• Rich Banks

Burnout

This week has been the strangest so far in lockdown by some distance. Too much work, guilt and random acts of kindness by friends has been a weird mix. I hit a level of burnout I haven't felt in years. Drawing has always been the one constant thing that will make me happy since I was probably in primary school. But for the past four days even the thought of picking a pen up has irritated the fuck out of me. I mean like someone leaving keytones on on there phone levels of irritation. I would rather give up Haribo than draw another bastard thing actually.


Since lockdown began I have produced 4 tshirt designs, 3 commissions, 3 drawing tutorials, 5 colouring pages and started and finished 6 pieces of client work. The tshirt designs on there own normally take 4 weeks each. Until I sat down and worked it out I didn't realise how much work I'd actually got done. At no point have I increased the speed at which I work, I've just been working idiotic hours. I've been starting at 6am, working through lunch and tea and finishing about 9pm. That's not Monday to Friday, that's 7 days a week. I think before this week I'd had 4 days off since my birthday which was in January. Now if you are reading this and are new to the industry, that's not normal. That's just fucking dumb.


All its done is ruin me mentally. There is no motivation and a crippling sense of guilt for not working even though I need a break. When I've worked in pubs or cafes I've been very good at leaving work at work... mainly because I never cared for there minimum wage bullshit. But when you are living in a one bed apartment and love what you do its hard to switch off as you are never really out of view of your work.


So if I can't find something to watch on TV, il pick up my drawing board. Don't feel like gaming or reading, il draw. Feeling sad, il draw. Tired, il try wake myself up by being productive. Can't leave the house because a global pandemic and inept government are slowly killing us, fuck it, might aswell draw.


I know how dumb that is, you learn very early in your career to not do those things. But I've done them anyway, probably as a way to hide away from problems if I'm honest. You can't get freaked out by coronavirus if you don't have time to think about it!


Luckily this week I realised what was going on and I had the opportunity to have some very enjoyable catch ups with friends. Its reminded me that no matter what is going on you need to take time to chill out and recharge. Its not healthy to replace people or things you miss with work. Sometimes you just need a mate to call you a fucking cunt to make you laugh and realise how stupid you've been.

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