Sunday, November 7, 2010

Take a Break

Recently Monkey got sick. Not incredibly sick, but he had a pounding headache when he got home from his job selling paper and he was feeling a bit warm, and he ended up going to sleep by 7pm, which is a rarity for most people, but even rarer for someone who usually doesn't get to sleep until the 3-5am range.

Monkey was primarily dehydrated, and with a build-up of stress, lack of sleep, and just a case of working too hard for too long, eventually crashed. While he recovered fairly quickly (yay!) it was a harsh wake-up call. Monkey + Seal tend to overwork themselves, and sometimes they need reminders that breaks are a necessary part of life. As much as we might think we need to constantly work night after night, hour after hour (and admittedly, sometimes we do), we don't need to do it endlessly. Working like this is crazy and unsustainable.

If anyone can attest to this, it's Monkey. For many years, Monkey would be constantly almost-sick, where he might not feel good, but he would power through everything and anything. Then, every year, around November, he would get deathly ill. Like 110 degree fever, vomiting, aches, headaches, shakes, chills, congestion, trouble breathing, deathly ill. Then he would be forced to take a week or so on the easy side before he could get up and running again and then the cycle would continue.

These days, Monkey has wised up a bit. He tends to feel colds and such coming on sort of early, and if he take responsible actions he can usually fend it off. Responsible actions generally means laying off the beer, sleeping sort of early (1-2am), and taking some breaks from work.

Basically, Monkey + Seal have learned that breaks are necessary. Breaks help prevent carpel tunnel syndrome, it helps keep your artist muscles from decomposing, it helps you keep your health. While you shouldn't let huge periods of non-work go on in the name of breaks, you should also not let huge periods of work go on without some sort of interruption.

With proper time management, hopefully you won't have to work non-stop. Make sure that you budget in proper breaks and points to rest so you don't wear down your mind and body. Many times, we've also found that when it's 3am and you've been working on painting the same thing over and over again and it's just not coming out right, taking a short rest, or napping for 10 minutes can do a world of good and we've sat back down to paint that same piece nearly immediately. When we were in art school, there had also been many times of us staying up all night painting for an assignment, then when we walk into class we immediately notice all the things wrong with the painting. We would then proceed to whip out our paints and make a few adjustments here and there and suddenly would improve it quite a bit.

So, for the sake of you mind, your body, your health, and your work, take a break!

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