I hope that you like my (poorly drawn) comic. I'm poking a little fun at myself so indulge me in a chuckle. I also dare any other freelance illustrator to look me in the eye and honestly tell me that you have never felt that way at one point or another. ;)
A year ago (June 6th and I'm posting a few days early) I left my job to pursue illustration full time. It seems like it was just yesterday - time goes by so fast these days. Although I have been freelancing for years I never had the opportunity to give it a go full time and it was partially out of fear. Fear of the unknown: would I make enough money? Would I fall flat on my face and have to go crawling back to a job that I couldn't stand being at because I was dead broke and not getting any work at all? What about that (measly) paycheck that I "relied" on every two weeks? How would I survive without it? Fear of unknown was keeping me from being more successful with my art.
So with the help of Brian, the mastermind behind The Unselfie Project, as well as the support from my family and awesome friends, I made a plan and jumped. A LOT has happened in one year. I have had the opportunity to work with so many fantastic people on all kinds of interesting illustration assignments. Plus, The Unselfie Project took off, I've created hundreds of portraits for it and was able to turn it into a successful side gig. Of course, sometimes there are the unglamourous bread and butter jobs that I would not put in my portfolio but I'm steadily getting more of the kinds of assignments that I love and thrive on as well. I am grateful for both.
Finding balance has always been a struggle for me. I tend to go all out on everything and am a bit of a self proclaimed workaholic. I do need to make sure that I find the time to relax a bit more. Sometimes I tend to confuse relaxation with laziness, the latter being a trait which I despise! I do need to get a more structured, as opposed to the current "somewhat" structured, day to day schedule that I live. All of that will fall into place, eventually.
Being an illustrator is not an easy career choice, but it's the path that I chose. At times it can be stressful and you need to have a thick skin because you get a lot of "no's". But when you get those "yes's" it's such a thrill. Even after all of these years I still get that rush of excitement when a great new project comes my way. So yeah, I can say that I don't mind working my ass off to be able to do what I'm doing. I don't know where the path will take me but I know that I am on the right one. So I march forward. And the fear? Well, there were ALWAYS be the unknown. You just gotta get over it.