Time for a change

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Blog | No Comments

For the last couple years, I’ve been using life, and my full time job, as some really handy excuses to be kind of lazy when it comes to my illustration practice. I have an awesome boyfriend with a 6 year old daughter, a house to clean, dinners to make (vegetarian for me, heavy on the meat for Jeremy) family and friends to see, half marathons to train for, and the aforementioned full time job to keep me busy, so it has been easy for illustration to get a little ignored from time to time. Recently a couple things happened that made me realize it’s time for a change:
1) I went a really long time with no illustration work, which can be pretty discouraging as an artist. When I sat down to think about what I’d been doing wrong, the answer was pretty obvious. I’d been completely ignoring my marketing strategy. I hadn’t sent out promo or emailed an art director I’d like to work with in FOREVER! I hadn’t been posting anything to social media or entering any competitions. Basically I’d been sitting around and waiting for people to magically stumble across my outdated website and offer me fabulous jobs out of nowhere. This is not a good strategy for any sort of business. I needed to be creating new work, and getting it out there for people to see.
2) Based on Number 1, and some perfect timing, I signed up for Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells (MATS) Bootcamp. For 5 months myself and hundreds of artists and illustrators from around the world received a monthly “asssignment” from Lilla Rogers herself, as well as encouragement and inspiration via a vibrant class facebook page. The assignments were fun, and encouraged experimentation and exploration, things I realized I’d been lacking recently in quest to create art that might “get me a job.” I’d been so busy trying to create art that other people might like, that I’d forgotten to enjoy the process, lose myself and create something that I liked.

I realized I needed to take a step back, reset, and start devoting the time and energy into my art that it deserves. I needed to rediscover the joy I get from creating, and find smarter ways to share my work with the world around me. I needed to get out of the mindset that¬† “I really have to do some drawing”, and into “I get to do some drawing.”

And I’ve started to do just that! I’ve updated my website with some new work. I entered a contest. I’m working on some new promo materials. I rediscovered my sketchbook and started filling pages with experiments and images, just for fun. And this week, I took the best step of all, I changed jobs and now only work part time instead of full time! This means I work some kind of weird hours ( I’ll be working a few Saturdays and some evenings), but I have a couple days a week at home, by myself (obviously I love Jeremy, but he can be distracting) to focus entirely on what I love to do – create.

I’m hoping this will be a the start of a new chapter in my illustration career. I’m feeling extremely positive and optimistic, and I hope I can keep the creative juices flowing and the joy present. I also hope to blog more, as a way to keep myself accountable and for some good old self -reflection (cause who keeps a diary anymore?) So I’m looking forward to sharing as I continue on this next step of my illustration (and life) journey, expect much more to come!

Jessica

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