Wow, it has been 10 years so my LinkedIn says. It feels like it has been a lot longer since I started doing this y’all, but I’m just beginning to have some success. I would like to just speak on my journey thus far as a freelance artist. This is for your new kids (18 or 58) starting careers in illustration art, whatever. In 2006 I had been painting, drawing, sketching, etc for at least a decade for fun. In 2006 I was 26, uninterested in fame, the internet, or keeping track of my expenses.
What I take away from looking at this? It reminds me to draw, paint, and practice. Try lots of things. Reach out to cool people with like minds and give your art freely when learning. Form a crew-it could be two people or 20, but the more you work with other people, the faster you'll learn, and the more your skills will be pushed. What does this have to do with freelancing as an illustrator? I learned to work with many different types of people. I learned o have a good attitude and be open to new experiences. I learned to really work on my craft. A lot of the stuff I did back then did not make its biggest impact via the internet. So different now. Oh, and let people know you are an artist for hire and sell your work. Here are some pieces/sketches from that time.
Starting from left to right, top to bottom: 1. All City Sacred! This was a group show that Trust Your Struggle did at the old Rock Paper Scissors in Oakland when the art murmur/first fridays was just beginning 2006.
2. Eric Sermon's eye-one of my first watercolor paintings ever. At the time (pre 2005), I was coming from lots of marker drawing and decided to try something new.
3. Onierokrites-A greek term for dream interpreters. At the time i thought it was Egyptian, but its not. The idea of having dream interpreters in ancient Egypt is true though. Pen, colored pencil.
4. Illustration for an organization I was working for called Coleman Advocates which does serious organizing for the rights of young people in San Francisco. They worked on securing budget for children, teens, and young people. Even then as a youth advocate interested in social justice, i was leaning towards the art.
5. Dj Haylow's mix of Pete Rock songs, samples, and tracks. This was one of the first freelance art gigs that I ever had. Today me and Haylow/Halline are still friends and among his many talents (Design, DJing, Video Production, Photography) he's sill busy doing his thing in LA.
6. Crown City Rockers- I actually volunteered to do this graphic for them because I was learning programs like illustrator and photoshop, I loved their music, and I wanted to experiment with people I liked. They all have done many individual projects, and are still making music individually!
7. Sketchbook- Always keep a sketchbook. If theres one thing that keeps me going over the years, its trying weird things, doodling, planning, and drawing in my sketchbook. Keep one. Paper first.
8. Big Daddy Kane-another of my early watercolor pieces.