For the last three months I was working in an office, living the ‘part time job, full time artist’ life.
Back in the summer of 2014 I applied for a very interesting position, made it to the last round of interviews and was deeply disappointed when the job was given to the other finalist. I was told that it was a difficult decision and we should stay in touch… I believed it and did keep in touch. I applied for something else, that didn’t work out either and I eventually gathered my courage to abandon the “ordinary path” and start a full time creative career.
A year later, I was offered the exact same job. The candidate who was selected over me was expecting a baby and they needed a maternity replacement. Continue reading
We are nearing the festive season and I will participate in two different, crafty Christmas markets in the next few weeks. Having started on this freelance illustration path a little over a year ago, I still don’t have much experience with markets and art-fairs, but I really look forward to engaging with people face-to-face as opposed to over Facebook.
This weekend I conducted my first workshop on the invitation of a well known Belgian illustrator and positive spirit, Mademoiselle Smoothie. She has just opened a “pop-up shop” in her hometown, Liège for four months. September is dedicated to illustrators and I am among the five artists exhibiting and selling their work for the next couple of weeks. Each of us is also organising a creative workshop and mine was the first in line.
A few months ago I posted about how it feels to be a freelance illustrator and work from home. At that point I felt like a lonely warrior, who is only connected to the “real world” through internet. Things have moved forward since then and I’ve started to make some new friends from the Brussels creative crowd. I feel like I’m discovering an entire parallel universe, this magical world of people who do something with their hands, who focus on building a community and with whom I can exchange about the experience of being a creative person. I’m in the process of growing new roots in Brussels through discovering this group of people. Definitely a hugely positive added value of my “new path”.
In this third and final post about the reality of working as a freelance illustrator, I’ll reflect on all the new skills I’ve acquired (or realised I need to acquire if I want to succeed). Once I stopped working in an office I had plans to improve my IT skills, so I took courses in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. These were useful and serve me until this day, but in the meantime I realised that my “skill-palette” needs to be far more diverse than graphic design softwares…
One of the most noticable changes between working in an office and working as a freelance illustrator is how you deal with time. I am now much more in charge of what I do, when I do it and for how long. I also need much more self-discipline as I don’t necessarily need to deliver anything on time, and on most days no one is around to give me a disapproving look about how many times I checked Facebook. Continue reading
I had been planning to complain about clients and even made public promises, but the time just never seems to be right for it. After weeks of procrastination, I have to admit that – so far – I find more pleasure than inconvenience in working freelance and I am therefore not so eager to complain…
Instead, I will try to give an insight to how the past few months have been. At first I thought I’d list “the positives” and “the negatives”, but on a second thought I decided to just write about my overall impressions and experiences. As I was writing I also had to realise that I have too much to say for one blogpost and ended up breaking it down. So, this first “chapter” is about relationships with regard to freelance work (including loved ones, friends and clients).