Today I tried experimenting by holding three separate creative sessions, each lasting an hour and a half and spaced out with two and a half hours in between. Each session was also to focus on a separate project, with long, medium and short-term pieces.
That experiment, unfortunately, was a total failure. The morning's session went rather well; I decided on an art style for a children's book I'd like to make, and I began preparing the digital page templates for production, after which I hastily sketched out the first page, shown above.
Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. During the second session I spent time working on the snake drawing, during which I felt as though I did not get into the open mode at all, feeling rushed to get all the bugs drawn in perfect detail and having very little tolerance for failure or floundering. I'm beginning to wonder if these recordings are starting to do more harm than good. I have been uploading them online, and I suspect that by doing so I'm placing an unspoken pressure to perform well during them, so any mistakes or hesitation is amplified. Unfortunately, I think my workplace is to blame for that, as I have in the past been criticized for taking too much time, resulting in some internal conflict.
As a result, the second session ended with several different drawings of the same thing, none of which felt satisfactory. Worse still, looking back at the results of the first session, because the sketch I made was hastily done at the last minute just to get something down before the session ended, that now felt unsatisfactory, making the first session feel like a failure as well.
For the third and final session I decided to give myself a full hour to get into the open mode, during which I would not be at my desk but simply lying in bed with just my thoughts, letting them run themselves out in hopes that I could move on from the rush and the pressure to more calm, concentrated work.
This plan backfired terribly. After some time spent glancing at the clock, I eventually fell asleep - I suspected that might happen but I had hoped that when I woke up I might be ready to work. Instead I simply felt upset, with the previous sessions' shortcomings adding their weight to this final failure, and as a result even the tiniest annoyances, be they external or my own, went off like firecrackers in my head. Only now, an hour and a half after the session started, am I finally starting to calm down.
So there is the result of my Saturday's work: two separate projects in which I probably made some progress but am too blinded by frustration to see, and a third session which ended in disaster. As much as I can reassure myself that it was all an experiment, and sometimes things like this happen, and I can't get frustrated, etc., all those words seem to stick about as well as rocks on a wall when the time comes.
I am going to take some time to just make some paper stars, then we'll see what happens afterwards. Next time I think I will stick to just one project per day.