Whistle while we panic

I have a couple of deadlines which I am dancing dangerously with at the moment. The first and fast upcoming one is the Morphe exhibition in Adelaide. The exhibition opens on December 6th, but the toys need to be there by November 30th in time for set up (hanging / bump in etc). So I calculate that if I get my toys into express packages by next Tuesday afternoon they should still be safely in Adelaide on the Wednesday. Why? Why do I need to calculate that I can get my toys into packages on Tuesday? Because I still have three out of three toys to make! Ah! How did this happen? Well, (apart from always being a dreadful procrastinator) I have had a couple of trial and error attempts which have come out as big errors and now I am retreating back to an old and safe formula and hopefully I can get something that I feel proud of ready in time. Hopefully.

Secondly, I am working on the illustrations for a kid’s activity book which is immensely satisfying and perhaps the most fun I have illustrating in a long time, but the deadline of December 23rd looms upon the horizon. Today the lovely designer sent me a list of the art work status – what was finished, what was still in the works. I went through the list and made a quick calculation of how much time the unfinished work will take me. I worked out that if I am very quick and don’t spend a lot of time pondering facial expressions, textures or colour harmonies it will take me 58 hours. I then went through my calendar and calculated the hours that Mum has promised to look after Amelia for the next 6 weeks. You wouldn’t believe it but it came out at exactly 58 hours. Unfortunately, some hours later I realised there was a slight flaw in my calculations – the first was that I had left no time for rough sketches (important to send off for client approval) and I had also for some reason presumed that Mum started looking after Amelia at 9 in the morning. In fact, I leave home to take her to Mum’s at 9 and don’t really start work until I get back around 9.45 or 10ish.

So suddenly I feel busier than I already felt. And here I am blogging. And now I am going to do an illustration of me panicking – and then I am going to do some work.

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18 Responses

  1. Ah, a woman after my own heart… I sympathise, I really do.

  2. dashagain@aol.com says:

    I am a terrible procrastinator, too, so I feel your pain!! What I sometimes do when I’m feeling really overwhelmed is picture that day when the deadlines are behind me and what I’ll be doing. And usually if I can say: “Wow, a month from this very moment, these things I’m dreading will be behind me”, I feel much better! Good luck!

  3. In Danish they say “God arbejdslyst” which means something like “Good working zeal”. Doesn’t translate well, but the nice thing about it is that it implies pleasure and hard work going together. I hope they will for you.

  4. you can do it, you can do it!!I feel your pain because I end up in panic mode all theeee time. I have to say your illustration made me laugh outloud. My projects often yell at me as well. =O)

  5. Whee! What a wonderful illustration of you panicking. I love the last few lines of this post. I empathize, I do. Good luck with it all!

  6. vaibhavi@nid.edu says:

    but these are just the assignments{if i may call them that), when all those other things that you always wanted to do, maybe in this season, maybe at different parts of the week, of the day and of the night, then you feel like a CALENDER only each day broken into EACH SECOND, and not EACH WEEK broken into EACH DAY,, then what? , you could always look at the extremely cruel situations you could get into if all those things you wanted to do also came into the same picture, so relax, and finish making the toys, or rather, go take a walk!!

  7. I could procrastinate for Australia – I am an expert! So I usually rush things at the end and feel less than satisfied with them, so I’m going to add ‘no more procrastinating’ to my growing list of New Year’s resolutions 🙂 Care to join me?

  8. leetusdesigns@ozemail.com.au says:

    A teacher of mine once slapped a post-it note on my folder which said “procrastination is the thief of time”..I am and always will be a procrastinator..But I have come to realise that for me I am at my best when put under pressure..and I also believe that it will all be right on the night. I had a market stall not so long ago and I was so organised leading up to it, But I was actually panicking that because I had been so, that I had missed something. We just all work different ways and Im sure you will be fine!! Good luck Claire!!

  9. eek!what a deadline! dec 23…
    you’ll do wonderfullly, i am positive!

  10. if it makes you feel any better, your illustration of you panicking is totally cute-i feel your pain, but i think there is something about the rush you feel after completing something just before deadline!

  11. i_annett@yahoo.com.au says:

    I’ve got to say, this post really sums me up too. I procrastinate in the worst way, but I’ve realised it’s often because underneath I know I can do the task really well in a short space of time anyway. And then there are those other times…Good luck, Claire, I’m sure things will turn out fine! And thanks for the blog: inspiring and affirming.

  12. Never fear :-). The makers’ rule is that you will speed up as the deadlines loom, and that 90% of the work will be done in the last half of the time available. Or something like that!

  13. love your blog and your art! Glad to read and see I am not alone in end of year art deadlines 🙂 eeep!

  14. Oh I’m just awful about procrastinating. My mother called it “piddling”. My bosses called it poor time management. I call it “I’m very detail oriented.” I should change my blog name to “The Piddle Queen” like my mother used to call me. *sigh*
    Gee, I thought your illustrations just drew themselves. heh And here you are spending time reading your comments!!! UGH!!!! 🙂

  15. I totally feel your pain. I’ve been feeling just about the same with a couple of my projects. Just dive in and you’ll get it all done.
    BTW (late post) great review on Pride and Prejudice thanks! I’ve been hesitant about watching the movie but now I really must see it. I just love reading all the comments from everyone. Always considered myself somewhat of a PP closet fan (at least around these parts – LOL!)

  16. OH I hear you!!! I am running on the idea that it will all just some how fall into place… maybe panicking isn’t such a bad idea… Panick stations here I come!

  17. Breathe. Deeply.
    Praying peace for you.

  18. Lucky for us you procrastinated a little longer and gave us that wonderful illustration!Sometimes a bit of panic is just the trick to get things done–no more time can be spent fiddling around with choices. I’ve always found the hardest part of starting the illustrations for a book was making the choice–color, character etc.
    I’m sure you’ll come thru with flying colors and remember we’re here to cheer you on!