huaaaaaaaa heeeeey peopleee. souuuu about one year ago on November 4th 2011 I decided to pick a set of goals for me connected to my art and my career as a professional freelance Artist to achieve within the next 365 Days. So yea here we are, the year is over and I figured it might be a cool thing to actually look back on what has happened and on what is coming in 2013 so to speak.
One thing is for sure: A LOT has changed on the career-side of my life as well as on a personal level. Actually It's kind of strange, as I went back to my original post from 2011 where I wrote down all my goals it almost feels to me like there was a whole other person typing that stuff than I am now. It's weird and just another sign that I have changed quite a bit.
So yea lets break it down, first off to the goals that I set for myself, then to the stuff that I reached beyond that and theeeeeen to what's coming up next.
Here is the stuff I wanted to achieve, copy/pasted from the original post in 2011 I structured it in a way that the maingoal was to become a fulltime freelance Artist with the helpof reaching this goals first, so I'm gonna take on these at first and then see if the fulltime freelance thing worked out:
1: "I want to structure my Daily workingschedule as following: Due to my fulltime conceptartist job rightnow I do have to spend 8 hours of each day at work. After the workday I am going to work for at least 6 more hours doing studies and portfoliowork, so my schedule will be as following: Getting up at 6am, being at work until 4pm, being home at 5pm, deathlinechallenge-work till midnight"
So yea this worked, actually I did this for the most time of last year. It's just a month since I changed it up again quite a bit to be able to put even more time into personal work by simply going to my fulltime job in the studio at the weekends as well so that I am only around 5-6 hours in the studio every day instead of 8-9 in order to fill my 40 hour work-week. So yea I have literally maximized the amount of drawing I can get done in one day. Man it was so hard to get used to only 6 hours of sleep every day including weekends and other days where I actually could sleep longer than that but refusing to do so in order to really get used to it :)
2:"I want to get a broad base of internetpromotion going, trying to use every medium possible (my blog, communities(!!), livestreams etc) I want to start using the internet in every way possible to get my work out there"
Yeaaaaaaaaa. no! This did nor work out as I wanted it to and is a huge part (if not the biggest) of the next year. The main reason for that is basically the amount of work I got which made it too hard for me to devote enough time to personal work, then again this was not as much a time-problem as an Issue of me not being able to find out how to work around it and actually MAKE time. I do think however that I managed to do that in the last 2-3 weeks so there is a plan and I'm gonna stick to it.
3:"I want to devote serious time into actively searching for potential clients, getting a big list of companies I can apply to work for."
Yepp did that, actually I spent quite a bit of time learning how to research potential clients just learning what's actually out there
4:"I want to get absolutely familiar with the business side of being a freelance artist (taxes and stuff like that)"
What a weird goal now that I look at it :D But yea I sat my ass down and learned what's coming as far as "business" in the widest sense is all about. Actually business I kind of the wrong word I believe, this was more about the things concerning all the law stuff and taxes and blahblah. So yes I did that if certainly not "absolutely familiar" but I for sure know what's coming and what I need to take care of. Actually the times where I was confronted with that stuff were the only times where I kind of wished that I was a student, these things are just so easy when you don't have to care about them at all :D
5:"I want to gear my portfolio more towards the kind fo work I WANT to work on" 6:"I want to save up 7500€ to be able to pay off the credit I had to take for the one year of artschool I attended so that I can pay it all back and close this shitty chapter in my live. So that I can start a live as a freelance illustrator without having to worry about things like this."
Ha, yes and no actually :D First, yes, I did make the money BUT I did not use it to pay off m students loan all at once with it. The reason for this is pretty straight forward. I found a way to pay off my student loan in very small rates so that I basically don't even notice that I'm paying it off, so getting rid of it would be more of a psychological thing rather then putting off financial pressure. So instead of paying it off completely I decided to save the money for my start into fulltime freelance, just seems as a smarter way of using that money for me.
So yes 4 out of 5 seems pretty nice but now teh big thing: Am I a fulltime freelance Artist now, did the big thing work out?
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell hard to answer: technically I guess no, I still work at the studio I have been working one year ago, I still want to get out of there and work fulltime freelance, so that has not changed and changing that will be a major part of next year.
I got quite a nice amount of freelance work last year but I think it's just not reliable enough yet to take the jump and quit my dayjob. So the weird situation right now is that I have a fulltime dayjob AND I'm a fulltime freelance artist as far as the working hours are concerned so counted together I'm at a 80 hour workweek so to speak :D
BUT (and here is the exciting part)
Around a month ago I managed through a friend of mine who is a concept artist at another german gamestudio to get a freelance gig for this studio that would pay me enough to pay all the bills for the entire next year, the thing with this is that it's still going and that I will get paid in february when all the work is done. So when this is done I am in a safe position to quit my job and go fulltime freelance.
So to summarize: I am not a fulltime freelancer now but I will most certainly be in february, which is good enough for me :D
Whew yea so that was it, 2012, what's coming up? Since this is already such a wall of text I will keep the stuff for 2013 short and will take some time in a future post to formulate the goals nice and clean. Basically what i want to do is to tackle the "being out there" side of freelancing and really get this going, simply making the time to be able to put out new personal work constantly.
Also another thing is that I believe my work is changing quite a bit right now towards a direction I like much more and is basically the stuff I really want to do, especially as far as technique is concerned. During the end of this deathline thing I kind of noticed that I got caught up in doing stuff I THOUGHT I SHOULD be doing in order to get jobs but that was not neccessarily stuff that I enjoyed which eventually lead to the thought " If I manage to get a freelance career going with this sort of stuff, would I be happy?" and as hard as it was to admit the answer was clearly "No!" so I decided to simply change the way I was working. Luckily I do love fantasy Illustration and conceptart very very much so I am safe to say that I am not drifting in some crazy fineart realm when I do stuff that I really like. The changes were more concerned with how I approach painting and the look of the final outcome.
So I will be doing more of that hopefully resulting in a whole new portfolio by the end of 2013.
I believe in general I want to put the focus the next year on stuff I really like doing, caring more about the art than about the money and career coming ot of it. Fortunately I also noticed that the response to my newer, pretty different looking work is very positive, and actually even more so than towards my other stuff. Together with that I really want to get back to pencildrawing and sketching. this has absolutely nothingt o do with ym career but is just a personal thing that has gotten very important to me the last weeks.
NOW ENOUGH OF THIS. Sorry for stealing your time but I thought writing a little more might be appropriate concering the end of the deathline.
Here is some stuff from the last few days, mostly pencilwork so that you have sooooooooomething to look at at least :)