I have recently had an experience that is new to me. The experience of being really busy with work drawing pictures. Or, I guess I should say, PAYING work drawing pictures.
While I have been working freelance for years, I only recently made a serious push to make it my “job”. I am working on lot’s of projects that I have mentioned here over the last few months, some of which might be paying eventually. These are projects I work on because I believe in the material and enjoy working with my collaborators.
Some of the paying work isn’t always as fun. I might still enjoy doing it, but sometimes it might not be something I am into. That’s just how it is. While you might not always like what the people you are working for wanted or disagree on the final direction, you are still working for someone and it is, in the end, about what they need/want.
I have been working on a drawing for the card game The Spoils for a little while now. I came on a little close to the deadline and became quite discouraged coming into the end. I had tons of technical issues (for some reason Manga Studio would flip out whenever I worked on this one file. ONLY this one file) and there were some art direction problems I was having trouble grasping. Mainly, I think, because I had already sorta gave up.
Admittedly, never a good idea.
On top of all of that I made the brilliant decision to try and adopt a completely new style (for me) to try and make it feel more in place with the other (awesome) work I was seeing other people on the team coming up with. This soon began to feel like a train wreck.
The art director and I had a few back and forth emails and he honestly helped me get over my personal hang ups about my work on this. So while he spent a good portion of his evening working with me and I was going back and forth working on two completely different projects, it finally came to an end.
Final drawing approved and everything is now moving forward.
“So, Kelly, why would you post something like this publicly?”
Because sometimes the stressful jobs are being handled by alright people. One of my problems is being to hard on myself and the work I try to produce (and I’m sure a lot of you have the same problem.)
I am only recently beginning to understand that as an artist I deserve to be paid for the WORK I do. I gained a reputation early on for being cheap on my rates, something that isn’t necessarily changing, but that I try to keep in a better perspective now that this is how I make money (if I’m lucky).
This project was good for me and part of the reason for that was because of the Art director and the team overall.
While I still have personal issues with this piece, I am proud of it and relieved that it is finished. I learned more about the tools I was using and it was a growth experience all the way around.
Self esteem issues be damned, we are artists and we provide a service. We must remember that! The people we work with and for should remember that as well. I think there would be nothing but satisfied freelance artists and writers if all clients could be as supportive and helpful as the ones I worked with on this.