There’s a decision I’ve been scared to make for months, since it always felt dumb, both financially and career-wise. It still feels dumb in that respect, but after having a breakdown in October, I know this is probably what’s wisest for my mental health. So, I’m finally allowing myself to announce it publicly, despite how much it frightens me…
I’m taking an indefinite break from art commissions. I’m pretty much in a constant state of terror whenever working on one, thanks to my anxiety. (Panic attacks are not uncommon.) This, coupled with my perfectionism, can lead to some unhealthy habits on my part. (It’s too easy for me to forgo eating and sleeping in order to meet a deadline, for example.) Since I struggle with mental health issues outside of this—I self-harm by hitting, am overwhelmed with intrusive thoughts, and have also wanted to kill myself—I feel like if I have the power to remove a stressor, I should.
Although I’ve been working hard to improve my mental health since my breakdown, these issues are still a daily battle, and can even bring me down on the best of days. Since many commissions that come my way have inflexible deadlines, I simply don’t feel comfortable committing myself to one until I know I have better control of my self-destructive urges. Might cause unintentional delays for a client otherwise, and I'd feel like absolute scum if that were to happen.
If/when I return to commissions, I’ll probably make some changes to the guidelines, especially in regards to the pricing. I often feel like I’m killing myself to meet a deadline and make the art as perfect as possible, and I really shouldn’t put myself through that kind of stress for how little I charge. I have to figure out a fairer price for the amount of time and effort I put in. I can picture myself easing back into commissions with something simpler, like ACEOs, but I honestly don’t have any concrete plans right now. I want to focus on my own projects at the moment.