Less faffing, more focus…

I’m a slow learner. I think I’m just getting the hang of this creative malarkey at an age when others are beginning to wind down after a long and glorious career. On my headstone, please, I want the words ‘Damn! I was just getting the hang of it!’

Sometimes storms can be as productive as calms…..

The trouble is, I have a brain with the attention span of a hyperactive bee, and can never decide where best to focus my energies. Drawing or writing? Books or paintings? Splashy mad stuff or detailed realism?  Funny or serious? The result of all this indecision is a heap of unfinished projects, half formed ideas and a crappy bank balance. The only time I focus is when a client waves a cheque at me and speaks the magic words: ‘The deadline for this is…..’  Then, motivated by a desire to please and bills to pay I’ll glue myself to the drawing board, get my head around a new subject if needed, and get on with it. Writing and illustrating the Go Sailing books for the RYA has kept me busy, and grounded, since the first book was commissioned in 2004. Each of the seven books in the series involved much pencil chewing, redrafting, long days at the drawing board and copious quantities of white wine and chocolate, but the results were deeply satisfying. I know I can do the long haul when I need to.  The problem I have now is that the series is finished, and I’m facing my first year without a book commission. I have a head full of ideas, which is a relief, as creativity is always the first casualty when the ship of life piles up on the rocks as it did at the end of last year.

The end of an era – this one will be out in March

Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing the soul-searching that belongs with the beginning of the year. No resolutions, just some aims and intentions. Find a way to earn a living. Stop whingeing, keep laughing. Find a way of living that allows me to treat my own creative ideas with the same dedication and intensity that I give to a project commissioned by someone else. Finish my favourite book idea – the anthology of sea stories that I’ve been wittering on about for years and am still inspired by.

Enough introspection – just a final thank you to everyone who has offered me support and encouragement during a challenging year, and to everyone who believed in me during the times when I didn’t!

My motto for 2013 – JUST GET ON WITH IT!

Fair winds, calm seas and a full glass of cheer to you all in 2013.

6 thoughts on “Less faffing, more focus…”

  1. Paul Roberts says:

    Big Hug to you. No,a really BIG hug

    If only we’d done mind numbing government jobs for 40 years we would be over the wall now with loads of money. But the essence of it is that we didn’t. We had a life instead. Two words never to say on your death bed “if only”. You’ve done lots and lots and there is more to come, by the way.


  2. Sumeyah says:

    Lets laugh and be merry. To be surrounded by good friends and to laugh a lot is a true gift. Your paintings have been an inspiration to me Claudia as I am just starting in my career as an artist. To bring joy and laughter to many through you art is truely a gift many can only dream of. Not satisfied with just that, your music brings fun.
    We will look forward to 2013 with a smile. New challenges bring out the best in us and help us to achieve things we never dreamt of. The best is yet to come.
    Richness and wealth in the heart and mind is truely a gift that even those with millions can never achieve.
    May 2013 be a grest year for all of us. See you all on the water or other places. Happy New Year Claudia. Thank you. HUGs

  3. Karen Wharton says:

    What lovely sentiments above. Only other people can really see us and what we each bring to the world. By the way, I have had a children’s story in mind for ages now so maybe we could collaborate on a children’s book with your illustrations!

  4. May your hopes come true this new year, Claudia!

  5. http://www./ says:

    I don’t even know what to say, this made things so much easier!

  6. Linda, Šis Tiller ir veidot līdz būt ļoti interesants raksturs un man ir aizdomas, būs drausmīgs ietekme uz Miranda. Un es mīlu to, kā jūs pateikt par viņu stāstu stāsta savu stāstu, ar komentāru par koledžas bērniem, kas SUV izmet. Tas padara stāsts reālāks un ticama. Miers, LindaLinda Kruschke nesen ievietojis..

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