As creative individuals we find ourselves wanting to work in one or a few different fields of study. But, quite often, we end up working on a wide range of side projects that may have little or nothing to do with our personal growth. When I first began my freelance illustration career I heard many people talk about these “boring” jobs as a rite of passage for anyone trying to make a name for themselves. While this is partially true, it does not shed much light on how much of a blessing those little side-step jobs can be.
I have found myself many times over the years working on product designs, advertisements, book presentations, company sales presentations, packaging, logos, website materials and a whole slew of other random jobs. None of which had much to do with my particular favorite theme, fantasy and science fiction. The thing is, when you start working freelance, you don’t always know when your next check is going to come in and taking a sidestep job acts as a way to pay the bills. But there is so much more to it than that.
So… No Dragons?
What I mean, is that these strange and somewhat off-topic jobs all add to your ability, not only for your creative work, but, even more so, for your business as an artist. Learning all about logos, websites, implementation in this program or that one, how a company is setting up their marketing campaign, and so much more is gathered by doing all of these little jobs. These are all things that are essential to our success as artists.
Not only can you use all these new abilities to maximize the impact of your own personal art branding and effectiveness, but you can utilize it later to further other dreams you may have. In my instance, I took all the information I have gathered over my career to begin forming a board game business with some of my closest associates. And because I had the information I did, I was three steps ahead when it came to finding any information pertinent to the business.
If I did not do those “boring” jobs or turned down everything that was not my most favorite topic, then I would be nowhere near prepared enough to tackle the challenges I have been overcoming for the past few months. This is why you need to utilize side projects & growth as a positive, not a negative. So treat every job and the most important job you can, put maximum effort into it and get the best results possible. Because one day you may find yourself wanting to explore new opportunities and with a few extra tools in the belt, your possibilities will grow exponentially.