I have been doing a lot of research on what it really means to be a freelance illustrator and I realized something today.
One of the books I was reading talks about how a person that becomes a freelancer in any industry , though they have to take on a great deal of responsibility, also will find themselves freed up to really do anything they have a passion for in life. whether they always wanted to sail around the world on a boat or they want to be a jazz singer in a night club. Being a freelancer can not only give you freedom to control your money, but also freedom to control every facet of your life.
I am not saying there is no work involved, but if you are doing something you love for a living is it really work.
I was thinking about my experiences over the last year. I have a lot of loose ends to tie up. Unpaid bills, everything I own in another state, wanting to get married and living with my BF, and for some reason it seems one of the biggest obstacle, funny enough, is getting back to Ohio to get my stuff. I started almost thinking I regretted that t ever happened that I moved there because I still ended up back in Missouri do to unforeseen circumstances.
But, I quickly took it back when I realized it was the first time I ever lived solely on my own work. It was really one of the first and only times I experience what it meant to have true freedom. It would have been even better had I had financial freedom but I digress.
I woke up when I wanted, I could go and come when I wanted, I got to draw all the time, I think my biggest worry was paying bills and food. So I drew some more to get what I needed. A homeless person couldn't have had a better life. I realize even though it was only 6 months of my life how much I really missed being free of the burden of a 5-9 minimum wage job where you could be easily replaced by another person willing to work the same low wages.
In the book I was reading, they spoke of a news station in this town that had the same starting pay rate since 1976 just because there were so many reporters out there wanting to work so badly, that they would work for very little pay. It is the same idea of why companies like to hire college students or kids right out of college. They know they will do anything to get to do what they love for a living. Even work for free.
Not saying I didn't love working in a studio. I really truly loved that experience. However I felt a lot of frustration when I had to get up at 5:30 A.M to get out the door and I got home around 9:00PM exhausted and hungry. I said I loved it but I never really want to live that lifestyle again. I had to stop freelancing because i spent so much time out on the road I was couldn't think straight when I was home at night. Weekends were spent in recovery from the conic pain I had in my feet from walking so much.
The extreme opposite happened when I freelanced. I always tried to be awake and at the desk before 10.
The other day I was at the gas station and this women was in line trying to by cigarettes but her debit card was maxed and she had the guy running the card over and over and the look on his face was exactly the look I felt I had when I had to work in places I didn't want to be. That I hate these people and I hate this job and I hate my life face. I felt his pain.
I am looking forward to a new freedom but there will be some work to be done to have it. I expect to work harder than I have ever worked as an artists in my life. Hell yeah and I plan to have fun every second of it.