I believe the last part ended around the start of 2018. Back then I still needed a job on the side to keep financially afloat. But because I wanted to be able to focus more on my creative work, I took on a job for only 2,5 days per week instead of 4.
2018 was off to a good start. I was featured in a Dutch magazine (Kek Mama) and got a commission to draw explanatory illustrations for the new A/N/G Cosmetics facemask.
My finances were better on track as well, because I got a bookkeeper! So I didn’t have to spend endless amounts of time on my finances and taxes. This was such a good decision! It gave me a much clearer overview of the money coming in and going out.
Live illustration events were going great. In 2018 I made live art for amongst others Peugeot, IWC watches, Reiss, The Bijenkorf store, Liu Jo, Sissy-Boy and Bloomon.
I also gave my first fashion illustration workshop that year. I wasn’t sure if this was something I would like to do, since I’d never been in teaching illustration before. It was stressful and I was very nervous beforehand. But I really liked it as well and the reactions were great so I decided to have a second workshop later that year.
As you can see, I was doing a lot of different things and still having that 20 hrs per week job on the side. It was all a bit too much and I realised that I’d have to make a decision where I wanted to go with all of this. I knew by now that there was a connection between the amount of time I put into my illustration work and the amount of commissions I was getting. The more time I had to make illustration for my Instagram account and other online channels, the more paid work there seemed to be as well. So I decided to take the leap and become a fulltime fashion illustrator!
I quit my other job and started 2019 by focussing completely on my illustration work. Now I have to say I did save some money before. So I knew I could hang in there for a few months, even if no commissions would be coming in. Luckily I didn’t have to dig into my savings, but it was a very secure feeling to know I wouldn’t be completely depending on illustration work right away to pay my bills
The one thing I was afraid to miss as a freelancer, was having colleagues around me. So I hired a desk in a big studio building full of creatives. I like working there a lot because it’s inspiring to be surrounded by other creatives of multiple disciplines. There are some other illustrators working there, but also sculptors, photographers and even a miniaturist!
So that in fact concludes my series on how I became a full-time fashion illustrator. The end of 2019 is approaching and I will also make a ‘year in review’ blog about this year with the important highlights and lessons learned. But that’s for later.
If you have any questions about the development of my illustration career, leave a comment or drop me a DM on Instagram!