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My Professional Journey



You might know me as the artist behind all the vampire state covers, or you might not.

Truth be told, it's only be within six months that I've started taking my art seriously.


I've done everything from photoshop to digital painting, to watercolors. A few

months ago I found my agent in the strangest way…they just posted on twitter about

looking for an artist to represent. I don't know if it'll all work out, but these days I tend

to think that to get anywhere I need to try everything.


But this brings me to a new problem; when do I get work? The reality as an artist is that

I've only ever had four big paying jobs. They were all over two hundred dollars.

Everything else was either free, or for twenty bucks. Thing is, I put a minimum of ten

hours into my work...

The minimum wage in the state of NY is sixteen dollars an hour. If I spend ten hours on

a picture, that's a hundred and sixty dollars.


Recently I was offered twenty bucks (Later the client upped their offer to thirty dollars,

exciting) for drawing a full body sketch, I politely refused. Now I know we all value art

differently, but I like to think I'm decently good at what I do, so I was a bit offended.

Granted, I think as creatives we need to take every opportunity we can get, and yes,

sometimes do stuff for free -which sucks. I'm a 'do everything for everyone and bum

myself out' kind of lady.


As I write this I have a free commission I'm working on, a script l'm writing, a

kickstarter I'm organizing, and hopefully a new book soon (unless I give up on writing

completely).

I don't want to sound ungrateful, maybe I should have taken the offer,

every penny helps, but I was just so disappointed. When they sent me an email asking

for some of my work I thought, "hey a few hundred bucks, I can spend this on my dad's

birthday!' Yeah, right……


It's early days for me and my agent; I signed a contract two months ago, and the first

month was just me setting up my new website and filling out my

portfolio. Which are fabulous by the way, I worked hard on them. I have been, and

remain very proud of my artwork.


I work fast, I think fast, I burn myself out. You and I need to figure out what's worth

putting our energy into, and I'm honestly not sure if I have yet. For example, I've dreamed of being a published author since I was sixteen, but now...

Should I keep creating, regardless of what people say? How often I turn down low-ball commissions ?

What I'm saying is; an agent is just the beginning: an artist is always thinking about what's next.

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