So, a few days ago I was working on an illustration.
I was fortunate enough to be doing it from home while hanging with my son. I had about 9 hours of time total devoted to it and was applying finishing touches to finalize and shoot off to the client. I decided to rest my eyes from my screen for an hour or two, come back for a fresh take on it to see if I had missed anything or wanted to add, etc.
Well, when I went to open the file, a notification popped up telling me that the file was corrupt and that I was basically SOL. Initially, the urge to destroy my entire workstation and go work construction was very tempting. After blowing off a bit of steam; allowing my mind to process everything, I eventually returned back to normal size and the green tint to my skin disappeared.
I visited a ton of blogs and different sites to gain some knowledge and hopefully recover file. I couldn't even preview the file via spacebar. I even downloaded software that claimed to fix broken files. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Fortunately, I still had my sketches for the piece. I wasn't completely screwed, but nevertheless, I lost about 7 hours of digital inking, coloring and cleanup.
I had no other option but to start over and begin process anew. I notified my client of the situation almost immediately, which they were super cool about the delay. Parenthetical: Communication and keeping your clients in the loop has been numero uno on importance for me as of late. You can act like a diva and not get back to clients right away, some artists can actually get away with it. I choose to operate a bit differently. Im not saying drop your brew and pool toys on a Sunday afternoon to answer emails, but keeping clients up-to-date puts you in a far better spot than a dodgy, flakey, hard-to-get-a-hold of visual artist; especially when feces hits the fan, as it did for me.
Lesson to be learned:
You can never back up too many times or have too many redundancies in place to ensure your hard work gets to where it needs to go. I have always been very adamant about backing up my files as well as my clients files. I tend to do it once every 2-3 weeks. Now, I have a daily back-up that goes to a 1 terabyte external hard drive. I save once on main file, duplicate and back up on my "Daily Backup" file. That way, if anything goes wrong with file A, chances are file B will be good to go and your loss is significantly mitigated.
My girlfriend and I have a saying:
"If you think it, do it!"
Intuition can be a very useful tool, inside and outside of the graphics and art-making world.
Have fun. Make cool stuff. And back up, every time.