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The Hardest Working Man in Show Business

Now that I’m back in the freelance loop, the work from Thirteen is turning from a trickle to a flood. This isn't so bad, since it means some extra cash and a chance to do some things that exercise the other half of my brain a bit. It sure is taking its toll on my free time, though. At least winter is a good time for this, since I tend not to go out as much, but it is keeping me from seeing my assorted pals as much as I’d like. This, of course, also helps me save money, which is good. Even if it is a little dull and antisocial. (I promise, kids, I haven't forgotten about any of you.)

Thirteen is the best place I’ve ever worked, and over the years they've been very good about letting me turn to them when I needed some work and then giving me chances to do some really good stuff, so I’m happy to make a little extra effort to keep that relationship going. If they could only pay me a decent salary, I would have hitched up to them on a permanent basis a long time ago. As it is, they're like an old friend who I love dearly and don't see that often, but we can always count on each other in a pinch. (And I’m certainly feeling pinched these days.)

Of course, my specialty at Thirteen (and elsewhere) has always been banging out text-heavy projects with a good, solid design in as little time as possible, so I’m not exactly getting the projects that would give me the freedom to really stretch my creative boundaries. Maybe that'll change, or maybe I'll get a lucky break with a project on a looser schedule than most. For now, I’m relying on some of my strengths as a designer — quick, decisive, lucid typography and composition — and trying to not to completely ignore my weaknesses — decisiveness over exploration, clean and easy solutions instead of the richer and more layered concepts I’m capable of if I push hard enough. My weird see-saw of a career has always given me time to try all kids of different things, and eventually return to any of them that suited me. No need to be impatient. For now, just bring on the bling-bling and see where it gets me this time.

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