No, no. This isn’t an R-18 entry. Haha, what were you thinking?! Seriously though, I think a lot of you can relate to this.

If you’ve read my personal site (the Flash one) from start to finish, you’ll know that I started web/graphics design as a hobby. I got so passionate with it at the start that I got to the point of missing meals just to learn new software or to work on a digital art work. Never in my life did I imagine I’d be doing this full-time, not just 8am-5pm full-time, but practically 24/7.

I’ve always imagined myself in a corporate setting, an artist of some sort in an ad agency or something. Or maybe even doing layouts for a newspaper or magazine. Web was a bit farther off my mind… I honestly never saw it as a money-making endeavor. After all, most of the web projects I did before were practically free (I can’t believe I charged them THAT low!), if not free. I only got real taste of freelancing with print-related projects. But what am I doing now? I’m a Creative Director for an advertising company I partly own, which focuses web-related services. And web projects probably compose more than half of what’s in my portfolio. Well, it’s not that far from what I dreamed to be doing (it’s still an ad agency), but I really never thought Web would be my focus… It was more of a hobby for me.

I’m not complaining or anything, I absolutely LOVE what I’m doing. Not many people can say that about their jobs, so I guess I’m one of the lucky few. But sometimes, I have to admit, it’s not that easy. A passion turned profession, it would seem like heaven for workaholics like me, but not quite so. There are times I miss this passion being just plain passion, no deadlines, no requirements, no nagging clients, and no revisions.

An artistic profession is probably romanticized a bit too much by many. Creating an art that actually sells might be the greatest ambitions of some. It was my ambition, continues to be, will most likely ALWAYS be. But sometimes, the realities of life just happen to take that romanticism away. Your bills become overdue, you don’t have enough for spending on luxuries, and you just happen to need money to buy medicine for your mom and sister. My dad and I go through this all the time, when we have to give up “art for art’s sake.” You come to a point where you have to bend to a client’s request, no matter how awfully ugly you think his suggestion is. Especially if he’s willing to pay more. That’s where the artist’s dilemma comes in. Either you sacrifice your art or let your family starve. You create an ugly, messy piece of work that you don’t even want to say you made for some rich guy, but your electricity don’t get cut off because you’re finally able to pay your bills.

It’s hard… My dad and I really face that dilemma almost every day. It’s really not easy when art and business have to go together. You can’t be a snooty designer insisting to the client, “it’s art,” but there are things that you can’t entirely allow, such as really horrid things like an olive green-and-fuschia-polka-dots-and-starry-starry background or something. There are times you have to put your foot down, and yet sometimes you have to give in (sometimes even for a fee). As much as I don’t want to admit it, it’s a job. Meaning, there are times that you don’t like it.

Apart from the pressure of deadlines, I got troubles at home that I have to worry about. But those troubles will only worsen if I just start feeling sorry for myself, too depressed to do anything. I know that. But I can’t deny that this is really psychologically, if not mentally, draining. I sometimes get to the point where I’m just staring at a blank Photoshop canvass, not knowing what to do. At this rate, the weekly movie dates Marc and I swore to have aren’t enough for me to relax and maintain my creativity.

Luckily, Marc and I found a way.

I’m doing traditional graphic design again. Graphic design using pen and paper.

Marc bought me the favorite tech pens I used to have (I drew often when I was in grade school and high school, particularly during class hehe), and a sketchpad. He got me pencils too. So now I have a new hobby. Marc didn’t mind buying the expensive pens. After all, drawing is doing my temper a lot of good. Hehe. I’ve been throwing lesser tantrums lately, I don’t freak out during times of deadlines anymore! And that’s a HELL LOT of improvement, I’m telling you. Haha. Ask Marc, he’ll agree with me.

If you guys also noticed, my blogs are becoming longer. Hehe. Let’s just say I’m tapping all possible venues to keep my creativity intact. A lot of people are dependent on this creativity: me, my family, my company, my partners, my clients. I can’t afford to screw it up. But now I can say I’m doing ok so far. I haven’t had any creativity blocks since I started drawing and writing again. You guys should try that. Hehe. I read your blogs too, you know. Once in a blue moon, I would leave a message. I don’t know, I’m really just not the commenting type. )

I’ll tell you guys soon what I did for my birthday, and nice presents I got. But not right now. I want to give that story justice, so I’ll dedicate a separate entry just for that. Thank you for the greetings, by the way. )

My dogs are ok… Sheero’s sweeter lately, but it’s probably because she’s cold that’s why she’s cuddling up more often. Choknat, well, he’s still gay. Harry… Well, something’s wrong with that dog too. He and Choknat will be two years old this coming January, and he STILL likes chewing objects. From what I know of NORMAL dogs, they only do that when their teeth are currently growing. Basically, only puppies do that. Harry’s no longer a pup. So it’s abnormal. Anybody out there knows dog psychology? A little advice would be very much appreciated LOL.

Thank you again to everyone who voted… I hope you will continue voting! Hehehe.

See you.