Balance between client work and personal work is so very important when you’re freelance. I lost sight of that and really loaded on the client work for the past few years. (it doesn’t help that we have a bunch of debt now from getting ripped off by a contractor
.) So much so that I might get one personal piece done a year, and personal work is important for passive income (Prints for shows, artwork for online merchandise, etc).
It came to a breaking point here recently with the last two sketch card sets I’ve done. My rejections have always been kinda low, the last few sets I’ve seen more than half of my cards getting rejected, and I’ve seen what’s been showing up on ebay and it just doesn’t make any sense. I’ve seen high schools students do better work that what’s being approved. And this last set (Lost in Space), 34 of my 50 cards were rejected, can you pay your bills with 160.00 for a two week job? I didn’t think so. That’s why I’m done with Sketch Cards, the approvals just aren’t there, and they are taking time away from other work I should be doing. I really thought that sketch cards would/could be a stepping stone for my illustration career, but it’s definitely a dead end for me.
So once I get my commissions list cleared, I’m going back to the daily grind – full time at first then maybe to part time. This will free me up to focus on some personal work and getting my professional portfolio where it needs to be so I can start seeking book illustration work. There are too many personal projects I’ve been trying to get started, but there is always a deadline hanging over my head. Like that alien day drawing I did 2 years ago, I still haven’t painted it, or that coloring book I’ve been trying to illustrate – I can’t even find time to start it. Just so much I want to do.
I’ll still be taking personal commissions because I love doing work for other people, but I won’t be actively seeking any contract jobs till I’m ready.
Onward & upward, right?
Here is my latest drawing (that I can share)