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About Digital Art / Professional Core Member Ray Cornwell II33/Male/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 11 Years
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Given by Delta9-11
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Burnout... and Keeping the Torch Lit!

Journal Entry: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 8:13 PM

I always try to keep a positive public face. I like to do my best to be an agent of positive influence, in whatever I do, or with whoever I talk to, online or offline. But I have to be honest about something very real...

I am burned out!

This sudden realization probably stems from the difficulties I had with my health last month. It set me back on my workload, which was already tightly packed. The honest truth is I took on too much work, and I took the gamble that there wouldn't be any set backs. So when I injured my shoulder last month, and then got sick twice in a row (two different ailments that I never get), it really set me back in a big way. 

Add to that the fact that I haven't had a break from work in almost 5 years. The last vacation I took was in 2012, while I was still a manager at a local cell phone store chain. After a year of working 60-70 hours a week there, I skipped out on a promotion and quit, taking a big risk to follow my dream of being a professional artist. Then, from the beginning of 2013 until today, I have been taking commissions as a freelance illustrator from private clients and studios, Working day and night without taking any time off... save for an occasional guilty weekend, here or there. 

I need a vacation...

I have actually tried to schedule in time for a vacation from all commission work, all year, with no success. It's taken a lot of work to get to where I am as a professional artist, and so being a workaholic has become my usual mental setting. But while I have been successful in staving off the effects of burnout for all these years, I feel like it is getting harder and harder to ignore. 

To clarify, I am not talking about a burnout of art. I love creating art every day, and I plan to for as long as my hands and eyes work. Toss me in the ocean as soon as they quit on me, because then I will have taken all that I want out of life.

No, what I am talking about is commissioned work. Drawing other people's visions. And I gotta be honest, I get some really awesome commissions tossed my way! Excellent ideas and projects that are right up my ally of interest! I should honestly be thrilled to work on these drawings!... But lately... I am not. 

My dreams...

The thing is, the commissions aren't MY ideas. They aren't MY projects. Call it selfish, but I have been sitting on my own ideas for years now, without being able to take any steps forward to bring those ideas to life. I started drawing as a kid because I wanted to draw comics. But is that what I do? No, I have carved a living out of doing illustrations of character art, scenes, and covers. That's really cool! I should really enjoy doing that, and I did for a long while! But as I keep mentioning in this journal, I am burned out. My own ideas have been on the back burner for so long, that they are starting to go bad. And that is the worst feeling. 

I can relate how I feel like this: It's like having a favorite game you like to play, but every time you play it, you have to play with a backseat gamer who tells you where to go, what to do, and so on. There may be things in that game that you want to explore on your own, but you can't. They are paying you to play, so you have to play their way. Art is fun for me. It's like a game, to me. A fabulous game full of all my wildest dreams. Those dreams are just waiting behind the closed door of a blank canvas, and I just can't wait any longer to find out what's on the other side. 

So I have a resolution!

I am taking an extended hiatus from taking commissions. Seriously, it could be many months, or longer. I really couldn't do this if it wasn't for the support I receive on Patreon, and Gumroad. Just to reiterate, this does not mean I will not be making more art. I will just be making my own art, for a while. And that should be great for most of you, because it means more art! My personal art takes me waaaaay less time than my commission work, so I can start doing daily posts again, as well as larger, story driven scenes... And eventually, actual comics!

So I hope this journal doesn't upset anyone. I know there are lots of people out there who really want to commission me, and have been waiting patiently, for a while. All I can say is that I am sorry. I need to focus on myself, and my own growth as an artist. I hope you understand. 



Ray Cornwell II
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States


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jonwassing Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist Writer
Your work is absolutely fantastic!
RoninDude Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
That's very kind of you to say!
MitternachtAngel Featured By Owner 6 days ago
You gallery is a pure display of total art awesomeness i have so much fun watching each piece a true feast to the eyes, keep the great and awesome work you are insanely amazing When you're filled with Determination Just Right! lolololol EYEBROWS [ YURI ON ICE ] Applause. 
RoninDude Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much! I really appreciate that. :)
Revontulet1982 Featured By Owner 6 days ago
I just came across your work today, and I'm very impressed! Looking forward to see what you have in store for us next :)
RoninDude Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! I am glad to hear that, and I look forward to sharing more art with you!
Kalebold Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2016
Hi was just wondering when the october art pack will go up on Gumroad?
RoninDude Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Hey there! I should be uploading it by the 5th of December, along with the November pack. There were some delays, but it should be ready by then. I will post a link to it in my gallery, like usual, when it's ready. :)
Broken-King Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016
Happy to see that you're still trucking along! You've come a long way man. I'm really impressed. 
RoninDude Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you very much! Yeah, still kicking! :D
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