It’s been a year and a half that we live in this tiny studio made of 2 small rooms and a kitchen. It’s a cozy place, calm even if our flat is in a love hotel (with the sound in the background at night lol). I’m a bit sad to leave but since my father passed away, it’s been hard for my mother and my nephew to stay in their former house, so we decided to move all together in a bigger house that we are going to share.
This big decision will affect a lot our monthly budget as the house is a lot more expensive...
I haven’t stopped thinking about it lately, days and nights. I’m having sleep issues, headaches, and I feel my body is just weak. This is not the first time it happens to me, I often have anxiety and stress when I’m facing a situation I feel I am not able to control. So I have decided to talk about it and share it with you in this article.
Being a freelancer and dealing with uncertainty
The thing I’ll never get used to as a freelancer is uncertainty. I still find it hard to accept that each day is a surprise (both bad and good) and that I will never know how much I will get this month or the next. Though I prepared myself to this during years, it’s still hard for me to manage it. I see some freelance illustrators who make it perfectly, sometimes I listen to some freelancing pod-casts but I still find it hard... My motivation is that I do something I love, this is what I’m telling myself in hard times even if it doesn’t always work.
Books and youtube can be good friends when I’m anxious like this, but it is still not very efficient.
The thing is that I never really talk about how anxious I am when working, thinking, sleeping... I always try to tell myself that I am ok, this is me, I am always «positive». That’s why I’ve decided to be more opened and write articles... I believe it will help me a lot.
Adulthood and responsibilities
Things were way more easier when we were kids, we allowed ourselves to make mistakes and we did not have to be strong all the time. It changes when you become an adult...
I believe all illustrators and artists are not all anxious or depressed. I think the context has a lot to do with it. As I’m in charge of my mom and my nephew, I don’t really have limitless choices about how I want to live my life. I am very lucky because at least I had the courage to leave my day job to become a full-time illustrator in a country where it is not considered as a job yet. That’s why everyday I have to compromise with myself: money or passion, sometimes I have to put aside one of the two or choose to take both of them if I’m lucky. Whenever I can, I always try to find ways in order to hold these two.
Things that help me
These are the things I use every time I’m facing a panic attack or depression:
_Finding answers in books. «How to be an illustrator» by Darrel Rees is my favorite.
_Crying. I know it sounds more depressing but crying makes things less heavy. I never hold my tears, it is good for health sometimes.
_Talking with my boyfriend. He is the only person I trust that much.
_Thinking about my father. Whenever I’m down and feel like I don’t have any reason left to fight, I’m thinking about my last conversations with him before he died. Then I realize again I have to live my dreams, not only for me but also for him.
This December 2018 , Essentielle Magazine, the most read magazine for women in Madagascar , talks about me in one of their articles. I shared my experience as an illustrator and self-employed little lady.
The magazine is in French.
All City Canvas (ACC) is a creative blog showcasing street art and engaging artists all over the World. Their story is amazing. Inspired by the Mexican muralism movement, as one of the world’s most important urban art festivals in Mexico City, with 8 internationally renowned artists intervening 8 huge walls at the same time in the span of a week. They defied cities, walls and environments to create high impact productions. ACC then turned its focus to specific interventions, its Global Series, featuring one artist intervening one wall in one city. They made their debut in the world of fashion alongside the clothing brand Tony Delfino. From its beginnings, ACC has been an evolving continuum.
I had the honor to be noticed by ACC. I don't necessarily make street-art but I am the first Malagasy artist to be hosted in their amazing art page.
They made an amazing compilation video of my works with inspirational words.
"Sawyer Cloud Out from The Comfort Zone and Becoming A full-time Illustrator"
IMURAL is a creative blog showcasing the best artists' creations in the World. I had the honor to be showed up in their website in which I talk about path to becoming a full-time creative.
2018 is definitely a good year for me as an artist. When I started this "freelance illustrator" adventure in April, I did not have any idea of how far it would go. In July, after holding a Q&A session on AMA.feed , Bored Panda wrote an adorable article about me and my art career. It was a great achievement for me as I live in an island where running a creative career is still a struggle and I have just been going through improving situations at that time.
I was also very surprised at how Bored Panda associated my illustration style to the Cartoon Network world. It motivates me to get to work in that company later as I like their shows.