17th February 2013

Week Seven


Seven weeks in and the thing I’d been dreading the most happened.


Although I pre-warned my clients that I’d be shutting up shop for a few months,

There’s been a reassuring trickle of emails;

Making enquiries, scoping out availability and sending through briefs.


I replied with apologetic tones and expressed my hopes that we’d work together in the future

Not without a severe twang of anxiety mind you.

A missed opportunity, a client turned away unhappy, pounds not in the bank and my ink not on an awesome project.

I reassured myself that today’s sacrifice was for tomorrow’s gain.


Then it arrived.

What we in the industry call

“A Wee Gem”

“A Cracker”

I believe the youth of today would describe it as “Totes Amazeballs”

It was the kind of email that demands you lean in ridiculously close to the screen, wrinkle your forehead and read open mouthed.

Fantastic brief, great client, prelim visuals look fab –

A serious contender for commission of the year!


Then I remember.


Exhale sharply.

Lean back in chair.

Hide face in hands.

Emit a noise like a baby panda lost in Tesco.


Curse this bloody Sabbatical nonsense.

What the hell was I thinking?!?


Saying ‘No’ does not come easy.

In fact, for a long time I only ever said yes

(Till this happened)


A temporary moment of weakness ensues.

I open ical,

Squint at a few dates

And think to myself:

“If I got my head down and worked 20 hours a day, it might just be possible…”


Then I wise-up.

I remember all the reasons that made me decide to undertake this Sabbatical in the first place.

Short term loss for long term gain.


I compose the inevitable decline to the dreamy client.

Close Email.

I pick-up my pen and focus, with a renewed sense of urgency and determination at what I had been working on

(a series of hand embellished mannequins for my Inky Bodies series).

If I’m turning down jobs like that, I sure as hell better make it all worthwhile.




Inky Bodies!

Inky Bodies!

Inky Bodies!

Inky Bodies!


Big thanks to Creative Scotland who supported the Sabbatical through a Professional Development Grant. 

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