There are heavy grey clouds in the sky today. I love looking out of my study (my studio) windows and seeing rooftops, chimneys and sky rather than tram lines and shops.
I have one month left of work before I officially go on maternity leave – which unfortunately is well and truly unpaid when you’re a freelancer. I am going to spend the last few weeks before the big day lolling around, sleeping in, cooking food to put in the freezer – all that preparation-for-a-life-changing-event kind of stuff.
I think I am going to miss working – I am feeling like I have actually got to a place where I have a good set of clients, some interesting work coming in and lots of confidence in my work. I wonder if taking 4-6 months off will set me back very far? Will I have to start my marketing all over again? Perhaps I will be able to take on some smallish jobs if the baby likes to sleep for big chunks during the day. I was chatting to my friend Miz C who is starting out on her freelance life today and she was telling me about exciting studio potentials in Richmond, impressive contacts and slick computer equipment and I felt myself getting just a tad jealous. I even had a pang of regret, thinking that perhaps I had wasted my time and that I should have thrown myself more into my work – gone out and networked harder, joined forces with a bunch of other creative people who have big contacts and big ideas, taken myself more seriously as an artist. But now that I write this I have to realise that I have created a job that suits me and my lifestyle perfectly. And I do take myself seriously as an artist. I feel very comfortable telling people “Yes, I am an artist. I do illustration.” It took me a long time to feel good and real enough to say that. I like the slow pace that my work takes, I like stopping for cups of tea and lunch in my own kitchen. I like looking into the garden (and at the sky and those big heavy clouds) and I like not having to spend hours commuting each day. Eventually I will like living in the country with a vegetable patch and a studio that looks out into the bush. There is a big difference between the person I really am and the person who I think sometimes I should be. Luckily I think I am on the path of the person who I really am.