Freelance Freak Outs!

One of my best friends, who I met in art school is setting out on the adventure to become a freelance illustrator. She invited me out for some dinner and drinks last week to get some advice and ask a few questions. She had some concerns about finances, legalees, and marketing — the stuff that even after 2 years of steady full time freelancing I freak out about from time to time.

She took notes on the links i spouted out and the random tidbits. “Seattle requires a city business license, in addition to your state license.” …We headed back to my house and I showed her my simple book keeping system and handed down to her my copy of the Graphic Artists Guild Handbook.

She seems to be going about this venture in a very smart way. She has saved up a nest egg, she is doing her research and is arranging with her boss to keep on schedule part time so that she has a steady cash flow with time left to build her business up. So it struck me was when she expressed how terrified she was. I understand, I’m terrified sometimes. Being in business for yourself can be scary, I don’t think that EVER goes away.

But isn’t regret even scarier? Maybe you will be a successful freelancer, maybe you will make a living doing what you love on your own terms, maybe you will find out it’s not right for you… the only way to know – is to try. “Well… what’s the worst that could happen?” I asked her. “You lose some money, you have to go back to working full time. …that’s not so bad.” Her expression changed and a smile started to peak through the terror that was on her face. “Yea. …yea! You’re right!”

So I was a little bummed that I missed out on going rollerskating with her yesterday (neither of us had even attempted to put on a pair of skates since adolescence!) But it gave me a big smile when I logged into Facebook today to see this inspirational and absolutely adorable status update from her…

“if I can rollerskate, I can illustrate!”

Kendal Tull Esterbrook, LubDub Art


What do you get freaked out over in your career and how do you calm yourself down about it?