Working while on Vicadin





I got a call last week Friday from a client that I had done an ad for two years ago. The ad was for probably the most well-known mustard in the country (the fancy one that used to have the "pardon me.." ads). Myself and two other painter/ illustrators created 30" x 40" paintings from photos of dishes made w/ said mustard by famous chefs. It turns out that it's an annual campaign. Last year they used modded out photos, but this year they're back to paintings. Also, this year, I was asked to do all three, in different styles. Luckily I had to check my schedule to see if this was physically possible with all my other work. I called back to say it was, and in that time, they had asked another artist from the original ad to do one. Which I was initially bummed about, but later came to appreciate.

I went ice skating at Millennium Park with a friend. We've done this repeatedly this year, it's such a great escape in the middle of the day! I was wearing rental skates like always, but we went earlier than usual, so the ice hadn't been resurfaced yet. I choose to blame the ice for what comes next. I fell face forward (bracing myself with my hands)- twice. The first time was just a bit embarrassing, although I kind of like the falling down aspect of skating, and it was my first fall of the year. I did bruise my knees quite a lot, but I was fine. The second fall was different. I further bruised my knees and the ball of my right hand, but (after about 3 hours of pretending it was nothing and 4 waiting in the E.R.) I found out that I actually broke my left arm. Turns out (I found out this week at the follow-up doctor), it's fractured, not really broken. Like a huge crack in a vase versus a vase reduced to bits. I was so grateful that it was my left arm, not right, but the E.R. time, the doctor visit, and the doped up feeling/ nap times that I had going on were not good for my workflow!

Still, the paintings are done. On time. Which actually made me break into a fit of laughter about 15 minutes after finishing them. I felt insanely lucky to have pulled off 2- 24"x30" paintings with everything that happened in the past week! It was also weird to work in a different style (they were supposed to look like they had been done by 2 different artists). After three years of fighting to stick to one style, I had to now fight to come up with something that looked like I didn't do it (the gnocci dish w/ the red plate). I decided on flat, flat, flat- which I never do and really struggled with until the last few hours on the piece.

This whole week highlighted the potentially biggest problem with freelancing (bigger than money worries). There's no calling in sick (or fractured). I committed to these, and no one else could do them but me. That's scary, and then maddeningly fun when you manage to pull it off. I am just so thankful that I didn't break my right arm! I guess it would really be another style then! I also guess that the moral of the story is either to wear protective gear when skating before embarking on a large freelance project, or perhaps skip the skating altogether! (but where's the fun in that?!)