I've heard more than a handful of kid-lit industry leaders mention, that you should always have a steady source of income (or two) in place, as you navigate your way through becoming a working professional in this industry. If that supplemental income happens to come from your own freelance studio, multitasking, time management and self discipline become paramount!
First thing was to have a business mindset and as with any business, there needs to be a dedicated amount of time during the day to address all the needs of the business. This was not an easy adjustment ,but a necessary one.
Second, I discovered that once I started pursuing a career in children's publishing, making some of the art do double duty (when I could), was to my benefit and a better use of my time.
|(From top, L to R): Birth Announcement to Portfolio, NJSCBWI JAS to Greeting Card|
Aside from my work life, there was also my share of the daily, family responsibilities, my volunteer work and possibly a little down time (still working on that!) that needed to be worked into the mix. The hours are long and It's exhausting at times, but staying organized and keeping pretty strictly to a daily work schedule has been helpful in making this all work...so far,ha, ha!
|Inspired by Koko and Harambe - Digital|
The best part that came out of all of this multitasking, was that it forced me to develop fairly disciplined work habits that help me to stay productive, not only with my freelance work, but in my home life as well . (Can't say the same for my studio mate though!)
What seemed overwhelming at first, is manageable, I can do this, but it's definitely a series of conscious choices every day! I have to maintain the ability to resist the temptations that exist, while working in a home studio situation and that's not always easy. There are going to be those occasional days that you feel like it's all just too much and you can't focus, but as one of my illustrative idols, David Wiesner , stated at the recent NJSCBWI conference lunch...
"...you can't allow yourself to get distracted by the laundry, errands, the telephone, social media, or having a bad day...you have to just sit down and do the work, no matter what....you're a PROFESSIONAL!"