dude one day i want to be as awesome an artist as you and be my own boss. it’ll never happen though.
 Anonymous

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BIG POST about BEING YOUR OWN BOSS.

The word ARTIST makes me uncomfortable. Let’s be honest: Being your own boss doesn’t have a lot to do with art… It CAN, but usually doesn’t. If you want to “be you own boss,” it’s business, not art. Sex and anime girls always sell, so I hope you enjoy drawing that stuff 24/7. Morals, idealism, and self worth do not have any real financial value.  Why do you think there’s so many incredibly talented starving artists working at Subway and living with their parents? 

On the flip side, it’s also not a blast forcing yourself into an 18-hour-workday without weekends, sacrificing all semblance of your social life, and selling your soul bit-by-bit for not much more than flipping burgers and becoming eternally known as the porn guy. /shrug…

Don’t sell yourself short, though. If I can do it, anyone can. You don’t need talent, skill, or “awesome” to “be your own boss.” Just hang your dignity on the coat rack on the way in. It’s nice to HAVE talent or acquired skill, but not only are those things unnecessary to achieve that goal, they’re relative at best. Do you REALLY think the world runs on TALENT AND SKILL? 

IDEALLY, you SHOULD create and do what you want. That’s the Artist’s Law, right? If you want to draw ponies beheading each other, fuck yeah! If you want to paint landscapes, fuck yeah! If you want to write bad poetry, fuck yeah! Who cares, right? But be aware that what you WANT to draw isn’t always what the general populace want to see, let alone SEEK OUT or, god forbid, PAY FOR. ULTIMATELY, some compromises may have to be made in what you create in order to turn a profit.

But also be prepared to go it solo… Usually other artists don’t have a problem with you doing what you want. Artists are very supportive of each other, their media, and their content… you know, until someone figures out that they can also make a buck or two off doing what they want to do anyway. For some reason that is frowned upon. Who knew?

And if you are creating things that are desirable to the general public, and become more recognized and your work more desirable to the public, it becomes harder and harder to distinguish who is actually a genuine person. This isn’t a competitive field in any way. In fact, it is often a very isolated profession, so keep your friends close.

Do keep in mind, I’m not rollin’ on a diamond encrusted Segway or anything. They see me rollin’ in a ‘99 Grand Am with 300k miles. There are many, many things wrong with it. I was able to splurge on 93/7 ground beef last weekend. That’s how little income I’m bringing in. Slightly better ground cow is my victory this week… but those were some fucking good tacos.

♫ They see my ground beef… ♫
♫ They hatin’… ♫

Me? I wouldn’t want any other job. After much sacrifice, I’m able to almost do what I want, how I want, when I want, AND GET PAID… AND MY COMMISSIONS ARE FUCKING CLOSED SO I CAN DOODLE THINGS FOR MY FRIENDS?? That’s fucking boss. I know it is, and I have no misconceptions about how hard I “sold out” out to be able to do that, or that I think it happened because I’m a talented illustrator, which I am not. It happened because I sucked it up and played the game. Fortunately, as I’m always told that I should “do what I want,” that doesn’t bother me. I WANT to get PAID to do I WANT aside from getting paid.

That’s just me, though. If what matters to you doesn’t matter to someone else, who the fuck cares? That’s the Art of Business, I suppose… I can’t see why wanting to make a living is less tolerable than saying “I want to draw people raping cute ponies.” I chalk it up to jealousy, laziness, and stubbornness, because clearly if someone as untalented as I can make enough to afford 93/7 ground beef, someone with greater ability should be able to as well, right? 

So I must remind you one final time Mr/Miss/Mrs Anon, that “being your own boss” doesn’t have much to do with being an “Awesome Artist.” Awesomeness and Art are relative, unquantifiable things and matter as much as you want them to matter! That might be a LOT or a LITTLE! That’s a personal decision! Dollars, publicity, and marketability, however, are easily quantifiable and are 100% relative “being your own boss.”

Here’s hoping you don’t have to sell out too hard, anon and others. Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who makes it without having to compromise! I’d recommended being a total publicity addict for a while though, since afterwards you’ll have acquired enough of a following that you can afford to spend time on yourself, personal projects, and fun things that you don’t need to be huge financial successes, or to matter to anyone else but yourself… you know, art and shit.

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