Times are tight, times are tough, times are good: Thoughts on working less for others, more for myself.

If you’ve been following along, you know that in the beginning of August I switched to part-time at the hostel, from five days a week to about two. This was done because I was beyond sick of the routine, and I wanted to spend more time doing my own thing like working on art and figuring out creative pursuits to pay the bills.

It’s been about two months since the shift went down. So, how am I doing? Okay, mostly. The hit to the pocketbook has been the biggest sting so far, but I expected that walking into this brave new world. I admit there are moments where I’m wishing for that five day a week paycheck. Then I work my two days a week at the hostel and realize how good of a move it was.

But yeah, money’s tight. I’ve gotten a little bit of illustration work, but it hasn’t been much…yet. (This is the point where I shamelessly remind you that I am available for illustration work.) I need to ramp that up. I also have book ideas that I’ll be working on through 2019, but the payoff for book projects is in the distance.

There’s still the whole “how to make money off bikes” thing, which I’m also working on. Thankfully I have some ideas, especially when it comes to bike touring. I’ve had fun and decent response to my bike touring workshops, so I’m going to be looking at charging money for these in the new year.

But despite the toughness, there are positive things. For one, it’s nice to have more time for fun and personal work. Though I can’t get too carried away with out of town trips, as I need to work on projects here and I don’t want to spend all my money on travel. But it’s nice to be able to have the windows to do stuff without worrying about work getting in the way.

The biggest gain is I feel like An Artist again. I know that I am “an artist”, but it’s been awhile since since I truly felt like one. Before taking this plunge, I barely drew at all over the past couple years. I think the big reason why I went through the trouble to make event postcards over the past few years was it was an excuse to draw! But over the past month I’ve gotten back into the rhythm of drawing, putting pen to sketchbook almost every day. Once I get into the groove, I like to stay in the groove. You’ve probably seen all the comics I’ve been drawing, this is a product of this new productivity, and I hope to keep on going for as long as possible.

The big thing to learn is discipline. It’s never been easy for me to have a structured day, and I’m going to need something resembling that if I want to get further. I don’t want it to be early afternoon and feel like I haven’t done anything. I don’t want to have the feeling of spinning wheels. I think I’m getting towards structure, but it’s not going to be easy…

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