Today I’m taking a little time to think reflect on my stay here in Hagerstown and my choice to become a freelance artist. When I first moved here 2 years ago with my girlfriend I knew there wouldn’t be much opportunity as an artist to grow in this area. I told myself I would find a job, go to school and just progress as an artist care in a relatively care free environment. Things changed dramatically during our first fall in the area.
The car I was intending to use to get back and forth to a new job at Lowe’s I had acquired decided to break down and there was basically no way it would ever pass Maryland’s very in depth inspection process. It was the first time in well… ever; I suppose, that I really felt lost and had no idea how I was going to pay bills. I contemplated moving somewhere I could work, and we contemplated cutting back on everything to simplify our bills but it just didn’t feel right.
I had been lightly freelancing for a few months before moving to Maryland and was making almost no money doing it. I suppose the freelance projects I was working on were just forcing me to grow and learn faster than before. I made the decision to go for it, to become a full-time freelancer.
I joined many “freelance” websites, made accounts, put up work, paid money in some cases to make my postings become highlighted or move to top of lists. I sent emails to people who had never seen my work before, heard of me, or that cared about my desperate situation. I eventually landed a few clients and things began to ease up.
After a year of being a full-time freelancer I’m nowhere near making enough to justify not looking for studio jobs once we’re out west but this experience is something that taught me more than I ever learned in college.I was forced to adapt, fix problems I never before dreamt were possible in 3D, and most importantly learn that I am a tool for creation. I can’t be emotional when someone comments on my work in a positive or negative manner. Once you separate yourself from your work emotionally, at least to an extent you can really start to hear what people are saying about your work and make positive changes to your art habits.
Moving out west has a lot of potential for myself and for Bridget. I hope we grow even closer while exploring San Francisco together. I have high hopes that I’ll find my first real job and I hope it’s the start of a long career. In a weird and abstract way I’m pretty sure my ability as an artist today is all due to the fact that my 1999 Mercury Cougar never passed that inspection. Thanks, you piece of junk. -salute-
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