When it gets tough


Press Forward


This sketch is from a series I was doing of racing ships. When I was working on these I was in a dip. So read on to understand.

When you down you are in a dip. I recently read through one of Seth Godin’s books called “The Dip” It could not have come at a better time. We all have our up and down times and I was in one of those dip times when I read it. Being in the dip is not fun but it is necessary for us to grow. Then you need to press forward to succeed. He also mentions being in a cul-de-sac. So when you’re in a rough spot is it time to call it quits or do you press forward through the dip. Now the cul-de-sac is something that no matter what you do it will not move you forward. You constantly toil and put energy into but it never turns out productive. So I really thought about this and went through and evaluated what I was doing and what would I consider work I do in a cul-de-sac or am I just in a dip. I did figure out that I had clients I would consider cul-de-sac clients, no matter what I do and how I approach them they are very difficult to please. So I decided to not do work for them anymore, and it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Now I was able to focus on the great clients I have. So by eliminating my cul-de-sac problem I was able to move forward out of my dip. You fall in this trap as a freelancer that you need to take every job to survive. This can hurt you and your good clients. Another way I have been overcoming dips is creating goals for myself for me personally and as a designer. You know when the hard times come, and it will get hard, you can count on that. You will be able to determine if you are in a dip or a cul-de-sac because it is part of your plan to achieve your goals. Or it is a cul-de-sac and it will get you nowhere near your goals. So keep pressing forward through your dips and get rid of your cul-de-sacs. Happy Sketchin

Dwayne Vance


  1. Mike Chappell

    Thanks for the inspirational words. I’m in one of the biggest dips I have ever encountered so far. It’s nice to hear that someone of your caliber experiences these as well. Keep up the great work!

    • Dwayne Vance

      Thanks for your comment. Yep we all go through them. Even now I feel that I am in dip, just figuring out how to plow through it.

  2. Leo Gallardo

    First of all, Im blown away with your art! And second, I just finished reading your post and I never though of it that way. Having a dip as an artist is tough to go through but reading your words help me better understand on what its like when you hit a snag in your overall creative process. Good lookin’ out! I will use this to help me go through my artisticdips.

  3. Brian Anker

    Hi Dwayne,
    I’ve just discovered you after looking for inspiration because I’m in a major dip. I’ve started drawing again after a long time away and lost confidence.
    Your work (and words) are truly inspiring.


  4. Miroslav Misic

    Hi Dwayne,

    This article is really helpful. I just found out about your blog and it really got my spirit up.
    Keep up the good work!

  5. André Costa

    Couldn´t agree more, I dont have the pleasure of having many clients (and unfortunatly, the good clients I have are struggling with money to build what I designed, no sponsors, nowhere, which is very frustrating because you see your work not getting to the next phase… 🙁

    So other objectives (personal objectives), must be drawn, or soon a work is over you find yourself with nothing to do and that is really bad, you have that sensation that you are waiting for something and the more time passes, the more desperate you become.

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