As far as I can rememeber I had problems with firm and clear cut decisions. If I had time I would overthink the matter and become more and more obsessed. It’s no secret that I prefer tight deadlines!
Since I started my collaboration with La Stampa (an Italian newspaper) I’ve become more aware of this problem of mine. The default scenario is composed of me, my tools and two hours where I must sketch, draw and deliver the final illustration.
It goes without a doubt that the first times I was nervous: the constant need to make a first good impression with future collaborators is a familiar worry that lead you through your entire career.
But such apprehension can fuel our determination and it can be seen as a healthy challenge.
After some time I realized that the strong point with tight deadlines is their intrinsic simplicity. They help me to focus to take decision that I would never allow myself to take if I had the luxury of time.
The usual thought around my head is: what solution can be done quickly and as clear as possible to transmit the message?
Sometime I recognize that what I have in front of me is not the best idea, but it helps me to think swifly.
It was, and still is, a good training.
The problem is when I have too much time on my hands. At some point I’m going to ask myself, “Why did I make it red, not green?” and “Could I try it upside-down, or left to right?” and then at some point it becomes arbitrary.
But having too much time is not always bad.
I find the sweet spot to be on 2 days. In this case I don’t feel the rush and I can have enough time to step away from my creation to start a critical analysis from fresh.
At the moment I find it difficult to dissociate instantly from my work when I have a couple of hours to create and develop. Hopefully in the future I’ll be able to create a “mental switch” that, with a simple flick, will help me to change my perspective from creator to reviewer in an instant. In the meantime, only practice can help me towards this goal.
In conclusion, my opinion on “deadline anxiety” can be seen as an opportunity and a handicap in the same way. If it is focused on the deadline itself, it gives me the chance to focus my energy on the final result. If there is not anxiety about the deadline, all of it can affect my creative part.
Do you prefer tight or long deadlines? Let me know in the comments box below!