My personal artist journey
Atomic biography of a kid with a passion
I’m living through a challenging couple of months. Troubles with houses, a bear market, rising inflation, poor investment decisions, little to no time for work... the complete package! As I try to put myself to sleep, my mind races to everything I did to get where I am.
I try to remember that my road has always been a zig-zag of lows and highs, and adult life taught me that there’s always something new to fix and you can’t have two peaceful days in a row. I just need to push through, and everything will be fine.
Here’s a brief summary of how I got started, how I kept going, and how is it going now.
The same goal
Since I was able to hold a pencil, I liked to draw. I never doubted that I would become an artist. I would make up worlds, maps, games, characters… I was a very lonely kid, and I spent my afternoons reading and playing with the Game Boy. I had no TV, no distractions, and nothing else to do all day if not consuming fiction and producing piles of notes, sketches, drawings, and sometimes even entire comic books.
I was 15 or 16 when my family decided to get a laptop, one of the first pieces of technology to enter our household—my parents were against TVs, computers, video games, etc. I used all my savings to buy a graphic tablet, a good old Wacom Bamboo.
I was getting good at drawing traditionally—at least, compared to everyone else I knew—and after doing a couple of drawings with the tablet, I was sold. I started calling myself digital artist, and signed up for DeviantArt, where I would try to sell prints of my crude, early digital works.
One of my favorite memories of this time is getting an answer from Loish (I don’t think her follower count was in the millions yet) on how to customize my DA profile with HTML.
Anyways, in reality, my art was kind of shitty and I never got any sales or commission requests. But I was running everything very professionally. I had a website, social media channels, my analytics... I was already in business mode—if I wasn’t a complete degenerate.
I had troubles at home, I kept escaping and sleeping on the streets, I had drinking problems, and I was overall a 10/10 Tumblr teen. I even went fully homeless for a few months. But I was still going to school.
Am I a professional yet?
As soon as I finished high school I started looking for work online. I had worked with clients already, got my first few commissions, and earned some ridiculously low amounts of money.
I was also looking at renting my own place instead of living with my “adoptive” family. I decided to do both things at once, and in my first month as a registered freelancer, I made €350. Barely enough to cover my share of the rent (I had two other flatmates) and bills. I remember I was eating prepackaged noodles and plain bread all the time. Yikes!
Anyways, things get better after this. With every month passing, I was earning a bit more, expanding my networks, and growing my following. But I wasn’t financially stable, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be, as an artist. After five years though, I finally managed to have an emergency fund, a savings account with enough to cover a few months of expenses—that was a huge relief for me.
I am still learning. It’s been 14 years since I got my first graphic tablet. I am trying new things: coding, writing, NFTs, and digital products… my goal now is to build some kind of passive income stream, no matter how little, to support me on the side.
I hope you enjoyed this brief peek into my personal life. If so, please like this post and share it with a few friends. Have questions? Shoot them in the comments!
I can help
As always, thank you for reading. If you like this newsletter, it would be great if you could share it. Send your friends here to sign up!
Here are some specific ways I can help you:
I have an extensive guide on how to find clients for your art business using Reddit. It’s free to read here!
If you don’t have the time to read the guide and follow the tutorials, I have the ready-made package available for €4.99 on my Gumroad.
Already got clients? This €9.99 database will help you keep track of your art commissions, clients, and payments in one place, with robust forms, filters, and workflows.
Want to get started with NFTs? I have an extensive mini-course ready to pre-order at my Gumroad shop. The €9.99 purchase will give you access to the work-in-progress version of the book, will allow you to submit requests, questions, and feedback, and will guarantee you the final product together with all its future updates at this early price.
Everything I offer is made by me, an artist, for artists to use.
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Have a great day,