Happy 3rd Freelance Anniversary to Me!

I just realized that last month was my 3rd anniversary for being a full-time freelance illustrator! Of course I was doing freelance illustration for years before that, but it was just something I did in my spare time. It was really tough at first but things have been going great for the last couple of years and I really like the freelance life! It helped a lot when I finally moved to my current studio and got a big monitor so I don't have eye strain anymore.

Here's a picture of my work station when I was coloring the most recent LEGO Star Wars: Clone Wars comic... episode 3. I have a PC and MAC networked. I'm a PC guy at Heart but I needed a really powerful system and the MAC was just too convenient to pass up. I still prefer Windows XP over the MAC OS, but life is all about compromises.
I have a wireless mouse and keyboard for the PC (Left) to cut down on the clutter. The MAC is my main system. You can see my Wacom Intuos 3 drawing tablet to the right. I had to buy a new tablet when I got my MAC because it only has USB ports and my old tablet had a serial cable. Those things aren't cheap and I wasn't too happy about that, but the new Intuos 3 is so much better than my old tablet that it was worth it!

I have been keeping an active business plan for the last few years but I haven't had a chance to update it this year. I met all of my past goals and now I'm not sure where to go. I've been turning down some good work so I might try to get an intern or someone to help me scan, etc... it's so hard to find extra time to even research the possibilities! I've been focusing on improving the quality of my art and that usually means dedicating more time to each project, but I know it is worth it in customer satisfaction. It is a really competitive field and it takes a lot of hard work to get clients to notice you.

Well, I have a ton of work to do, so I should get back to the drawing board. Been working long days and weekends just to keep up and there's lots more still to do. I like being busy so I'm not complaining!!!



John Bear Ross said...

Congrats on making it so long. I hope to join you in the self-employed ranks someday.

Much continued success to you.

John Bear Ross

David White Illustration said...

Thanks JB! Sometimes it seems like luck is what you need to get by in the freelance biz. I've been very lucky and my friend shave helped me a lot as well.

It also helps if your wife has a "real" job so you can rely on that for insurance and some steady money just in case. Those freelance paychecks can be unpredictably intermittent.

John Bear Ross said...

When my happily-full schedule ever clears, we'll have to do a project together. I know that sounds like a Hollywood line ('let's do lunch, babe'), but keep it in mind.


David White Illustration said...

Hey JBR, not sure if you got my e-mail response, but I would be honored to work with you sometime. Give me a shout if you have any ideas.