There is something that has been weighing heavily on my mind for quite a long time now, and it’s not an easy thing to admit. So, here it goes - I’ve fallen out of love with my job.
But first, let me get one thing straight. I love illustration. Fiercely! And it will always be a part of my life and my work, no matter what I do. I’ve been a freelance illustrator for just shy of 5 years now (which really isn’t that long) and during that time I’ve loved working with my clients, creating artwork for them and seeing the final results of our collaborative efforts out in the ‘wild’. I’ve been so unbelievably lucky to be able to do this as my job and I am grateful for every moment of it, for all the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with. It’s been amazing.
However, freelance illustration is a tough gig. It works very well for some people, and by all accounts, seemed like the perfect thing for me - calling the shots in my own business, lots of time to myself to devote to my craft. But therein lies one of the biggest problems I have with my job right now.
It’s bitterly lonely. I live by myself and work from home. There are ways around this, that I have tried, like sharing a studio, but at the end of the day when you’re a freelancer, it’s just you. Which in some cases is okay, and this brings me to my second admission.
For the last several years I have been suffering from major depression, and working most of the time, by myself, from home, it feels amplified tenfold. It’s hard for me to explain, and I don’t want to delve too deeply into this bit. But what I want in my life right now is to go out, learn new skills, meet new people and forge a new career working with other people on a daily basis, and being there with them.
Which is why I have decided to change things up and go to school to study graphic design. Not for long - I’ll be doing a short, intensive course here in Melbourne, and afterwards it’s my hope that I will get a full time job working in a studio or agency.
I will still be doing freelance illustration, but I’ll be doing much less. And I’m sure I will be able to bring my illustrative skills to my design work as well. Actually, I feel as though working in design will provide me with a whole new medium for me to explore with illustration.
Of course, if my current illustration clients are reading this, don’t worry - I am fully committed to our projects and they will not be disrupted. And my webcomic, Kuma: Sumotori, is still underway.
I am and always will be an illustrator, but it’s time for me to begin a new journey and learn some new things. I hope the people who have enjoyed my work over the years (thank you!) will still like my new work which I will be doing in the not-to-distant future.
Thank you for reading.