Sunday, March 25, 2012

“If we are growing, we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.”
― John C. Maxwell

This past weekend I was drawing caricatures in Devon for the Provincial Hockey finals of the Boys Bantam League. It was a unique event in that 95 percent of the caricatures were presold by the organization and scheduled at certain slotted times, fitting in with their playing schedule. They were paying me my hourly rate but wanted to recoup the costs if possible and so they organized the entire prepaid thing. They also supplied me with logos of the 8 teams attending and I had templates for each of the team uniforms drawn in advance.

To be honest, I was really nervous doing this digital gig even though I draw digitally everyday at the cafe. Since December, I haven't had to take my tablet anywhere outside of the cafe and I was surprised when all the concerns of everything working technically somewhere else, suddenly worried me again. I was also a little concerned about the timing of drawing (especially with a schedule) and then of course the printing.

With all these worries, I saw just how comfortable I had become with my little digital set up at my cafe. The first day that I was in Devon, before I started drawing, I actually thought to myself "Hmmm, maybe I just don't want to do digital gigs anywhere but there from now on."

By Saturday though, I felt myself relax as everything was going really well. We managed to keep to the schedule (with the wonderful help of my volunteer Joan), as well as draw a number of walk up customers. This event also helped me figure out what little things I do need to get or change to make this a less stressful thing next time.

Its interesting how sometimes we get so comfortable doing things a certain way that the slightest bit of discomfort or stress in changing those things makes us react instantly with "Oh, I don't want to do this". That thought suddenly reminded me of 8 months ago when I was faced with City licensing issues for my cafe. At that time all I could think of was "I don't want to do this", but because I had already added the cafe I had no choice. And now that I see the remarkable results of that adventure, I realize how uncomfortable situations are just part of our moving forward.

As I packed up to leave, I realized again just how much I do enjoy drawing live, both traditionally AND digitally, and sometimes I guess a little bit of pre-gig stress is just part of the job, especially if I want to keep growing.