I don’t know if being a full-time artist is for me. What’s it really like?
Sometimes I just crave being around other people because I feel like I’m creating and spending so much time alone. But that’s actually what I love. So it’s a catch-22.
I happen to live next to another artist, Meg Smith, so that’s just been super joyful to have somebody understand what we’re both dealing with each day. We have lots of laughs about it, life is good.
So yeah, I think maybe lack of connection with other people is hard. And so far I haven’t had to stress about money but I’m also single and don’t have kids and that’s probably the only reason this has all worked out. I can pretty selfishly do it all on my own and keep things simple.
I’m busier now [as a full-time artist] than I was having a full-time job because I have to actually go and pursue work. I gotta find more work, and once I find work, I gotta continue to keep looking for more work.
Not being an employee allows me the opportunity to be creative and flexible, but I’m also working through the evenings. I’ll come home and design sometimes until midnight. If I have time, I’ll go out into the studio and paint until 2 or 3 in the morning. Then I’ll get up and do it all again.
So when I was a graphic designer the worst thing was having non-designers telling me what to design. But now it’s pretty much the same thing – you design a mural or commission for someone and they want to tell you how to design it. So that’s sort of frustrating, but it was probably the one thing I didn’t really expect.
A lot of times I’m basically following someone else’s orders – at least with the commission stuff. Most of my public murals – if not all of them – I have full creative freedom. So what you see there is entirely what I came up with.
But other than that, it’s pretty much what I expected. I get to sleep in a little longer than most people and I’m also up really late sometimes. I think my average time I go to bed is probably 4 in the morning.
It kind of depends… Honestly, I surprise myself. I hadn’t made any money early this year, for all of January. I was like, Man, I hope I get some jobs soon. Then I got that comic and Adobe job. If it’s slow I’ll just work on painting or do my own thing, but something always comes up.
A lot of things fall through, too. Tons of stuff. Sometimes my email will get too full. And I’ll see all these old emails— so many projects that never worked out. There is a lot of that stuff.