Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Progress report, part 2.

I should be working. And that's the problem.

I'm sitting here in the Evanston Public Library, where I've been working for the last couple of hours on various client projects. This is pretty much my status quo: wake up, check the email, check the news sites, get showered, and either pull up to my desk at home or throw the mobile studio into my bag and head for some wi-fi outpost. Around these parts, that means a handful of Panera Breads, the Borders across the street from a Panera Bread where you can mooch their wi-fi if you sit by the window, or the Evanston Public Library. I like the library, because it's usually pretty peaceful. Anyway, I find myself a nice place to work and then I start hammering. You know the drill.

Lately, though, I've been feeling restless again. I've been taking some time for myself here this last week or so, in order to go do some of the things I've wanted to do this summer but didn't, because I've been working all the time. Yesterday I went to the Field Museum with Talon and Sara, which was wonderful and helpful and aggravating all at once – wonderful, because museums usually are; helpful, because I did some scribbling in some notebooks while I was there, learning about the Forbidden City in China and Emperor Qinglong, and making notes about designs and textures; and finally aggravating, not only because there's so much interesting stuff in the world to learn about, but because I realized while I was sketching in my notebooks that I was still working.

Now, to be fair, that's part of the joy of my current life arrangement: since I'm getting paid to do the things I'd be doing anyway, there's a pretty decent seamlessness between life and work. That's good. What's horrible, though, is the way clients snark and bark when they can't have their stuff right away, which is what happens when I take the time to do things like go to museums. There's a balance there somewhere, but I'm not finding it yet.

Worse, this morning I woke up and it's September. September! The air is cool and the sky is gray and people are wandering around in jackets. I love the fall, that's terrific, but where did the summer go? Talon's starting classes at DePaul here next week, and somehow all my grandiose schemes to take Kaplan classes and apply to grad school this fall are suddenly way, way behind schedule. Worst of all, since it's the first of the month I've decided to take a little time here and take stock, adding recent work into my portfolio and try to reorient things in order to get back on track. I've had a couple nifty things come down the pike lately – the Untyped art, the Flashery of, and the current ColdFusion integration of MedHire, but none of these things are likely to gain me admission into the high-end grad schools I'm really aiming for. Definitely time to get my nose back to the grindstone – but, as I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, that's the problem.

I feel like all this working is resulting in works that tend to be derivative of one another. Instead of doing experimental stuff, I'm making the same old stuff again and again. In order to improve and go to the next level, I need to change something. I'm just not sure what yet, or how.

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