Sunday Mailbag

January 7th, 2007 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: How do you structure your time? ( i.e. describe a typical day in life of Tom Richmond.)

A: Since I work out of my home, and deadlines dictate a lot in terms of working hours, I have no set daily structure per se. Some days I do mostly paper work or get caught up on e-mailing, accounting or other boring crap. That’s if I don’t have any pressing jobs on the board. If I’ve got jobs to work on, then I try and ignore everything else and do them, but again, working at home makes that hard to do. But, here might be a typical day for me:

6:30 am- Wake up
8:00- Work out
9:30- Studio time
12:30- Lunch
1:00- Back in studio
6:00- Dinner and family time
9:00- Back in studio if I have stuff due or I did not get enough done that day, otherwise some reading, watch a movie or relax.

That’s very general. I usually see my kids as they go off to school in the mornings. I also often come up to see them after they get home for a bit, sometimes I take my wife to lunch somewhere or run errands for the caricature operations. During the summer I usually have several trips a week to the theme park to work with new artists or just check up on things, unload supplies etc. Then there are times my wife is busy and I get our autistic daughter off the bus at 2:30 and deal with her for the afternoon. There are band concerts, choirs, plays and musicals with the kids all the time, and I never miss those. “Studio Time” means everything career related from doing art for jobs, business stuff, e-mailing and even blogging!

Working at home also means I am never far from family distractions or from work distractions. I’m not very good at separating the two, so some days I end up having to spend more studio time to make up for too much house time. Also, If I am up against a deadline everything else goes out the window, and I am chained to the drawing board except for the necessities of eating, going to the bathroom and sometimes sleeping.

I know of some freelancers who have a set schedule, like a 9 to 5 job and separate the work life from the family life completely and without fail, but very few. It’s such an uncertain way of making a living that each day is never the same. I guess that makes it interesting but not very easy.

Thanks to Shane Johnson for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!


  1. Sendak says:

    Very timely post. I have made it priority #1 for the first week of this year to reevaluate the way I spend and organize my time. This is going to be a huge year with many life changes, and I wanted to have a plan of attack. Its interesting to get a feel for the way other people manage their schedules.



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