The Battle of the ‘Ketchup Bottle Syndrome’

      6 Comments on The Battle of the ‘Ketchup Bottle Syndrome’


It never fails.

I get all ramped up for starting a new storyboard. I have a good outlook and tell myself I can do all this work and still have time for the other things I want to do. Like write a blog post :). I get the little things around the house done that I didn’t have to time to do during the last storyboard. During ‘hell week‘. I’m free and clear to sit down and work.

Then it happens.


I sit and sit and stare and stare. I get up, I sit down. I get up and do things I shouldn’t do. The things that working from home draw you to. Like check email. Like see what Britney did today. Like clean the bathroom. Then I say. “Enough! Get to work!”.

And I sit and I sit. And I stare and I stare.


This could go on for days. It’s horrible.

Then the bad thoughts show up. “You do this every time!” “Why can’t you just get it done?” It’s not really procrastination because I’m still there. Sitting. Trying. My brain is everywhere but where it should be. My silly, unfocused brain.


Then…a little trickle of drawings manage to come from my pencil. Finally! OK, here it comes…little by little and not nearly enough. But it has started. The drips of creativity. A little bit of optimism to make me get up and try again the next day. It’s still not enough and I start to worry about the deadline. Always worrying about the deadline…because I’m neurotic that way.

The little glimmers of panic are on the horizon. I feel them coming. I get a bit more done but it’s still not enough. More panic. More feeling bad. Then finally…


Look at me go! Page after page, drawing after drawing. What was I worrying about? I’m fine. This will get done. No quality lost. Just clear and focused and getting the thumbnail drawings done. Silly me! Telling myself bad things. Thinking the worst. Geez, I’m flying through this stuff. Then before I know it and in amazing time, the thumbnails get done.

Whew. The ketchup finally flowed.

I hate that ketchup bottle, but it’s the story of my work life. I don’t think it will ever go away. I guess I just have to accept it. The thumbnails get done and life continues. Then it’s on to the final storyboard panels.

And it happens.



6 thoughts on “The Battle of the ‘Ketchup Bottle Syndrome’

  1. Ivan G.


    I must say . . . that blog is oddly inspiring. I know it’s an oxymoron (wait, I don’t think I use that term right). But your moments of blanking is . . . well, I think most of us have gone through it. I thought if you’re a professional artists, the ‘blanking’ moments are not supposed to be there. Because a professional will not have these sorta thing to be worried about. You are just like a regular human, and all this time I thought super artists won’t have problem such as these.

    Anyways, I can relate. And it inspires me to continue with my work. Because when doubts get into your head then it can shut you down pretty easily. Cannot let that happen.

  2. KJL

    Yes, I’m a regular human (imagine that!…lol). And it happens to everyone…probably even more to ‘creative’ humans. I think it’s just all part of the process and doesn’t matter if you’re starting out or a professional. So it’s nothing to feel bad about (even though I still do)…it just means you’re an artist. 🙂

  3. Debi

    Nice analogy with the bottle of ketchup…sound like you could use the new squeeze kind to hurry ideas along. 😉

    I find visualization helps tons in getting past blocks. Just memorizing the script a bit, then going away from pencils and paper (I choose to lay on the floor for some odd reason), close your eyes and “see” the film/show. If nothing else, you might sneak in a good nap.

  4. KJL

    Another perk with working from home…naps!

    I think it’s sometimes more of a scattered brain problem. Getting harder to ‘get in the zone’ as time goes on. It’s nice when I finally get there tho.

    But you’re right about stepping away for a while…that certainly does help. Just gotta give in to it sometimes. 🙂

  5. toyBunny

    This soooooo happens to me. And it sucks. Thanks for writing about it and letting me know I’m not the only one it happens to.

  6. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Hey tB and welcome!

    Yes, it IS comforting to know we’re not the only ones. It makes *me* feel better knowing it happens to you too!

    We’re never alone in our neurosis are we? 🙂


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