I was listening to a few podcasts with Chris Oatley and Noah Bradley (1,2) where they were discussing the opportunities out there for illustrators. The beauty of this particular discussion comes from the fact that the emphasis is on individual ways an artists can make income without solely relying on individual commissions or day job scenarios. Artists all over the world are earning and creating in their own way with the use of crowdfunding. Sites like kickstarter, indiegogo and a many others offer individuals the opportunity to put their work to something personal with unlimited potential for success. So start thinking bigger with your personal projects and ideas, they could become something much greater then a fantastic portfolio piece.
So I have begun some work on my own project, that takes me out of the searching stage and into the creating stage of the game. I cant say to much about it at this point because it is still very rough, but it has shown me quite a few things that I did not plan as I started. First, as we all know, it is fun to work on your own projects, but working on something grander keeps my flow of work constant without being overbearing. It also offers a great opportunity to explore and develop new skills which you might not find if you have to take on small but time consuming low paying gigs. This ultimately will open the door for more better paying jobs because your skills are improving, instead of keeping you in the muck. And finally, you begin to learn more and more about different sides of the market you are creating for. You have to read, study, and plan how you can take your idea from your head and put it to paper, cardboard, game or whatever. This gives you a much deeper understanding of what your clients are going through when they do give you work and can help you to be more in-line with them, which benefits everybody. So if you are an artists with not a lot of work or some great ideas that you always wanted to play out then just start them and see where they lead. They stuck inside your head for a reason right?