind.

The upside, of course, is you get to do what you love for a living and to be quite honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

PS-scan still not done (37 minutes and counting)….

2 thoughts on “Musings After Mid Night

  1. Did you every get that cover artwork scanned? Don’t leave me in suspense!

    I think any time you do deep contemplation about your life choices and goals past midnight in the midst of a technology issue you’re bound to slide toward pessimism which is how your post reads.

    That said, you’re right about freelancing. Maybe, if you weren’t good at your job DC and Marvel wouldn’t contract you as much. Hence, more free time. You’re cursed by competence, my friend (and by “my friend” I mean internet commentator you don’t know).

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to picking up Power Cubed when it comes out. I’ll pray it hits big and you get to do it full-time with an ongoing series that Spielberg reads and has to produce. Your cut of all that cross market merchandise will launch you comfortable into your golden years so you hire technical experts to fix your scanner settings while you and your wife are vacationing.

    Or something like that.

    I hope you got some good sleep.

    • I suppose we all have our “Jerry McGuire” moments. I didn’t mean the post to be necessarily pessimistic as much as realistic. The reality of freelancing is nowhere near as romantic as we imagine it being. I tried to end upbeat by declaring “I wouldn’t have it any other way”, which is true. Battling and over coming challenges, no matter how wearisome, is part of life and offers its own rewards. I will take any prayer support I can get, though:) By the way, the scan was messed up and I did it again. But I didn’t wait up. I went to bed and in the morning everything had turned out fine.

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