Hello, I noticed that you have a fulltime job while freelancing. I'm also going through the same thing. I'm not getting paid work yet, but I am working on bettering my portfolio. How do you manage your time?
<p>I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past year, so I’ll just take this opportunity to go off on tangents after I answer your question. I think working a full-time non-art job definitely has its notable pros, though, understandably, artists might more often see mostly cons. I can really only answer for myself, obviously, but it does affect the way I think about my work. </p><p>I’ll answer your question to start. First of all, I have help, and I can’t stress enough how important this is. I don’t think this is something a person could sustainably keep up all alone. My partner, my family, and my friends are incredibly supportive, especially in terms of understanding that my work day starts at 7am and ends at 8pm. I stick to a REALLY tight schedule, and I organize every detail in my Google calendar down to the minute - when I eat, when I sleep, when I get free time, when I can exercise, what time I devote to travel, etc. I have a little bit of social time here and there, but the folks who tend to stay in my life understand that while we’re out I’ll sometimes want to be doing concept art, drawing panels, or composing pitches. I end up making a few sacrifices, but I don’t find that it’s a detriment to my social life. It hasn’t diminished - nowadays I’m just more often surrounded by folks who have similar work ethics and schedules, so we all get it.<br/></p><p> Time management is tough, but the creative work is less exhausting, and I find myself never tiring of it, which is important to me. I have an administrative desk job during the day, so I can get paid for my organizational skills out in the world while I apply them at my art projects.</p><p>My favorite thing about my work schedule is that I don’t have to accept every pitch. Having a day job for sustenance means I never have to plod away at projects I don’t believe in because I need the money. I can comfortably stick to certain criteria. I can tell someone, “I don’t think I’m a good fit for this project - here are artists who might be better suited.” I have the freedom to be a little bit picky.<br/></p><p>Importantly, I can reject jobs that don’t pay well. Just because art is not my bread and butter doesn’t mean my skills shouldn’t be valued. A lot of my friends are full-time free-lancers. They depend on their projects and pay in a way that I don’t, but that also means I have to make sure I do what I can to contribute to maintaining a livable artistic economy.</p><p>While I’m working a full-time day job, I find I can work toward actually sustaining my comics projects in a long-term way. I’m not ‘doing art on the side.’ I have two jobs. My day job is a deliberate investment in my freelancing. It’s a slower burn for sure since I can’t take on tons of projects, but it won’t wear me out right away. And even physically, I don’t end up getting so many drawing-related injuries because I’m not drawing for a full work day. </p><p>In addition to all that, I have insurance through my day job, which means healthcare (Yaaaaayyyy!). I also get paid time off as part of my work benefits, which I can use to travel and not worry about losing out on a paycheck. This is where I’ve been really lucky. As hard as I work, I have to recognize that my situation is so dependent on a lot of things, like having access to a university education and getting a degree. It really diminished some barriers, despite the student debt. Heck, the fact that I can manage student debt is astonishing to me (though, to be fair, I didn’t go to art school, so my degree is a little more flexible in the workforce and my skills are broader).</p><p>And again, this is not the case for most folks. For many, it’s just not sustainable, and I’m lucky to have certain resources availed to me.</p><p>Anyway, TL;DR - time management while holding a full time job and making art is hard, but I can do it with a little help from my friends… and my work benefits.</p><p>Hope that helps! </p>