In which I (unusually) talk about something other than food

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.
room with a view

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.

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29 Responses

  1. says:

    Hello from Chicago ^_^
    I’m a big loobylu fan for a long time. Grad u r using MT now. I really like your Illustrations. I hope I will have a chance to work with you sometimes (I’m a graphic designer, btw). 😉

  2. Communism has nothing to do with love. Communism is an excellent hammer which we use to destroy our enemy.

  3. I’ve been a HUGE fan of Loobylu for a long time – glad to see you using MT to you again soon!

  4. Ooooh, Loobylu, comments! Please do knit the firecrackers hat, baby X will look bee-yoo-ti-ful.
    And… ahem… wondering if you are a real artist?! EVERYONE knows the answer to that, m’dear.

    I am very serious about the hypnosis – please email. I must be freed.


  5. And you just described me. This is why I am going to go to school for Graphic Design asap. Freelance, baby. Things that are a muct in my life that I usually can’t do because of my current job: seeing my husband more often, eating lunch at home (and taking my time darn it!), being at HOME (I am such a homely person ya know), taking better care of my doggies,and later on taking better care of any children I may have, not having a ridiculous manage hovering over me all the time, and the list goes ON AND ON…I desperately want to do what you did and go freelance. It may take four years of school but it is WORTH IT!! What the heck, I’ll only be 24 when I get done. You inspire me Claire. Don’t ever stop being you. 🙂

  6. says:

    hello from canberra – like everyone else, I’m a big fan!! If you need any knitting advice, let me know..

  7. Hey, comments! Good one.
    Maybe your baby will let you work, maybe not, but there will be a new element to your work when s/he arrives, and won’t that be interesting!

  8. YAY! You finally got comments!! *cheers* I love your blog and your illust 🙂 you’ve been my first inspiration to make illustrations too (>check my pagey if you got time) Thanks for being there!!!

  9. Know how you feel about the illustrator comfort zone. It has taken me 3 years to get to the point where I don’t have to worry. An American friend told me that it takes 8 years on average for an artist to get the top of their profession. Eek.

  10. Thanks for putting the Fray link up.
    Enjoy your maternity leave.

  11. says:

    Also been a big fan for a while — i even went back through all your entries and all your links one weekend when i had the flu.
    Maybe you can use the maternity time to indulge yourself a bit — write a book, perhaps?

  12. Yet another long time reader here, happy you finally have comments. I hope maternity leave doesn’t involve taking a break from Loobylu too.
    Maybe we’ll get lucky and the poopy nappies will inspire you to post more often, even if only to complain about the constant smell of Milton on your hands.

  13. But maybe you should cut the “Posted by claire at ” part, unless you’re planning on letting Big-P or the kid post here.

  14. along with everyone else here, i love your illustrations and have been a fan of your site for quite some time! i kept wondering why you don’t have MT or GM installed. YAY! It was worth it, wasn’t it? =] good luck with your baby!

  15. Just wanted to say hello :), and to let you know that I’ve been reading Loobylu for as long as I can remember and it’s one of the few journals that’s managed to stay in my ever-changing collection.
    Your illustrations and writing are lovely. I wish you all the best in your new home with the bub!

    Thanks for your journal.. it’s always a little ray of sunshine in my day.

  16. Not only do you have a new post, but you have comments now as well!!! Who knew that you could make a Monday feel good! 🙂 Thanx Loobylu! Keep it up and yes you are an artist. (As if there was any doubt) 😉

  17. says:

    The site still looks great. And comments! How fun!

  18. Hey! I completely adore your site! I linked you as one of the prettiest sites (sounds teeny bopper). Haha! I do hope you have fun being a mom. =)

  19. says:

    You go girl!
    You’re definitely a “real” artist! After all we’ve discussed working on projects for a REAL company.

    More importantly you’re a “real” person. The sincerity comes through in your blog. I read an article the other day it said, if you use a fork to dig, the forks gonna wear away, use it for eating, and it works swimmingly.

    Do what you are, everyone benefits when you do.

    Love and best wishes.

  20. says:

    just noticed the comments. it makes it much easier to leave a note, of course! I adore your art, and glad you’re making your life more the way you want it. good luck with your baby. I must just seem like another one of your fans

  21. says:

    You have a fantastic site! I visit it all the time. It’s so groovy that you have comments now. Yay! Great work. Good luck with baby.

  22. says:

    Hello from perth! Love the site, especially when you put new recipes up. I’m also an art director and love looking at illustrator’s work. Keep it up!

  23. Woohoo!! What a great surprise to see that you have comments now!
    I’m sure everything will work out just great for you, after the baby comes. Most babies DO sleep a lot of the day away…so you would be able to work a little. Just be sure to do some sleeping during that time too!

  24. Hey Claire!
    I used your site as an example of good screen design in my class today. The lecturer liked it too!

  25. hey, i think you just have enough of reading how much everyone is a big fan of your weblog. It’s all very well deserved and it goes without saying that i’m a big fan as well. I was just wondering what ever happened to your street sketches? I guess you’re too busy for that now and i totally understand. It’s just that it was one of my favorites things at this site. =)

  26. I really envy the fact that you have been able to make your job fit your lifestyle perfectly as you said. It is one of my aims. That’s excellent! I love your wonderful accounts of your day to day life. Thanks! 🙂

  27. Hi there. I’ve been reading loobylu for as long as I can remember, and I just want to wish you luck with your baby. It sounds as if you’re doing excellent and the preparations are going great!

  28. Like many of the others I check loobylu every other day hoping for a little insight into your life and another charming illustration. Good luck with ‘Baby-X’ and I look forward to following your future adventures!

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