8 years

So.... some people asked for the first illustration. Actually the very first was made on canvas with acrylics but I don't have a photo of that one (and I'm kinda happy about it...*orz* ) but while dugging in my junkyard of old files I found this:
... I get the twisted mix of shame (practically happens when I see ALL the old stuff I made because hey 8 years can change a lot), guilt (because I did this) and being proud (because though it's 8 years old I've seen worse...).
It was made for a computer equipment company and obviously they thought manga is cool, so we do something with a bikini girl in manga look and because *gasping for air* I still was into drawing manga stuff at that time I... said yes.

In the end is was A4 size in a mag (couldn't find it and I have no idea if I still have it) and looked like this:
*guilt trip number 2*
I have no idea how much I got for it.

So... that's the first and I think everybody has one of those corpses deeply hidden somewhere. Now mine's official ^^;

how much time passed before you were sure you want to stay freelance and before it looked like a good place to stay in?
Does it ever? Actually I still have those moments when I think "Buh, just a normal work would be kinda nice... or something totally different." Those mostly happen when I worked too long on only 1 project or need my batteries recharged.
I think last year I finally decided to push those thoughts back and enjoy the work fully. Mostly because I got more job offers than I was and will be able to handle and because that of course meant I didn't have to take any jobs I 100%ly know would be a pain in the ass to get through.
I know every job can turn into something stressfull up from a certain point but I try to keep those on a very low level and as long as I can say "hey, actually I will have a decent pension!" and "yes, I can spare 200 bucks for new RAM" it's okay. I don't feel the pressure to do *everything* any more and that's pretty good.

would it be possible to be where you are right now without dedicating your time that much (sleepless nights, constant working during day, maybe even concentrating only on work and abandoning everything else)?
Um... no. =_= I had a lot of jobs that pushed me to the limit and even one where I actually had a moment of crying and being just done and everything hurt and though it was like my biggest nightmare it always reminds me where my limits are. And that the word "limit" also includes to listen to your body and if something feels impossible to do it's better to say no.
The other thing is that I know people appreciate that I take care of delivering the quality they expect and sometimes it means working 1-6 hours more. And that's okay... I rather work longer than delivering crap.
I know this makes me a bit of a hermit most of the time- which is okay since I'm not *that* social and have no cravings to party hard. As long as I can meet a friend for skating or exhausting myself in the high ropes courses it's okay.

who and what helped you the most? 
For one... my family, because I could do what I wanted to do though they doubted everything in the beginning and I had to earn their understanding and respect for the job. This might sound bad but my parents life in a totally different world and it's okay because they still tried hard and understand now that it's my life and what I'm breathing.
The other one much obviously is my boyfriend because I'm a mess when it comes to daily chores and being tidy and doing my tax papers (you see where this leads... hopeless case regarding reality) and I'm just a lucky girl that I have someone who has no problems with helping out and being organized (am not), being there for me when I have those mental moments right before a deadline and who entertains the cats when I have to work. That means of course I have the best male individum on the planet because he bears and (not always) accepts my chaos.

Possibly I have to admit the what-part would be growing up within the last couple of years(up to a certain point). I got more easy-going, more confident and more aware of the whole... how to explain... communication-subtitle-reflecting-calculating-everything-around-a-job thing.
I worked on my soft skills and though I'm still failing now and than I think it's a part of the experience. The other thing is deciding in which direction I want to go (which included dropping some ideas and concentrating on others). It meant a lot of testing, a lot of weird jobs and a lot of "Oh god, never again" but I found out where my strong points are and that helped a lot.

I think I don't have to mention that payment is and will always be a critical point in the freelancer job and I can strongly advise to sell yourself not cheaply. We always  have to accept prices when we go into the supermarket, buy clothes and everything else. The freelance field doesn't follow the same rules but it doesn't mean everybody can treat you as a doormat.
I had a lot of talks with customers who had brilliant ideas but expected me to work for free or believe in the "There will be money once we have a publisher"-talk (which is ridiculous.. every publisher can always choose a different illustrator- you're the smallest problem they'll have). The problem is: It's always the vision and dream of somebody else and it's up to you and only you if you want to to work for that vision or not. Never feel the pressure to say yes, because somebody gets totally emotional.
I don't want this to sound totally demotiviating but you have to keep as neutral as possible in those moments.
I'll try the puppy eyes as well when I want something (cheaper) and it's still up to the other person if my puppy eyes work or not. Keep it in mind.

I din't beta anything of the text above. If you find mistakes- keep them ;)

1 comment:

Aleksandra Chabros (aka Adelaida) said...

Thank you for answering those questions ^_^ It's good to read the wisest's way of thinking.

Your first picture is pretty good :) And It went straight to a magazine! That's something!

The pricing topic is always a hard one to come by. I hope I will learn it with time. Together with more art-courage, self-esteem as an artist and so on. I'm already a way ahead from where I've started but there's still a long way to go.