Things are slow on the dayjob front. I've pushed it away so much that it's taking time to come back now. Like an overfrozen lake still skateable in the second half of spring that is almost touching summer. I have one sure dayjob project waiting for a schedule that keeps getting pushed later because the materials I will need for the study are still being worked upon (which means I don't have the signed approvals yet, and which means I can't charge for downpayment yet). I submitted a proposal for another dayjob project that was at first claiming to be so urgent I needed to send costs on the same day, but it is now silent without response when I sent back a list of questions clarifying a lot of missing points in the project brief. Yesterday in the late afternoon and early evening I was told I will be sent requests for proposal and cost quotations for two dayjob projects today, one for reference, the other for something that might finally run in time for me to be able to actually charge a fee and get around to paying the bills.
My feelings are generally on numb and neutral, which is a safe state because it means I can do what needs to be done without either pain or longing for something else. (Nothing overt, at least, all underground, easily ignored.)
Yet even so, it turns out that things are not instantaneously improved by my decision to cut off art and focus on dayjob. Well, the intention did open up the queries that I would usually have evaded or outright turned down (because I would rather paint and make the piece that would make my art finally gain solid foothold and start earning decent income). The timings have yet to regain their synchronicity with the need. But I believe the old charms are still in place. Just need some shaking and stirring. (I wonder how I can transfer those charms to the art work instead.)
Last night my dreams were filled with the kind of abstract office work scenario which is a lump of frenzy like a headless chicken running around panicking on an invented emergency. I woke up exhausted.
Yesterday, in the morning, after writing my pages, I allowed myself a tiny piece of paper.
It was too soon. That small allowance upset the steadiness of the day. Wormed a vein of the slightest hint of discontent and boredom and impatience through every minute that I focused on the dayjob tasks that I listed for the day. I completed the tasks but there was a taste of ire on the tip of my tongue, and my limbs were restless.
So I immersed myself into the automatic factory-style mode of editing and uploading the last batch of designs to my Society6 shop. (Hey, check it out.) At the very least it helped me regain a sense of equilibrium again.
Next experiment is to try to do one little piece at the end of day, except that my problem there is usually getting through the fatigue. I'll see how it goes later. Next experiment is to allow myself a Saturday, and the challenge there will be enduring until the next Saturday, and risking the vein of discontent slithering through the weekdays, snapping at every exposed skin, at every vulnerability.
Of course as soon as any of the dayjob projects literally begins, any art-making is out of the question. It cannot be given the thread to unravel my will and concentration for the dayjob. To rest, I will read or watch Netflix. I don't think the energy drain of shifting from dayjob to art and to dayjob again is worth it. And I don't need the art leaving lingering marks of anything on everything while I work.
I AM GOING TO GET THE HANG OF THIS. I WILL FIGURE IT OUT. It's just hard that I have to do things more than just think of them, and thus have to go through the actual consequences. Experiments are all about doing things to get results.
I owe my Patrons in Patreon a long post. But I didn't want to go in there with a half-baked story. I'll update them by tonight or by tomorrow. By then I shall have something more certain to say, I hope. Something reassuring. Because I still need their help.
You know what, I remember, and not too long ago, when I was having a hard time with the REVERSE of my situation now. My problem was that I could not immerse into my art because I could not shut off my dayjob mode -- that constant "on-call" state, and the problem-solving thinking combined with the compulsion to anticipate the needs of a client, to be on the initiative to cut short the processes (because if you are not conscientious there is an endless back and forth before things are finalised and it can get tedious). But now I could not go back fully into dayjob mode because the artist mode is an ideal state for me, and I have to break it to loosen its hold.
I'll work this out. I have to.