Thursday, January 22, 2015
A List and a Mind Shift
Being a freelance illustrator, or as I prefer an independent illustrator, means life doesn't always hum along smoothly. In fact it usually means life moves at a herky jerky pace. Somedays you're rushing to meet deadlines. Other days you're wearing a hole in the rug with your pacing as you wait for art directors & buyers to make a decision on your art. Then there are the lulls between jobs when you're waiting, just waiting for something to happen, checking your e-mail, phone, twitter feed anything. And yes, I believe this kind of waiting is the worst.
In a perfect world, life as an illustrator would hum along, full of wonderful, creative, well paying dream assignments, projects. And of course all your clients would give you due dates that gave you ample time and your art would be rubber stamped OK. But real life sucks. And I bet all your deadlines, like mine, seem to clump together on the same days no matter how hard you try to schedule them. Which means you're waiting to hear back from everyone at the same time...always. In between those mad rush periods there are stretches of nothingness.
So what's the trick to keep yourself from getting too nutty? I mean after you've gotten bored with walking in circles and starring at your in-box what's next. May I suggest a list and a mind shift?
I keep a list of back burner projects. These could be anything from messing with my new color pencils, participating in a group art challenge, to working on a picture book dummy. A trick I learned as a mom was that big projects can be broken down to it's smallest components. Keep working those small bits and eventually that picture book dummy gets done.
Now for the mind shift. Think of yourself as an Independent Creative. Freelance Artist, Independent Artist, don't they mean the same thing? Yes. Perhaps. But here's the implied difference as a freelance artist your'e looking for freelance work or looking to be hired, commissioned, assigned. You work as a freelancer. In other words looking and waiting for someone to say yes. However as an independent artist you may be looking for freelance work BUT you are also coming up with your own projects perhaps even self-publishing. You are no longer just waiting for someone to give you a project. You can come up with your own. Granted you may still be submitting that project and waiting for approval or putting it out there yourself and waiting for sales. Unfortunately the waiting part can't be helped.
So Diana, you say, noticed that your website says: Diana Ting Delosh is an illustrator/author. She creates whimsical and elegant art, independently and by assignment. Why aren't you calling yourself an independent... Well for awhile I did, but then I kept getting queries about whether I took on freelance assignments. Duh!