Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Some digital practice

Here's my latest digital sketch, something to keep my skills fresh while I await my next project. It was just a few years ago, by the way, when all I needed to update regularly was my online portfolio and this blog. Now there's CGTalk, CGHub, LinkedIn, Behance, Deviantart and others I can't recall right now--so many that I find myself tackling them all at once every five, six months or so. So, apologies for that. 

Also, apologies for the lack of any written content. I used to write here all the time. It was like online therapy, stuff I'd discuss with friends over coffee, and for the last few years I've been way too busy to devote much thought into any post. Now, if I write anything at all, it's on Facebook.

Well, I listened to this great lecture last night on how to make more than a subsistence living as an artist, especially as a freelancer, and I came away feeling angry and frustrated with myself.

Take the job because you need to pay rent, you have to eat---even though you know this client is underpaying you. They are outright taking advantage of you. And they don't care. In fact they act as if they are doing you a favor.

Or refuse the job, work on your own stuff, update your portfolio, keep searching for work, hope you sell some originals. And if all else fails ask your elderly mother for help.

That is a maddening conundrum to find yourself in month after month. After a while you begin to wonder, why bother? Why?

Don't get me wrong. I have worked for some wonderful clients who have not only paid me well but I have enjoyed working for. But I have basically had the philosophy of take whatever comes my way no matter what they offer.

And that has led to a lot of frustration and self kicking. And brought me to where I am now, two years after taking one of the biggest gambles of my life, that of uprooting myself to a new country where I didn't even speak the language, where (in my darkest moments) I feel like I have nothing to show for my gamble.

On the other hand, I can also say this is day one, this is my starting point. And I have one kick ass portfolio, a lot of great people in my life, and I am worth the money. 


  1. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself, Cheryl. Going overseas to live, especially when you can't speak the language, is a HUGE achievement! So is creating beautiful art, and growing as an artist.

    And (I think) not finding the right projects and clients just means going about your work a different way. I am a lot earlier in my artistic journey than you and so I don't have a solution to your challenges, but I was sent the following interview this morning which I found interesting and might help you (

    Anyway, I continue to enjoy your art when you post it to this blog, and wish you the best in your business :-)

    1. Hey Daniel, thank you so much! I listened to the interview and found it really helpful. Goes to show how important being able to sell market to the right people is.

      Thanks for following and good luck with your own work!!

  2. I think you're so brave to decide to start all new: new county, new life, and in pursuit of your art. What you say makes sense about needing $ to have the basics (food, clothing, shelter) and taking what you get... that does really suck. I hope that as you pursue your passion, you have success and feel that it was all worth it.

    And on a selfish note, I hope you can make a little time to blog again. I always enjoyed reading you and seeing your art!

    Good luck and all the best!

    1. Hey Maggie!!!! Long time no read!
      Thanks, many blessings and good luck to you too! :D


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