chairs and sign

Monday night we spent a little time with some friends in the industry, trading gossip, war stories, and news, and it left me feeling a little sick to my stomach. I know that times are tough out there, but the more bad news I hear, the more discouraged I get. This business is cyclical in nature, and having lasted through three recessions since joining the full-time workforce (exiting college right in the middle of one, no less) I know that this will be the way of things until I retire or give up and go sell insurance.
This one has me more worried than the last two, and that’s probably because I’m wired into the scene a lot better than I was in ’93 or ’01, and a lot more knowledgeable about the economy, our country, and my insignificant place on the edge of the whole mess. Work is scarce, jobs are even harder to find, and the money that people are spending is net 120 at best, so I’m holding on to what I’ve got for dear life and hoping we can ride this one out.
Compounding my worry was a rough time I was having with a project at work, which seemed to be dragging onward with no resolution. I’d sketched and sketched and between fifteen or so pages I had three distinct approaches, but I was having a hell of a time getting them to flesh out onscreen. At times like this it’s easy to get into an “I suck” mentality, which becomes self-defeating (and self-prophesying), but I’ve learned the hard way over the years that time and a little perspective can be an ally. I came home, helped give the baby a bath, watered the garden, spent some time with Jen, and then took another look at what I’d done. Within an hour or so I felt the quiet, pleasurable shift of things starting to fall into place, and soon I had had one solution finished, the second on its way, and the elements of the third sorted out for the next morning.
I guess the upshot of all this rambling is that even though my chosen profession doesn’t have the stability of, say, law, banking (ha), or civil service, it’s more rewarding than anything else I can think of. That feeling of the gears meshing and elements clicking together is one of the best things in the world—I’d be hard-pressed to find something else so rewarding that I could get paid to do, even when it seems like the industry is groaning and creaking and imploding around me.

Date posted: July 7, 2009 | Filed under art/design, life, photo | Comments Off on Ebb and Flow.

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