Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

The Daily Drop Cap evolved out of Jessica Hische’s observation of how she procrasinates.

LOS ANGELES — It’s hard work being a full-time artist. Sure, outsiders think artists live a free, unencumbered life, full of self-expression and joie de vivre. But all the art costs money to make and energy to sell it, and few artists have a manager breathing down their back, so the motivation to do and create has to come solely from the artist. And as with any freelancer or small business owner, artists can be tempted to put off important work, as the usual pressures of an office environment aren’t present.

I recently came across the idea of “procrastiworking,” and it might just be the secret sauce for artists struggling to stay focused. Here’s how Shareable explained it:

Barely five years out of college, Jessica [Hische] has become well-known for her wildly popular “procrastiworking” projects such as the Daily Drop Cap, the Should I Work for Free? flowchart, 52 x 52 and Don’t Fear the Internet. Her philosophy is that we should pay attention to the things we do when procrastinating: those are the things we should probably be doing for a living because we actually enjoy them the most.

Like that knack for doodling when you’re bored? You could transform that energy into something Daily Drop Cap, which Hische says “really catapulted me onto the design scene.” Her illustrations of drop caps — those fancy letters that start a paragraph — were a reworking of her creative energies after she went freelance.

Procrastiworking is a great idea, both for full-time artists trying to make those procrastinating moments productive and for budding artists still trying to find their creative path in life. Pay attention to those moments when you’re slacking off. A love for funny jokes on the internet could become a book. A tendency to snap photos with your iPhone could become a photography series. Maybe you just like to sit and stare at the wall? Hey, sounds like the perfect performance art piece.

The Latest

Required Reading

This week, LA’s new Academy Museum, the intersections of anti-Blackness and anti-fatness, a largely unknown 19th century Black theater in NYC, sign language interpreters, and more.


An Xiao

Artist An Xiao (aka An Xiao Mina) photographs, films, installs, performs and tweets and has shown her work in publications and galleries internationally. Find her online at @anxiaostudio...

2 replies on ““Procrastiworking” Your Way to Creative Success”

  1. If you spend so much time on video games and always have to get the latest one, it might be worth reviewing them. You can get paid for reviews, tips articles, all sorts of related topics or go to work at a game company as a beta tester. It takes dedication – but that “procrastiworking” outlook is where most of the people I’ve ever known who got jobs in the game industry got started. 

    Cartoonists started life as goof-offs and class clowns making fun of everything around them. It’s an old concept and just as true as it ever was.

  2. Really interesting concept- procrastiworking. For the past few years i’ve found that having an attitude like that actually helps get things done. After getting tired of working on one thing, using some free time to actually get something else done can be super helpful.

Comments are closed.