Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Not terrible enough to quit, not good enough to be hired.

So, the myth about being a freelancer is that you get to set your own schedule as well as your own rates. While some people surely have the luxury, the reality is that most of us take whatever job comes to us and work like crazy to make sure we hit the deadlines.

On that similar note, our time off is also dictated by the job as well. Sometimes, the work just doesn't come in. It can be days, weeks, months or even years. In the past when the income was more stable, I'd take that time to just relax a bit.. take days off like normal people. These days, work and projects don't generally pay amazingly well. So my time off is spent trying to learn and grow so that I can hopefully land a better job that DOES pay really well and allows me to stretch myself creatively. Right now, there's some growth here and there. Dabbling in digital painting has had me learn at least something with each image so I hope that keeps going. It'd be great to one day be able to create a stunning piece that people would love to buy.

I've been kicking around the idea of leaving art/comics pretty regularly.. especially on the days where I don't really have paying work. I could get a normal day job (though honestly, I'm woefully unqualified for most jobs outside of retail it seems) and do the art thing as a hobby. While I enjoy the craft, it's pretty hit or miss about whether it's sustainable for me right now. I waffle back and forth on this a lot and have yet to come up with the perfect answer. Right now, my work is good enough that I shouldn't stop drawing, but not quite good enough to get me regular work. It's a nice in-between scenario that keeps me second-guessing myself. While you my miss 100% of the shots you don't take, shooting blanks doesn't help either :). Half empty? Half full? Or just some unseen force cock-teasing me so that my life will perpetually be at a crossroads? Who knows. But enough of this rambling.
Anywho, here's some things I've worked on recently. The first image is Chairman Kaga from from the Japanese Iron Chef series. I loved that show. If nothing else, it was a major influence in me at least learning to do some basic cooking and experimenting. Prior to that, I thought cooking was heat mixed with a hard set measurement of ingredients. Below are two versions. One with background color, and one without. I'm not really sure which one works better for me.

Next, is an experiment with more of a children's book type of image.
Sweet Dreams
And finally, we have two images that were originally line drawings for Sheila's book The Book of Horrible Stories. I wasn't really satisfied with how I inked parts of them so I went back to try and see if painting them can rectify some of my issues. Both of these will be some of the first attempts at making prints to sell. I've been told there's a market as long as the quality and artwork are good enough. So, not I actually to see if my contributions are up to snuff. Actually, I had a small number of "An Interlude" printed already and it looks pretty neat. Also a reminder that Sheila's reading at Open Books is tomorrow.

An Interlude

The Book of Horrible Stories