Friday, March 9, 2012

A Huge Personal "Thank You"!

Hey, all.

Last Saturday, while still a work day, as been one of self-reflection for me. Exactly one year ago from then, I was informed that I was being let go from my part-time job. After working in an office setting for two years and change, I downgraded to part-time, and worked from home for this company, so that I could pursue art full time simultaneously. It was my stable source of income while I worked to make contacts and get paid work otherwise. The day came that I lost that steady income, and had to rely on my art to propel me forward. That isn't to say that it's impossible to juggle both regular part time jobs and an art career, because plenty of artists have to do it, but the nature of the work I constantly take on are temporary full-time projects. Sketch cards typically have a very short window to work before the deadline arrives, and they don't allow very much downtime, no less time to work a second job. Projects like these are the reason I relied on that job from home to get by financially.

Anyway, March 3rd 2011 came at me, and suddenly, that financial stability was gone. It was a pivotal moment for me, because that was the moment I had to decide how serious I was about this career. I could search for more financial stability, or I could plow even harder through this art stuff as a real job. The consequences were sink or swim if I chose the latter. I posted a journal right here on DeviantArt explaining my situation, and to my great joy, got PUMMELED with commissions. It was an overwhelming experience, to say the least, to see that so many of you believed in me and were willing to help in a time of need. So many of you at that time saw value in my work. A time of fear and uncertainly quickly became a source of strength and encouragement. You guys came to my rescue and renewed my resolve to make this career continue to be a reality. Your commissions payed my bills, but more importantly, your support kept me hungry. I am a better artist today because of you.

Since then, I've had a few big gigs that really helped me get by, but it's you guys who have kept me afloat between each of those bigger jobs. You've bought return cards, bought my self-published book, raised my morale by taking part in my contests, continued to commission me, thrown countless encouraging words at me, and most importantly to me, have become friends. I've said it before, but anytime I feel a sense of achievement in my work, or land a new and exciting gig that not many people can say they've been able to do, I consider them OUR victory, not mine.

So technically I've been freelancing for over a year, but March 3rd 2011 marked the moment I had to look at my work and decide if it was worth the hard journey of making it as an artist in this uncertain economy. I'm still struggling, still working every day, still learning, and still fighting...but I made the first year. I can't tell you what that means to me. It's a scary thing to not know your place in the world, but it's even scarier to know your place but might not be able to have the chance to get to it. Thanks to you guys (and a few lucky breaks), I live to fight another day towards my place in this world, and from the bottom of my heart, I send you guys all my love, gratitude, and best wishes.

If you have a a goal, work towards it until you achieve it. If you get knocked down, see it as an opportunity to take a different approach. If you work hard, are kind to others, and never stop trying, you'll get to where you belong.

All the best,
- Joe

P.S. For anyone interested in commissioning me, I'm absolutely still open. You can see my rates at the following journal.

And I also have a small amount of return cards from my Galaxy 7 cards left.

Thanks for looking!

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