Congrats to me!
This time a year ago I had just chucked my "day job" and I have never looked back.
Last year I had been balancing this particular job - which had faithfully paid my bills for the last 5 years - with the occasional illustration or painted commission. It was an alright job, my colleagues were lovely, and as I said it paid the bills. Unfortunately it wasn't a challenging role and I often felt bored. My vivid imagination was restless and ached to fly in clear blue skies of creative freedom. What bliss!
One day after watching too much of AMC's 'The Walking Dead', I thought to myself, "If the zombie apocalypse does come and I'm turned into a Walker (zombie).... what kinda zombie would I be?"
Don't get me wrong, I'd actually been thinking about quitting this job for a long time and I had invested months of thoughtful argument and vacillation. In the end the turning point, as silly as it sounds - but as a metaphor is on point - was that I didn't like the idea of being an eternal Walker (zombie) who hadn't at least tried to follow their dreams before an irreversible change - that would be sad!
For me, life is too short to not pursue things I liked and was good at. I said to myself "I'm good at drawing and painting and I like drawing and painting, so I should just do that as my full time job".
With that in mind I took a chance on the whole freelance illustration gig and I can honestly say 12 months later it was still the right decision for me. So far it's not a lot of money (yet), however it is the same money I was making in the job I said goodbye to a year ago.
Since focusing on illustration full time I've been constantly busy, challenged and I'm SO happy. If the zombie apocalypse does come I'll be a pretty happy and self fulfilled "Walker".
(Below is a sample of the illustration projects I have undertaken in the last 12 months.)
(Left to right, top to bottom) "Fly Sebastian Fly" Author Aaron Brindle, Crescent Moon Books. "Dr Ricktor's Amazing Automaton" Automation machine artist Robert Lingham. Personalised caricature for engagement gift. Personalised caricature for birthday gift. Personalised caricature for wedding gift. "My Name is Sam" Author Wes Stuart, Createspace Independent Publishing. "The Fear Collectors" Author Lauren E. Mitchell, Amazon.com. Personalised caricature for wedding gift. "I Wipe Better Than You" Author Kevin Fahey, Amazon.com. Concept illustrations for Pumpa surfboards. Personalised skateboard deck. Personalised caricature for wedding anniversary present.