I just joined Twitter recently, after trying my hardest to stay away for many a long month. You see the internet provides us with so many platforms with which to communicate that it becomes a bit much sometimes to juggle all at once. I feel like my life is stretched out into little bytes of info. But I was curious, and since I finally started to work out how to use my Blackberry, I decided why not, let’s try it out. And I cannot say I’m disappointed. It’s a valuable tool for networking and I have followed some interesting people who have in turns piqued my imaginations and given me food for thought.
Ever since beginning to hack through the Forests of Freelance with my machete, I have slowly taught myself what works and what doesn’t. Twitter has been one way to access a map to the Forest. Recently a number of valuable guides have filtered through the leaves and branches, one of which is how we represent ourselves on the internet. I think I speak for many people, trying to carve a niche out for themselves in the global market. It can be quite a daunting task, no? However twitter has become a wonderful resource for affirming what I have been doing and encouraging me in meeting like minded people as well as hints and tips to function more efficiently and “carve” my corner of the world faster and better (so to speak.)
I wanted to let you in on my corner of the forest, because not all is as it seems, well not all the time. How we look on our website, blog or facebook is not necessarily a true representation of our lives. We don’t all write about going to the supermarket or our how we struggle sometimes. Our online personality has time to be funny and we can edit, so our patch of grass does indeed seem greener.
Yes our work does speak for itself, and its true I have bought things online that I have just liked straight away. But our online lifestyles, the way we represent ourselves to the world sells our work too. I find I am often more curious as to what the artist or crafter is like, where they live in the forest, and how they do what they do. And this information makes me feel like I know them a little bit, which makes their artwork seem a little more personal. Chances are I will become a repeat customer. With this in mind, I cultivate my forest with work and adventures that I feel my readers will enjoy as much as I did.
I get plenty of emails asking how I do it, and it makes me feel a little bad that the self I represent on the the internet is well dressed with her hair brushed, when I actually may have a few twigs in my locks. And so for all you curiosity seekers, the honest truth:
To do what I do, I have to work part time in another day job to make ends meet. I have a supportive husband. I don’t really talk about this aspect of my life, it has little to do with my adventures in illustration, so why document it? Besides wanting to keep part of my life offline, I do feel that many people take my blog at face value, even though I spend time and thought making it look how I want. Many bloggers have spoken about this in the past in response to queries about their work and websites, and it resonated with me. We post what we like, what inspires us, not about how badly our grass needs to be cut.
I don’t feel I misrepresent myself, however I do feel responsible for creating a slice of life that could encourage young artists and designers into thinking that it’s as easy as pie to freelance. Because it’s not. It’s hard work, and in the present time, not very lucrative at all. Hence the boring day job.
These are my adventures in illustration, my opinions, my slice of the forest, you have to work hard to carve out yours, and if you have to do something that is uncreative, or boring to finance your inspiration, I say go for it. Find the positive in whatever it is and make it work for you. Be flexible.
You can find more awesome tips on freelancing, creating web presence and twitter tips here on Creative Boom!