Gavin McCarthy is a freelance illustrator and graphic artist. This blog is a collection for various sketches, experiments and new work. Comments are always welcome and encouraged. All blog content © Gavin McCarthy

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Methods and Madness - Carrots and Sticks

*Methods and Madness is the portion of my blog that is dedicated to how I work and live as a Freelance Illustrator.*

Lets talk about motivation.

Like many self employed people you need to be self motivated, find that something that keeps you from crying in a beer and playing video games until your eyes bleed. Sometimes it can come in the form of a loved one providing you with kind words of encouragement, but they can only stroke your ego for so long. There is also the fear of starvation, but working under that whip is not always the healthiest environment. Sometimes we just need a little reward for meeting an important goal, and recently I met mine.

A few years back I made a promise to myself that once my freelance career hit a certain point I would reward myself with a little thing I've wanted for some time. About a week ago I made good on my promise and picked up a little, counter-top espresso maker. I must admit that it felt really nice to reward myself, even though it took some encouragement from my better half to spend the money. The reward wasn't bank-breaking, but when you work freelance you tend to track every single dollar.

I guess that brings me to my last point, the follow through. Make sure sure you eventually get that carrot on a stick or the the whole reward thing is moot. Planning for the future, saving, paying off debt and rent is all good but so is reinforcing your own moral. Don't bankrupt yourself either, it's just a reward and should mean more to you then its dollar value. Now my morning espresso reminds me of what I have accomplished and more importantly what I can accomplish if I can stay motivated.
That's how I do it, how about you?

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