I’m not sure how it is for you, but Photoshop projects always take longer than I expect. I have an idea and think, I can get that done in an hour tonight. But then I get in front of my computer and realize I just can’t edit a part of the project the way I’d intended or a part of my design just doesn’t look good on paper. A great example is the first issue of RED Comics; nearly every panel was a trial (although it was one I enjoyed because it forced me to troubleshoot with a lot of methods I made up on the spot [all of which–thankfully–worked]). But at most, that tacked on an extra week to the project (more like an extra day when you factor in getting home from work late and spending only an hour or two of my daily writing time on the comic).
Unfortunately, when a project gets such a tiny portion of work time, they sometimes take way longer than an extra day to complete. Especially if they’re ridiculously (and unnecessarily) complicated. Like my Yonkers 3.31.11 PDF.
Which took all of eternity to complete.
I exaggerate, but if you haven’t taken a look at the Yonkers 3.31.11 PDF yet, please do so now (right click, then download the link) and then continue reading here.
If you think the pictures are awesome, I thank you. But what I really want to get at here is that the design for the PDF (the fonts, the order of the photos, etc.) took a month and a half to finish and I can’t really tell you why–aside from maybe saying that I cycled through a bunch of different fonts, tried to make a different logo, and tackled a bunch of other completely absent concerns that had the project spinning in limbo for way longer than it should’ve been (and, of course, spending an hour a night with it [and sometimes no time at all with it] didn’t help the project’s progress at all).
So, why bring this up? What’s on my mind? It’s simple. Maybe I’m burning myself out? I recently edited my friend Kenneth Broadway’s novella manuscript (a fantastic novella, I might add) and when I handed it back he said, “Let’s actually meet and talk about this though.”
I probably made a face and said, “Well, yeah, definitely, dude. When are you free?”
To which he said, “No, when are you free? I’m not the guy who’s always crazy busy doing a million things.”
I’m pretty sure I raised an eyebrow. “I’m not that busy. I just–”
“Work with Ronin at HotMop Films sometimes.”
“Well, yeah, but–”
“And go take photographs at ruins with Felix Velez.”
“And work with Chaos Mechanica on writing and film projects.”
I remember stopping to think about it. And then saying, “Yeah… I guess I am pretty busy. All the time.”
It was a charming thing then; it was nice to think that I’m finally being as creative as I’ve wanted, but I’m starting to realize that maybe I have my hands in way too many projects at once. The divided attention is slowing everything down. But then, the question becomes, “What do I drop?” Photography? The novel? RED Comics, which I just started (even though I just bought a few DVD’s this past weekend specifically to use for issues 2 and 3)? My ink abstracts have already fallen by the wayside for years, and that’s always disappointing to me when I think about it; do I really want another interest to fall by the wayside with it?
Or am I just wasting time thinking about all of this when I should be figuring out a way to optimize my workload? … I think I know the answer to this one.