Work / Life Balance



  • Always listen on a Sunday night at work, I'm going to love this one as I struggle with this a lot.



  • @Jake-Parker The Wednesday a new SVS podcast drops is one of my favorite days. I save it and savor it on my Thursday commute. Please continue to provide it in audio, even if you add in a video version.

    But this morning, the podcast is particularly poignant after the news of Will’s wife’s passing shared with us yesterday. I don’t know of a better time to help people think about work/life balance. I made a decision for my family in 2000 to relocate back to the Midwest to help support my parents aging and ultimate deaths, and it is one of the most satisfying things I have ever done, and one of the choices I’ve made that I am most proud. It was also hard, and created other tensions and all of those things, but such is life.

    The group’s suggestions for moving incrementally toward balance are all spot on. I went to call out how much easier it is to lower household expenses when your partner and family are on board. I don’t think my husband would have remodeled 3 houses with me, but he made many other choices including mentoring me on less spending, rarely eating out, skipping big vacations and cars and all that I exchange for TIME.

    Heartfelt thanks to all 3 SVS guys, and respect for all you have been carrying in addition to running this great enterprise.


  • Moderator

    Great episode. I have listened to it 4 times since yesterday. As @Susan-Marks mentioned, coming so close on the heels of Will's tragic news, it was emotional to listen to, knowing what we know now and what you three did not, when recording. I am thankful that your three discuss your personal lives in addition to the business. I think it makes it very easy to relate everything you say to our own lives.
    On a less serious note, I really hope that you aren't planning on doing three svs commercial interruptions for every podcast from now on. Yikes! 😜


  • SVS OG

    I really liked this episode. It is certainly something you guys have covered in YouTube and third Thursday. However, it is always great information and with time perspective changes slightly because of more life experiences. Seriously, the timing of this release and how our hearts are tender for our leader Will, and you too Jake. And Lee, your experience with your father. Just more examples of how family is so precious. And work/life balance is so important.

    Anyways, I could probably hear about scheduling a million more times. It’s something i certainly struggle with. There is only a small window of time that I have control of and I really need to make the best use of my time with it. And also- focus on my family when I’m with them! Sometimes I multi task, but I need to make sure that my family and friends know that they come first, not my artist goals. Be present with them. Cut out the blubber (stupid tv shows durning the day, and maybe unnecessary shopping), keep finances in check (love Dave Ramsey! Growing that snowball is awesome!) and not take art jobs just because you’re asked. I’m doing this because I love it. And I don’t want to paint your dog, but I still love you as a person.

    Thanks guys!



  • This was a helpful and inspiring episode. They all are, but this one was the most so far for me, just from putting into perspective the life journey that happens, the struggle that each of us go through in order to get where we want to go. All of our journeys will look different, but the wisdom that y'all are handing out is fantastic and encouraging to those of us who are in the beginning stages of that journey where the goal seems dim.

    This episode was especially helpful for me since its been four years since I graduated college and my freelance career isn't picking up fast and my life has been way too inconsistent year after year with constant change. I can't get a set schedule, and all the plans I have keep getting pushed back or backfiring. I haven't been satisfied with my work outflow and lack of freelance work, so I've been getting frustrated, and have had a bad work/life balance that flip flops dramatically. So this episode just helped me to see the reality, the perspective, of this lifestyle and how there will be all these ups and downs, struggles, and variables that will always be there. The wisdom that you shared from your own personal stories and reflection on your careers and lives meant a lot to me especially.

    Listening to these episodes has brought a lot of hope for me and helped to get me out of discouraging ruts and to keep pushing on, and for me, focusing on doing the Lord's work in the artist community.


  • SVS OG

    Like others have already mentioned, this was a very poignant episode in the sense that you guys were talking about being there for family members who subsequently passed away without knowing of the tragedy that was to befall Will within days of the podcast's release.

    In terms of striking a work/life balance, it's something that I've had a lot of up and downs with in my life.

    As a child, my parents created an environment of all work and no play, so for a lot of my years in University and beyond, I used my freedom from that to procrastinate and focus on having fun.

    It was only a few years ago, when I started figuring out what I actually liked and what I wanted to do with my life, that I started to focus more on getting things done. And one key thing that I learned was through working out!

    I joined a Facebook group with members who were starting their fitness journey and the group motto was "DO THE THING".

    This revolutionised my way of thinking - over time, the absolute simplicity of it hit me. All I had to do, was the thing. That was it. No excuses, no thinking, no talking...just doing. That lesson has been key for me.

    I adopted this mindset for my fitness journey and for the first time in my life, I voluntarily applied myself to achieving a high standard in something. And it worked. I lost 12kgs over 12 months, got my 5km time to under 30mins and ended up running a 50 kilometre obstacle race over the course of a weekend in Sparta over the summer. Before that I would have collapsed running 500 metres.

    Once I achieved this I thought, "Hang on Shannon, you can apply this to anything you want to become good at." I realised I could apply it to drawing. And so here I am, two years later, learning how to draw and making sure that I structure my days in a way that is optimal to achieve all the goals I want to achieve.

    For me, the key to a work life balance is time optimisation and simply doing what it is that you need to do. It goes back to the idea of working with intensity that you guys were talking about. If it's time to workout, workout. I fit's time to draw, draw. And do those things in the way that will maximise the time you devote to it.



  • Im a bit behind on episodes, just listened to this one- lots of interesting points, but I would like to ask how was the work/life balance before being full time illustrators? When it was a regular 9-5 job, and trying to fit in illustration? It's something I've been thinking about lately; my schedule is work (job-not illustrating), come home, dinner, decompress, dishes, and get ready for the next day. Then weekends come down to chores and getting together with family. So I'm having a hard time carving out a full chunk of time to work on stuff, so I end up working on a piece a little at a time- which isn't the best.

    Anyway, great episode as always. Thanks!



  • @Juleesa I haven't listened to the episode yet but my situation is exactly like you describe! Lately I have been trying to take my illustration more seriously rather than just coasting on my 9-5. This was/is exhausting, but I am learning to find the joy in the process (aren't we all doing this because we love drawing?) so I have been getting home and getting dinner/small chores done asap, then sitting down with my sketchbook and drawing or planning potential promo ideas, finding art directors to email, that sort of thing. While it is still exhausting, overwhelming and difficult, the rewarding feeling from achieving something I've been working on is always worth it!

    I can't remember which episode it was but I remember the guys talking about how if it is really something you want, you will make time. It's the hardest thing to begin with, but it's definitely getting easier and feeling more natural

    Anyway, would love to hear others thoughts on your question as I can see myself getting burnt out if i'm not careful



  • @Juleesa I'm in the same boat too and it is really hard to fit some illustration work into eating/relaxing/exercising/socialising etc all around work hours! But recently I've tried getting into a bit of a habit of working for at least an hour EVERY night. Even if its just writing down ideas, or doodling or working digitally.
    I'm trying to create a brand new portfolio so it is taking longer than usual, I've only managed to create 3 fully finished pieces this year 😞 but it is important not to burn yourself out otherwise you won't want to do ANY work, that's why I've limited myself to only an hour or two each night. There was a time when I was coming home from work at 6 and then starting to illustrate from 8pm until 2am, then up for work again at 7! Urgh!

    Maybe you could take your sketchbook to work with you if you're able to? Then you could plan what you want to work on when you get home in the evening 🙂



  • 'Lower your expenses' rather than working more to make more money. Excellent wisdom from Lee; so simple and so generally ignored in our culture. Thanks for that gold piece of advice.



  • I loved this episode when I listened to it, but I think there should be a follow up ...

    Like, how to find Balance between The Drawing side of being an Artist and the Social stuff ... I guess you could call it, Creating / Marketing Balance

    No idea sometimes how to study and improve, while also doing drawings to practice what I'm learning and still being part of the forums for instance, or on social media / making videos ... all while also continuing to meditate and take care of my life lol

    I find it tricky.


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