Above: “Oh, Harley…”, AshGUTZ Art; http://www.ashgutz.com.
I knew I had something when people started asking me questions and thanking me for simply taking the time to give them my opinion based answers. You’ve done this for a long time otherwise you wouldn’t be making a living from it, if you aren’t making a living from it that’s fine too. I have been selling my art work commissions since I was thirteen years old and I can’t stop – this is my passion. I am unable to give people free work because I spend all day every day sketching concepts or polishing illustrations.
If you want to make a living with your passion there is a binder required called “discipline”. Passion and Business are the two ingredients we’ll be binding together.
What is discipline? It’s easiest answering that with the “dictionary” definition so there is no “bias”. Before I even google this term I want to say I’d like to define discipline as reserve.
**dis·ci·pline [dis-uh-plin] Show IPA noun, verb, -plined, -plin·ing. [noun]
1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.**
Take your pick any of these work.
Discipline is the make it or break it point for me. The reserve to keep your mouth shut and listen to those around you. The ability to stop your work if it means taking care of a higher priority. Handling every day client situations will require a lot of reserve especially if you don’t have an agent. People have this idea that “freelance” means we work when we want and have fun all day. This could be the case for any worker you will always have someone slacking off but the Entrprenaus I know are successful because they have discipline. Reserve is required so you know when “enough” is. Above all you must be disciplined enough to understand the realistic numbers you work with, do not give free work to people just because they are your “friend”.
Passion being what you enjoy doing for the sake of being great at it. Researching high and low until you know exactly what techniques and materials will be required to create the strongest piece of that type. Being unable to break your focus from the ideas and thoughts you have swarming your head in regards to your job.
Some people say they are “bored” and I haven’t made that statement since I began selling my art work. Time flys when you are having fun, having fun is easy if you do something your passionate about. My time soars I’m never stand still and I pay my bills doing what I love – it’s a life irreplaceable.
Environment affects your education, food, appearance, feelings. You want to be comfortable in your studio so you can get work done. You can’t do hard work in a place like your living room, for example, and especially not sitting on a couch. You’ll need a good desk and an adjustable chair, things like this in your environment affect what you go to those environments to do. Be aware the environments you live in can aid or detriment your success, know your surroundings and harness your discipline.
People, a very broad subject, but important to you on every level. We as humans like other human company, period, no arguments, don’t tell me you don’t enjoy the sensation of relating to another human being in genuine circumstances. If people are so important we must remember never to pass judgement, we must accept we fight our own struggles that feel equally tough to ourselves. Educate yourself on trend topics, social relations, psychology, etc. You have to talk to people and get them talking about you (in a good way).
Resources, supplies, technology, books, education, all these things are your tools for mixing business and passion. Always buy the best program, film, camera, paint brushes, sports gear, whatever it is you do.
Keep organized, I have so much stuff written everywhere. My pocket pad is for contact information or ideas I get while on the go. My pocket planner is to jot down appointment dates and payments made to me (works directly with my at home white board because I forget to look at this thing). My mid sized diary is for random thoughts I have and I tend to group up those thoughts into themes per page. One page is titled “World of Warcraft music video ideas” and it’s full of animations I want to pair with modern songs as a huge ridiculous visual mix. Another page is titled “useful tutorial sites”. I have a 1″ with pockets for holding sketches and I record every note I take when I read a new book in this. I carry my portfolios with me always.
People ask me all the time, “How did you get started selling your art for money successfully?” and I always try to answer but I can’t get it all in one place. This was my attempt to do that, I may find I need to add bits here and there.
Good luck to anyone that wants to sell their art work or any other service for that matter, success is so simple and well worth it.
**Definition discipline from: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/discipline