One day in Providence I was working on Clarence, finishing up a colored page and in the middle of a save, Corel Painter crashed. The file I was working on was corrupted; it would not open. The page had taken roughly three weeks to complete and I had lost all the work.
In hindsight I'm lucky it was just one page, but at the time, starting over, I was freshly crazed, saving constantly and looking over my shoulder, sniveling like some paranoid deviant. It wasn't the first time Painter had crashed nor would it be the last, but it was the only time I ever lost an entire page of work. I will never forget the lesson. Always make a backup.
I also started working on multiple color pages at once instead of going through one image at a time. The advantage of this is it creates a consistency across pages, and you don't get sidetracked refining little details too early on. On the down side, this method creates the illusion that you aren't making tangible progress. I would work days, weeks, even months, and not have any new pages done, just all the pages slightly more finished.
Also while living in Providence, I was not (as the picture above might suggest) living alone in some kind of freakish art-cave. Many of my friends were RISD students and eventually, I somehow became adopted as one too. I drifted into the Film department to sit in on a few classes and suddenly I was completing homework assignments and going on field trips, and winding up in the department's graduation photo.
Clarence, sadly, started to collect dust while I got back to my movie-making roots. Eventually I had to make a big decision: either collaborate with one of my best friends shooting an ambitious, special effects heavy sci-fi comedy feature film, or keep slogging it out and finish Clarence. I decided to make the movie. Clarence went on hold.