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  1. #1
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    Quitting the day job

    Making this thread at the risk of sounding long-winded, self-absorbed and silly

    So as I'm sure is the case for many people here, I want to quit my day job and freelance until I build the credentials for a studio job (or maybe just keep freelancing if it goes real well, who knows). The only two problems with that of course, are that I need steady income, and I need to be pretty damn good at what I do.

    First the finances. For the time being, Rent+utilities=300, Student Loans=300, phone=90, groceries=150. Those are the essentials per month, all rounded up, and rounding up again that's $850 per month. I also like to buy GNC products for working out and spend maybe $100 a month on those, but that's not essential, and if misc costs come up I can cut from that if need be. (I don't have a car and I'm on my parents' health insurance, so I don't think I'm forgetting anything...)

    Now, I don't expect to make that just starting off, but I have a from home job that pays 1k a month if you do 20 hours a week. So that should barely cover necessities... that's not particularly safe, but it would free up 20 hours a week from the day job, plus 40 minutes a day travel (and I could potentially watch educational vids while I work), and as (hopefully) my skill level and work load increases I could slowly cut hours from that.


    The other part of it is whether I can even get work yet. I've done a few small freelance jobs in the past after sending out tons of applications (which I'm aware is part of the process), but nothing substantial... I think it would definitely be rough going at first. If I had to grade myself I'd say my work has competence, but doesn't quite leave a professional impression, and is still years away from displaying mastery of any kind. I'm just hoping it's enough to get by as supplementary income at first, maybe a couple hundred dollars a month averaged out.


    My day job is fairly easy, close to my home, and pays as well as I can expect (10/hr), so I don't want to needlessly throw that away if the time isn't right yet. It's just that I feel really uneasy being there all day when I see younger artists than me completely kicking my ass and getting work (I'm only 23, but still, I need to improve more rapidly than I am now)

    This isn't intended to be my portfolio review thread (though I won't stop you ), more of a someone stop me before I do something stupid thread.

    This also isn't supposed to be my own personal "solve my problems for me, CA!" thread, so if anyone is having the same thoughts, or has experiences to share, well, speak up!



    tl;dr: trying to decide if i should quit my 40 hr job for a 20 hr job that will cut it extremely close paying bills, but i can draw a lot more and work on a freelance career, as supplementary income at first

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  3. #2
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    Your signature says you're currently looking for work, and not in demand. Shouldn't you build up your work level a bit up first before working in an area that is a bit more based on demand?

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  5. #3
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    I don't think you should quit your day job until you are consistently making enough money off of art to live. Even established professionals have dry spells where they get little to no work.

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  7. #4
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    With me it's like: a steady job seems so safe and predictable, but then I act crazy and mess it up. I have to look for crazy in my life. "Know thyself" is my answer. And I have fought hard to live normally while my mind is doing somersaults.

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  9. #5
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    You are never going to have less responsiblity than you do now. If you can make it and art is what you want to do... do it. If you wait until you're married and have kids you won't be able to take any chances. It can happen faster than you think.

    When I was twenty I had job offers from game companies that would have launched me into a professional career. I was in college and wanted to focus on a science career. By the time I realized that art was what I really wanted, I was already married with kids. I've spent years trying to get back into it, working 10hrs a day in construction (cause the money was better than lab work) and sleeping 5hrs a night so I could paint. I just recently made my play for what was basically handed to me when I was young.

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  11. #6
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    A couple of things: in my experience, whenever I cut things tight (financial-wise), something ALWAYS comes up that blows it out of the water. I'm assuming that you don't have a large savings.

    Secondly, how many hours a week are you currently working on your artwork? Are you positive that having, say 40 extra hours a week, you will paint/draw within those 40 hours? I always found that the more free time that I had, the time that I wasted. I'm the most productive when I'm really busy.

    You've accounted for rent, food, utilities, and phone and insurance. What about going out with friends? What about getting to/from any jobs (if you have to visit the shop)? What about gifts for Christmas, holidays, etc? What about clothes, haircuts, personal hygiene items?

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  13. #7
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    You're 23 now.

    Think about this:
    When you're 30, what is it that you want to be doing with your life at that point?

    Now, do whatever it takes to make that a reality.

    Life is short, and you only get to ride the coursel once.

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  15. #8
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    Do you have a time management plan on your daily life?
    You have a money budget but what about your time budget?
    Is there something else you can give up to make more time for improving your skills?
    What is your current skill improving focus?
    Have you had a serious talk with someone about where you're at and what you need to work on? It might be a good idea to know what is weak so you can address that first and then move onto other things that need your attention.

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  17. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Hoppes View Post
    A couple of things: in my experience, whenever I cut things tight (financial-wise), something ALWAYS comes up that blows it out of the water. I'm assuming that you don't have a large savings.

    Secondly, how many hours a week are you currently working on your artwork? Are you positive that having, say 40 extra hours a week, you will paint/draw within those 40 hours? I always found that the more free time that I had, the time that I wasted. I'm the most productive when I'm really busy.

    You've accounted for rent, food, utilities, and phone and insurance. What about going out with friends? What about getting to/from any jobs (if you have to visit the shop)? What about gifts for Christmas, holidays, etc? What about clothes, haircuts, personal hygiene items?
    This is what I most relate to. When I have tons of free time I don't tend to utilize it well. Practicing and getting paid to do something creates completely different motivations.

    But I think about when I'll quit my day job every single day. My first plan is to ease into it. I want to at least give that a chance, ya know? I think I can be professionally productive on an entry level while still holding a day job to start with.

    But, if that doesn't work, you better believe I'm going to go all in with every chip I have to make it happen.

    So, my suggestion (from someone who has ye to quit his day job)would be to try and get your feet wet. There's nothing less heroic about scouting out how the industry responds to your work. Use that information to strategize how you'll break onto the scene for real.

    Bobby makes a real good point about this in one of his latest videos. He encourages everyone to go after what they want 100%. But he suggests that you strategize well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtNSj...feature=g-vrec

    The Sketchbook of Naj and Stu!:
    SKETCHBOOK

    And of course go check out the SB of DefiledVisions
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  19. #10
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    Totally agree with you, UmpaArt. That's my plan, also. I would LOVE to be painting full-time, but it's not feasible at the moment (besides, I really really like my full-time job and I get paid well for doing it).

    I DO work a lot of hours after I'm done with my day job. I also spend a lot of time marketing myself and trying to find venues to sell my paintings (Need to increase that a bit). However, I have a goal (in terms of my art work and sales) in mind and a time frame... so, that helps keep me on track.

    But, in reality, it's easy to fritter away time, if I'm not careful about monitoring it. Amazing how fast a week goes by when you get busy with family stuff, etc.

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  21. #11
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    I can say that I kinda got the same thing as some of folks posted before - I'm best productive when busy. The more busy I am (it doesnt have to be only painting) the better I perform and the better I feel about myself.

    So my advice would be: dont quit your job, try to get additional freelance there as well. Sooner or later you'll get to the point where you actually have so many job offers that you can quit your job and still make living.

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  23. #12
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    One thing I'd like to mention is that you better have business sense if you're going to freelance.

    Because a lot of people are used to certain finances being handled by their employers like how much is paid into an insurance plan, taxes, social security etc... fewer understand tax rules when doing it on your own.

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  25. #13
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    Rent+utilities=300
    Where do you live and with how many people?

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