I'm pleased to announce my new role as guest reviewer at The Pen Addict! This is a great site which has for years now provided frequent, consistent, to-the-point reviews with writing samples, resulting in quite a vast archive of pen information. The only thing it lacked (from my perspective) was information for the artist, since we have some special needs - including coverage of items like brush pens and inks, and information about variability of line and adaptability to different paper textures. This is the gap that I have been brought on board to fill, and it's been great fun so far - much thanks to the Pen Addict himself and his enthusiastic reader base. My first reviews address the Kuretake No.8 & No. 13 Hair Brush pens and the Pilot Pocket Brush Pen - Hard.
I also posted to Portland Urban Sketchers recently on the topic of roll-your-own sketchcrawls and other personalized ways of building sketching structure into your life: 10 Do-It-Yourself SketchCrawl Plans.
Perhaps you can tell, the switch to a full-time work schedule has not stopped me in my tracks yet. While the idea of sketching on breaks has NOT panned out (yeah. I actually need those breaks as, you know, breaks!), other ideas are working. Committing to providing articles for the Pen Addict was a good move - I get joy out of exploring art materials and the job of writing a review gives a great structure and focus to my work, so I don't dick around and waste all my drawing time. Continuing to meet up for sketchcrawls also feels like an easy way to keep drawing, which provides that invaluable sense of art community and new input. Dropping the really big projects was hard, but it was the right thing to do - I'm getting things done but with no sense of being overburdened.
Much of the key so far has been to wake up early, since I'm most creative in the morning. I get out of bed around 6am and get 60-90 minutes to draw, write, and eat breakfast before getting ready for work. If I keep this up, it may make my full-time schedule significantly more pleasant than it has been in the past, when I lacked the discipline to get up early.