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Following up on my process wonk post from a few days ago.

As many of my readers know, I suffer from chronic migraines. In a good month, I may only get 2-4 migraines, but last month was pretty awful, 18 in 32 days, so it’s back to the doctor. I’m reluctant to go on beta blockers at this time, because I am not sure how they might affect my thinking and output. I’d like to save that experiment for a time when I can afford to lose work.

I am trying to determine if there is a link between my computer use and the migraines, and see if my eye doctor can determine if I would be better served by having different eyeglasses for different tasks. I know one artist who uses four pairs of glasses. My eye doctor did not seem to be very sensitive to my needs and insisted on bifocals. I told him repeatedly that I did not think they would serve me, because of the way I work and the different tools I use. I’m not using glasses just for reading and driving, but for focusing on a big computer screen, a large easel, and drawing board. And I can’t do that effectively with the glasses he prescribed.

I am getting a new eye doctor, and before I go, taking pictures of my work space, how I sit in it, and measuring the distance between my eyes and my tools. I hope this will help my eye doctor make better choices for me. I have had very poor eyesight since early childhood, and it is annoying to have to explain my needs to doctors who are just processing patients.

The last eye doctor I had began our first visit by explaining in a faux sensitive tone that as I am getting older, I need to think about bifocals. Well, I’ve needed bifocals since I was 19. I asked him why he was patronizing me like that, and he explained that most patients in their 40’s feel bad about needing bifocals. And I said I didn’t care about his other patients, he needed to focus on me. I thought his assistant was going to crack up.

I really don’t care if I have to wear coke bottles on my face, I just want to see to work.

I know my eyes are not the sole reason for headaches, but I am proceeding with the assumption that they are part of the problem. If they’re not, then I’ll still have better glasses.

Years ago, I wrote the post “A Messy Desk is a Sign of…” and, of course, everyone who has a messy desk likes to believe they are a geniuses. I am sure some people with messy desks are geniuses. And I am sure even more people with messy desks are just people with messy desks.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last couple of years getting my office in order, and most of the weekend was spent doing more of that. I had about 1000 emails to go through, and I spent some hours organizing the digital art files. I also ran through my financials to close out last year. It felt really good to get it all out of the way so early in the season, especially since I know my future schedule won’t leave much time for it.

I’ve been going through all my dvd’s and cd’s and getting rid of the jewel cases, and putting the discs into book storage sleeves. One of those books holds about 200 discs, and can clear an entire shelf of space. Why I was clinging to the packaging on these things, especially since I have no intention of reselling most of the movies or music. Feels really good to have that clutter out of here.

I know a lot of artists defend their clutter and their right to clutter. That’s great if that works for you. Maybe it’s an effective process for others.

But as a commercial artist who works with many clients and on many projects, and as someone who needs to regulate my stress levels as much as possible, disorganization is something I simply can’t afford. I spent 4 hours this weekend alone looking for two lost items: one physical and one digital, and I am one of the most organized artists I know. A half day’s work is a high price to pay for a small mistake.

Three goals this year:

1) Stay on top of the emails. They can get out of control in just a few days.

2) Proper and careful naming and filing of digital files.

3) The original art has to get in order. It’s never been in order, and it is the hardest filing to do, because I can’t really have anyone in here to help with it. It’s one thing to have someone in to sort receipts, quite another to have to explain each piece of art. So, I’m looking at thousands of pages of paper to sort through. Don’t think I’m going to be able to even start on this for a good six months.

I am sure this will bore the hell out of some people, but the reality is, creators don’t get to sit at the drawing board and do comics all the time. We put a lot of effort into doing the work that supports the pictures.

That’s all for now.