Well, the time is nearing. I leave for Europe in roughly a day. I'm excited. I'm anxious. It's been a long time since I had a proper holiday. And, as you know, most of my vacation time is spent working. I think that's where most of my anxiety comes from. I'm not taking a long weekend or a week to rest and relax. No. I'll be gone for almost a month...
I'm anxious because I'll be taking a a proper break from work. And when I say taking a "break from work," I mean completely zero contact with the studio. After working as an animator and a studio owner for roughly 17 years, I have yet to really just step away from it all and have a moment for myself to just enjoy the world and being alive. Sad when you think about it. Every vacation or holiday taken, along came the laptop, the cell phone, the problems and the worries, and clients... Like the Key West trip. It was suppose to be a special holiday and the drive down full of excitement and adventure. Instead, it was spent listening to clients complain and production problems, which I can look at now and say... It wasn't really a big deal.
The anxiety of my Eurotrip definitely comes from not knowing what will happen the moment I'm on the plane...
The current projects in the works... Will we make our deadline? Will the client be happy?
What if we get a new request for work? Will there be anyone to handle the business and production demands?
What if there's an electrical fire and the building burns down?
I could get caught up in all of the worries of the minute if I let them. But, I'm not. In fact, Right now is the first time in a long time when I feel ready to take this long holiday.
My excitement comes from knowing that after 17 years... 17 long hard working years... I will be away from it all. The problems... There will always problems. When one is solved, another one will appear. I have to simply trust life and believe all will be well. And they will be.
Taking a "Leap of Faith" has been my big theme for 2017. Having to have faith in the people I'm with, the clients I work with, the place in which I reside. Have to have faith that while I'm away, all will fall into their proper place.
It's been a stressful time for me. Personally, I haven't been doing so well up until now. It's getting better, and maybe, when I'm ready, I'll share.
Being an artist-turned-entrepreneur, while exciting, is also one of the most stressful career paths I've traveled. There is so much which happens day to day and in our content hungry society, the demands for more work at lower and lower costs really put a strain on the business. It puts a strain on relationships both personally and professionally, it wares the body, tears down the mind, and in some cases stresses the bank account. Selling knives door to door sounds like a dream job than running an animation studio.
Think about it. You make art, then try to sell it to someone who may or may not want it. You're not selling a diamond or a car. You're not selling gasoline, clothing or food. You're selling art. The business of art is selling luxury. Luxury many people are either not interested in, or not interested in paying what it's worth. The fine line between business and art is paper thin. You're trying to maintain the factory while trying to maintain your integrity. And after awhile, many studios start chasing pennies than they do a purpose and then the business loses its "soul" for the cent. Someone or something pays a price. And the cost is not cheap.
So with my own emotional bankruptcy, I venture on a month long trip to recovery. To leave it all behind and focus on myself for awhile.
I think we all need it from time to time.
Hopefully, this trips will help me step back, breathe, and to see a bigger picture.
I plan to do more sketching and writing. And eating. Lots and lots of eating.
The places I'll be visiting will be London, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, Berlin, and Amsterdam. If you have any suggestions for places to visit, eat at, or where one can simply take in the sights; I'd love to hear about them.