burn baby burn

Yesterday I had to quit a freelance job. I had to quit for both practical and personal reasons. It was one of those funny sort of freelance jobs, where you're only charging within the client's means. But then maybe all freelance work is funny that way, because unless you've got the kind of operation where someone is asking you for time sheets, you almost never submit a bill for the total amount of work that you've done. And this one was *really* funny that way, because it was for something I believe in, and I'd signed on to just help as much as I could, while keeping the costs below a certain (charitable) number.

And then I burned out. That's the trouble; you burn out. It's like taking your car to a garage and saying to the mechanic, Will you promise to fix my car for $600?, and he agrees, and then you've got him. Because after he's fixed the brakes and replaced the fuel pump, you can say, Great, now can you do something about that fucking noise I hear whenever I make a left turn? And then fix the brake lights. And change the oil. You're a star! Did I tell you that we're entered in a race on Saturday? My cousin will tell you what kind of racing stripes to paint on, because he used to be a fucking art director, in fucking New York.

Hell, I don't even know if I like design at all anymore. But I am becoming very certain of my limitations. It's part of getting old. That's why they get them young in the army, so they won't know any better than to charge through fields of fire.


  1. Anonymous10:03 am

    Love your descriptions of the things, and such going on in your world. The last part about getting them young...I so agree! Was a good ending indeed. lol. :-) So why don't you become a stand up comedian anyway? Screw the design stuff.

  2. It's also called "firing your client." Sounds better, no?

  3. wow - powerful statements there! Running through fields of fire - sounds a lot like my life and I don't remember signing up to some of it!!!!

    Things definitely change as you get older - I can't do the work I used to do, so now I am doing something different! Always with a bit of touch and go but most of my working life has been freelance . . . I barely know anything else, but I guess we need to love it.

    Just popped over to say that I want to go to your world - sounds great (comment you left on my latest post)!


  4. An obnoxious middle-man from New Jersey commissioned me to do a few wall hangings a couple of years ago. A price was agreed on. Every few days I would get an email about what new things he expected me to do. Every day I wanted to quit. I never did. I hated that man. I hated that job. I hated the completed artwork. I do like the furniture I'm sitting on now that the job paid for.

    If I ever get into that kind of mess again, I'm definitely gonna fire the client.

    This post made my day!

  5. We do what we need to do to stay sane

    But I won't thank you for placing 'Disco Inferno' in my head

    I won't thank you at all

  6. I can tell you're thinking of taking up cooking - always parboil babies before you roast them otherwise they never cook right through

  7. Entirely the funniest blog I have read in ages. Will be following.


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