Aug 19, 2016


As of this month, I've been working full-time as an illustrator for eight years. I went back today and read what I'd written about freelancing five years ago. I think it still holds up as advice, especially for newer illustrators.

The only thing I'd add is the vital importance of stepping back to assess what you want in life and in turn, your work. I'm learning (albeit, slowly) that it's okay to catch your breath and get your bearings, that it's not always necessary to be scrambling pell-mell towards the Next Thing. Dreams are good, but burnout isn't.

Also, I still stand behind the advice to eat ice cream when the job calls for it. Or donuts. Your choice.


Anonymous said...

I just went back and read your original post from three years ago . . . PERFECT advice for where I am now. I am dreaming if being a freelance illustrator (poor health doesn't allow for any other avenue) and am on the verge of starting a blog and opening an etsy store ( maybe in a few more months - once I have built up more illustrations). It is so easy to get overwhelmed and ahead of oneself when thinking of all the possibilities and paths to take and so your post is a timely reminder to CALM THE HECK DOWN! Haha . . . My Instagram tag is the_chronic_illustrator if you have time to check out my stuff . . . Xoxo

Steph Fizer Coleman said...

Yes! I absolutely agree with the importance of taking time to get your bearings. Don't you find that it's so easy to get sucked into the vortex of saying yes to every job that comes along, until you have no time to call your own? I certainly do and have only in the last few months gotten a handle on the fine art of being thoughtful about the jobs I take and saying no when a job doesn't feel right.

Abigail said...

Yes! That's hitting the nail on the head Steph -- I totally agree.

And the_chronic_illustrator, I'm glad it was helpful! Best of luck with everything. :-)