Working as an illustrator from home can be incredibly isolating. It often requires long unreasonable hours to get anywhere with something. too add to that, it’s a fairly sedentary lifestyle…standing or sitting..observing, obsessing, squinting, holding your breath…
I think it takes a certain type of person to be okay like this. You’ve really gotta love doing it, and frankly in order to support a family off of it, you’ve gotta be willing/able to sink the hours in when the work’s there. It can get lonely, and if you aren’t careful you can find yourself not leaving your studio or house for days or sometimes even weeks on end.
My family is a great respite, and I make a regular habit of disappearing back to the house throughout the day to check in with the kids when they get home from school and whatnot. But there’s always the sirens song of whatever’s being worked on out in the shop that I’ll invariably hear calling to me, and I end up back out there.
And I think I’d probably go crazy out there if it weren’t for our dogs.
I know dogs aren’t for everyone. They can be loud, messy and demanding. They’re covered in hair that gets everywhere, have permanent cold wet parts, they’ll eat your food if you aren’t paying attention and they really don’t give a shit about what you’re working on.
But If you work in solitude, I honesty cant think of a better studio companion. They provide an unconditional love that can be so crucial during those weird working hours. Mine all know its boring but they’re still all too happy to come out and sleep next to me while I work. They don’t expect a whole lot aside from food water and love, and they don’t judge. They just want to hang out and kick it.
Okay sure so cats…they’re great and all, but a cat’s a to less likely to make you get up off your ass and take them for a walk when you don’t want to, but you probably should so you can clear your mind and stop floundering on that face thats looking way too much like Benecio Del Toro even though it’s not supposed to be Benecio Del Toro and you can’t figure out why that is exactly.
And let’s get real here for a minute, if someone were to break into your studio to murder you, your cat would just sit there and watch you get murdered…Then it’d likely feast on your corpse. A dog might also feast on your corpse under similar circumstances, sure, but it would also probably have stepped in and done something about that whole murder thing that happened instead of sitting there licking its paws as you gurgle your last breaths? I’d like to think so.
We have a four dog household made up of two mastiffs, a basset hound, and a Weimaraner. Its a lot of dog, but I have to be honest, it’s really not that bad. Sure I need to stay on top of the grooming and cleaning, but they don’t tear anything up, they’re well house trained, and they’re all just generally really sweet animals. Plus they make the best impromptu models!
The drool kind of sucks but you get used to it. Trick is to let it dry and it just flakes off. oh and no black clothing.
So thats my advice. Get a dog! 60-70% of the time you wont regret it. How many of you have dogs? What other companions do you have in your studio?