If you had a year off...

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  1. #1
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    If you had a year off...

    Just "hypothetically" (nothing to do with recent unemployment extensions) ... suppose for (up to) the next year you had virtually no bills, no job, no obligations family, relationship or otherwise, and every Teusday morning someone deposited $375 into your checking.

    What would you do with the year?

    How much portfolio should a person be able to get done in that time? How much of America should they be able to see? How well should they be able to get in shape? Would you invest the extra cash into gear, or classes, or save? Would you be excited? Would you date someone in that position?

    I'm halfway considering throwing the tent in the trunk, roadtripping America with sketchbook in hand, showering via daypass gym memberships...

    What would you do?

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  3. #2
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    I would probably divide it between travel and art. I've always wanted to do a tour of the southwest and west coast. Go to New Mexico to see Area 51, Hit up Nevada and Vegas. Then work my way through LA, San Diego and San Fran. Might finish up in Seattle or just head home.

    Then the rest of the time I would spend finishing all the ideas I have for various mods and games to put in my portfolio.

    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."
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  5. #3
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    Play video games, get those fancy model kits I've always wanted, draw, watch obscure and pretentious artsy fartsy movies, send my friends gifts, draw, get my computer upgraded, buy some CA tutorials, draw, get a new tablet, and... uh, draw some more.

    I don't live in Eagleland so

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  7. #4
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    buy 375 lottery tickets each week

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  9. #5
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    Get out the South african tour guides map books and load the car..

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  11. #6
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    I'd draw, play video games, work out, explore...

    I LOVE being outside and now that the weather is starting to improve I'd be out every chance I got. Hiking and painting, taking photos, exercising. I'd do obscure things like geocaching and I'd go urban exploring. I'd learn new art forms. I'd try to get involved with the local art community and go to figure drawing classes when I could.

    I'd likely stay up until the middle of the night playing video games... I love me some MMOs... but that's a secret!

    And I'd try my best to live life, travel. If you do travel, please make sure you experience the places and not just the touristy areas. I lived in the UK for two years and the being involved in the communities, staying in bed and breakfasts when I travelled around or even hostels (the not so crappy ones) was so much fun and some of the best experiences ever.

    I'd also invest in spending hours every day drawing, studying, anything I could. You'd be suprised how easy it is to get lazy when you have time on your side. But do as mucha s you can!

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  12. #7
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    Video games and lotto tickets are pretty hard to argue against. That said, as someone who is still aspiring to a staff gig somewhere I'll be thinking along the lines of improving portfolio as much as possible with the majority of the down time. Volunteering also comes to mind. I'm more than a decade removed from undergrad and temp jobs haven't offered much for the sake of references.

    If I travel I'll try to do so with a good excuse. Driving from Ohio to CTNX, or doing location sketches in different places to bulk up a sketchbook section on the site as well as maybe having something interesting to say in an interview.

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  13. #8
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    Proper gear and corrective surgery.

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  14. #9
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    Joke answer aside, I would def improve on my art and workout alot more, I actually be able to afford the gym lol prob get a better flat too, and def better internet, crappy 3 mobile broadband -.-

    That said, money aside, I do actually have alot of free time since I work 4 hours a night, excluding weekends, and sleep, I have 20 hours a day free. Art wise, I have alot of time to improve, ive been lazy and before that depressed, so I never used that time wisely that stops now though

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  15. #10
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    Start writing and illustrating a postmodern novel / graphic novel (don't think 'comic'). A wondrous and sickening marriage to work.

    Brendan Noeth

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  16. #11
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    I would probably drive myself totally crazy within two weeks of lazing around and then I would start looking around for some big and interesting project to work on, or a job or volunteer work that I can sink my mental teeth in.

    A year without any external drive or motivation would most likely mean certain death by brainrot for me, even though I like to travel and do my own projects

    Last edited by yoitisi; March 11th, 2010 at 12:22 PM.
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  17. #12
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    just so everyone knows, there's roughly 52 Tuesdays to a year, and you get 375 each Tuesday, thats 19,200 dollars. If you keep track of it and spend it wisely, I bet there's a lot one could do.

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  18. #13
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    ...a year off...

    I...do not...understand...the...concept...






    ...?....

    No position or belief, whether religious, political or social, is valid if one has to lie to support it.--Alj Mary

    Ironically, the concept of SIMPLICITY is most often misunderstood by simple-minded people. --Alj Mary
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  20. #14
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    If you ARE indeed referring to unemployment, then be careful about travel (even if only for a few days at a time).

    You are not legally allowed to collect any unemployment while traveling more than a certain distance from your home unless you can provide documents that the travel was for a job interview at a company you are willing to relocate for.

    Working on your portfolio is a much safer use of your time.

    'Cuz life is full of your regrets, and I should be one...
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  21. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitnrun View Post
    just so everyone knows, there's roughly 52 Tuesdays to a year, and you get 375 each Tuesday, thats 19,200 dollars. If you keep track of it and spend it wisely, I bet there's a lot one could do.
    Yeah, but that's first world countries. To give you some perspective, I only earn about half of your 19,200 dollars a year putting in full working weeks. And I don't get paid for overtime>



    Brendan Noeth

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  22. #16
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    Sadly I would probably waste a lot of time. If I have no obligations, I tend to waste my time. Actually I tend to procrastinate and waste time even if I have obligations.

    The best way to go in my case would be to go see a therapist or trainer or whatever that makes me work hard on self discipline and work ethic. I think I should do that even if I never take a year off, as that's precisely the only thing that keeps me from achieving most of my dreams. Also I'd hire a personal trainer and work out.

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  23. #17
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    Experience tells me that I would do nothing. I'm only productive when I'm avoiding work.

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  24. #18
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    You're tempting me. Unfortunately I have a family that depends on me feeding them. If I was young and single now I'd work like the devil at my art unlike I did when I was young and single. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

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  25. #19
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    If you're serious about your art and feel you need improvement to land a job or whatever, I'd take that year and treat it like a golden opportunity to improve. Set a study schedule and stick to it like a madman and constantly work on your art. Treat your unemployment like a job. You'll be glad you did.

    Screw the travel. Do that when you have real money and a job. Besides, you'll find that $375/week won't get you as far as you think. Shit happens, cars break down, taxes need to be paid, etc.

    But that's just me.

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  26. #20
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    If i didn't have to worry about any costs at all... well i've wanted to get better at Zbrush for awhile. I'd probably dive head first into that program and start studying up on my anatomy & figures, and see what i can do.

    I've also wanted to work on my anatomy drawing the female figure, as i've got my male anatomy down fairly decent but havent really sharpened a good technique for drawing women, it's been slipping behind all of my other knowledge.

    So i'd probably work on all of that in between a lot of games, gym, do some architecture studies and maybe even blow the dust off of my camera and do a little photography.

    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
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  27. #21
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    do it. travel. art is very influenced by your personal experience. seeing new things expands one's experiences, thus granting them a larger bag of tricks and more individual personal narrative to pull from. life is too short to spend it tucked behind a desk or easel.
    you will see and experience things that will influence you for the rest of your life traveling.

    my two cents,

    c36

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  29. #22
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    I agree that travel is a great mind opener. I did all mine as a kid. Not all of it was great but it always helps to see how other people see life and where their priorities lie.

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  30. #23
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    Coro's right...

    I'd spend the majority of my time exploring places I've yet to see, and revisiting those I've been away from. A year of time, unobstructed, is so long... What an amazing situation to be in if it happened.

    Travel travel travel... not just physically, but let your thoughts, memories, and experiences wander away from proximity, away from similarity, away from familiarity and towards better things!

    Let's boycott everything. Everyone take a year off!

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  31. #24
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    I'd travel like hell... first tour all of south america, by bus, and stay in cheap hostels. then'd try doing the same in europe, if i still have money and time, i'd go to thailand/china/malaysia, places like that.... and take a sketchbook with me.

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  32. #25
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    $375?
    I would starve

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  33. #26
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    $375 ?, that wouldn't cover food, or gas on a road trip... (I live in expensiveland, aka. Norway)

    If I had a year off, I might actually want to live in nature, drawing and exploring the world on foot, but I fear I would become lonely and/or crazy within a short amount of time. =) Perhaps I would sign on to some whaling expedition, do to the arctic for 6 months. Perhaps explore Asia? Take the trans-siberian railroad? Basically go to some desolate and extreme environment, relax and let my mind soak in the scenery.

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  34. #27
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    I'd be careful about the moving about too much... But definitely check out what rules and regulations involved with the unemployment...

    However if this is magic money that is coming from some other method with little or no conditions... GO FOR IT!!!! DRAW EVARY DAMN THANG!!! EV ARY THANG.... EV ARY THANG.

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  35. #28
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    Travel travel and more travel. South America for sure, Japan, China, Russia... oh and California (i've only ever been in LAX & SFO airports). I'd go back to Savannah and spend a bit more time there, maybe Atlanta, then back to Kauai (although they'd have trouble getting me to leave there again )

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  36. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilaekae View Post
    I...do not...understand...the...concept
    It's definitely a bizarre time. I feel a little guilty but after 14 years of struggling I'd be a moron not to make the most of the opportunity to put together the best portfolio I'm capable of.

    After already being off for a stretch in a rustbelt town where I barely know anyone, and without a car or much money, I'm feeling that doing some things "good for the soul" would lend themselves to being productive.

    36, unemployed and living at home doesn't seem to be the sexiest platform to work from as far as getting dates, so I'm thinking that travel might be the most available option for the time being.

    I have no idea if this recession is a blessing that's finally providing the open space to work on portfolio, or a curse that's delayed the start of a career via the portfolio I already had. Overall though, I trust myself to be productive and I'm excited.

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  37. #30
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    Bill, I've heard a lot of people who got laid off due to the recession (in the US mostly) are saying it might be the best thing it ever happened to them. A lot of people in their 20s, myself included, end up working a job "for a while" to get them money so they "can pursue their dreams"... But people get complacent and if money is coming in and the job provides leads to more money people can, although not always, end up staying where they are and moving up a career path they never saw themselves on.

    But with the recession a lot of people are taking a hard look at what they want and getting to skill sets to go where they want to be. So it sucks and it's negatively impacted so many people. But it's really what you make of it that matters. So work, work, work. I'll check your sketchbook ALL the time and bug you to not slack

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