Hello? Anybody here?

Of course they aren’t. Have you looked at the calendar?

It’s Thursday, 21 December. The Great December Diaspora has begun. And yes, it has an outsized effect on #freelancers.

Calls and emails ho unanswered, Slack chats gather dust, etc. And Lord help you if you’re expecting invoices to get paid 🙂 BUT there’s a lot that you can do with two quiet weeks. And should.

Finish up the undone certification course you started. Take the time to write some thoughtful emails to people you work with but don’t actually connect deeply with. Go talk a walk outside in the park at 9 am. Smile and wave at the bundled up babies out in their strollers.

Bidness may be shut down for two weeks. Don’t bother fighting it. Give your soul a break. Its been a long year.

After a week of growing processhate and creative constipation, a change of scenery. All day on the couch in Griffin’s South Lobby. Lanced two projects that had become impacted and swollen.

I have many grateful to be in a workplace that provides alternate work settings throughout the building.

If you’re stuck creatively, change venues. Close the laptop and work with crayons and paper. Go sit in the Accounting breakroom and stare at a whiteboard. Do SOMETHING to change the setting and watch what happens. You’ll be amazed.

A fascinating read on Cecil Beaton, a fashion photographer whose skills were commandeered by the British Ministry of Information during WW II.


God, that would suck right? A creative mastermind crammed into a bureaucratic hellbox, right?

Not so fast.

I love it when art accomplishes editorial aims. It’s what makes working as a commercial creative gratifying.

If you’re 45 years old and toiling at a job you hate, with a copy of the great American novel moldering in your desk drawer, get off your can and find a job that scratches that itch. Something, anything. If you think you’re supposed to be in a creative job, and you’re not, who’s fault is it?

I worked 15 years in positions best described as “creative-adjacent,” bitter and resentful that the crown and scepter had been bestowed to others but not me. Damnit, I was “more creative” than all five art departments I worked with put together.

I was miserable. I gave my clients my best work, but I did a lousy job meeting even the most basic responsibilities for my position. But if those creative people would just give me a chance!, I whined. To everyone. All the time. Thankfully, I got fired.

Doubly thankfully, I almost immediately found work as a copywriter. I took a 30-percent paycut. But in retrospect, it almost seems like an entrance fee I needed to have paid years before in order to do what I was supposed to have been doing all along.

In the seven years since, whenever I’ve caught myself slacking, staring at my navel and bitching that those idiots in the x department wouldn’t know solid creative if it came up and fellated them, I remember that better than half my job is figuring out how to do soul-gratifying work within the confines of someone else’s time, budget and expectations. Creativity, true creativity, is making art regardless of what you’re given.

So you’re an “art” photographer and your boss is making you go shoot propaganda pictures. There’s no possibility for expression in an assignment like that. Boo hoo. Woe is you.

Now shut the fuck up and go make the art you’ve been promising yourself.

Cecil did. And look what he ended up with.