Part of planning a switch to work independence is about identifying areas to easily translate into a sustainable source of work and income. Although I have long term plans to focus on a few select areas, I know it will take time to build them up. At current I am trying to select broad areas where I have already earned income and believe will be able to continue to do so. These are the six I will work on in the coming months.
1. Flatting and Coloring – These are two comic book related jobs I have done to earn money on the side. I am primarily a flatter and enjoy the work immensely. Over the coming months, I am pushing to improve as a colorist so I can take on more and higher paying work in the industry. I will be writing more about what these are in the future. But here is a great primer on the subject of flatting by artist Eric White
2. Chaku Chaku Studios – Through Chaku Chaku, my wife and I are growing an art/illustration/craft business. We are selling small products online, at local art festivals as well as building a base of clients.
3. Painting – In addition to the drawings I have been showing here, I am currently developing a series of paintings and small works that I hope will enjoy some interest. I am keen on getting them out through the internet and also into galleries as well. This will be a slow process over the next year, but once they are developed, I have a lot of plans for them.
4. Translating – At present I pick up translation work here and there, but I want to take greater advantage of my skills. Although this isn’t directly related to art-making, its great fun and gives me a chance to use and improve my Japanese
4. Photoshop – I plan on continuing to use local sources and sites like Elance to pick up work using Photoshop. I love getting paid to touch up photos and create graphics.
6. Ebay – Selling stuff on Ebay is a surprisingly enjoyable hobby. After returning from Japan I had tons of stuff in storage and decided to start selling it all off. That was the start, now I pick through yard sales and trash to support the habit.
I see connections in my life among all of these things. I see how they fit together and how they fit with my big goals of working independently and creating time for family and friends. I’m sure things will change as they develop, but for now I believe the wide net helps pull me out of my current position and on to the next level.
So, if the goal is work independence, is it better to cast a wide net or to focus on one thin line? Do you have 6 things you can use to create independent income over the next year, or do you think it is just too much to handle?