The source video for all the translated techniques

I watched this GDC video by Seth Coster a while ago. It’s excellent for its intended purpose of helping game design teams, and I recommend you watch the whole thing if that’s relevant to you. However it also got me thinking of how to apply the principles to other kinds of creative work, especially solo.

A metaphor for the title

The main point that stood out to me is the stance of “Crunch is not an option”. In game development, crunch is a period of overtime work before a deadline, bringing up 60, 80 or even 100…


Some tools and methods to check before taking the leap.

Photo by Daria Tumanova on Unsplash

Here’s an important exercise to check what your financial situation would be if you tried to live off your art alone, or evaluate how it’s going if you already are. To use a coined phrase, the answer may surprise you. It’s far better to have a clear view of the bottom before jumping in, murky waters can hide all kinds of dangers.

Note: This calculator works mainly for commission, contract or client work, charging money for time. …


Below is a blog a wrote in the middle of the 2020 detailing a positive step in my artistic journey. I have strayed since then, but everything here is still useful. Please take a look.

The Comfort Zone article I wrote earlier in the year cleared up a lot of things for me, so I decided to put it into practice and see how effective it is. I put a few weeks into deciding and establishing a comfort zone for myself, and it turned out pretty well! Here are the steps I took to get there.

What I did

Picking a path

I started with listing…


and how to make more money when you understand them.

Making a living with art means doing business, so we’re going to look at some business fundamentals. We’re going to break down and introduce concepts gradually and clearly so if you’re usually overwhelmed or intimidated by this stuff, you’re in good hands.

video accompaniment

Most of this information is repackaged from this great video from Chris Do @TheFutur, recontextualised for an artist audience and with my own twist. Give the source a watch if you have an hour though. We’re going to go over:

  • The difference between Price and Cost
  • Where Profit comes from
  • How this all relates to Value

I watched a video from Adam Duff recently with a very catchy title — Your Procrastination Has Nothing To Do With Being Lazy. He was talking about how procrastination and avoidance of work often isn’t born from laziness, but rather a bad feeling about your work that comes from constant discomfort.

You don’t know how to make the thing you’re imagining, so you have to figure out how at the same time as making it. The creation process is long and filled with trial-and-error stumbling that doesn’t make you feel masterful. It makes you feel clumsy and ignorant and like…


Improve your craft through action over perfection!

Video accompaniment

In the argument of quantity vs quality, I’ve seen a shift over to the quantity side and I agree with a lot of their arguments. What I’ve seen said lately is not that quality isn’t valuable, but that the mindset that comes from producing a few high quality things isn’t conducive to effective learning. It leads to a lot of wasted time polishing potential bad foundations, when you could move on and try again. Rather, you should produce a lot so that you get quality through quantity.

Photo by Ian McGrory on Unsplash

It reminds me of a behind-the scenes-interview with a National Geographic…


Below is an article I wrote in February. It feels like a lifetime ago, with everything that’s happened globally and personally, but at the time I was excited about a new way of looking at habits.

Video accompaniment, not exact reading

I’ve recently heard a lot about Micro-habits, or Atomic habits if you’re following James Clear’s book. What are they, how are they different to regular habits, and why are they beneficial? …


Pointless and boring, or meditative exercise?

Video accompaniment

Why should you do line drills? What can they do for you? How can you do something so repetitive without wanting to pull your hair out?

The most deconstructed root fundamental skill for all 2D art is repeatedly putting marks where you want them. The only way to do that consistently is through practice. Drills are a kind of practice that distil one aspect, take out all other concerns and let you just focus on one thing to improve it faster. …


A Figuary retrospective

Video accompaniment

This year I participated in an event called Figuary: figure drawing month, where you complete a figure drawing session every day of February. I used the Croquis Cafe video sessions on Vimeo, though I accidentally started with 2019’s sessions and followed it through for consistency. These are an excellent, free resource for figure drawing with that little extra nuance over simple images and with built-in timing, great to have available.

The YouTube channel Love Life Drawing is their partner during the event, providing daily educational material. They were really helpful for giving a focus and structure to the…

Jonathan Caridia

NZ-based designer, illustrator and writer now too I guess?

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