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.