I’ve posted before on Tumblr that I am a working student.
So far in my college life, perhaps this is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done
(lets forget about exams for now. Those kind of difficulties are seasonal. lol). You see, working while focusing on studies isn’t really easy. And will never be easy. Like, who said it will be? Unless you are a superhuman or a genius.
Anyway, my so-called “part-time job” doesn’t really involve too much movements or any physical exertions. Maybe you’re thinking, then why would I post something with this kind of topic. Well, I draw. I
only draw. And yes, I am enjoying it. And some of you probably know by now, by looking on my blog, that I’m really passionate about arts and this is what really I want. BUT, even if I say it like I really love my job and I really enjoy it, it is not easy.
I started doing art commissions last July 2012. It’s been more than year. I didn’t expect I’ll get this far. I mean, I only tried this for fun. I wasn’t actually after the payment, I was after the fun. ‘Coz back when I started, my college life wasn’t this hectic. I had a lot of spare time. But that was back then. Now I appreciate the pay. Not only that I really need it this time for college life, but because I’ve realized how hard it is for artists to draw for other people. And we deserve a proper pay for our service.
How did I start? Good question, especially for those who would want to start accepting drawing commissions.
I posted ad on sulit.com.ph (This site helped me a lot xD) and then offers came. At first it was real fun. It is like I was only doing it for my own pleasure. I’ve never really expected people would ask me to draw for them.
In November, I was offered to design for local trading card game characters. Of course I was happy. I accepted the offer right away. I also explained things like I’m a student and if this client is willing to work with me despite of me being a student and not a full time artist thing and blah blah. And luckily, he is not that hasty on the production of the game card and is very willing to work with me.
During that time, it was also the start of my 2nd semester in 2nd year college. I failed to maintain my scholarship (I got sick during the 1st sem. It was dengue), so I became more eager to do more commission, it is not for pleasure anymore. This time, I will admit, it is to earn money. To help myself and to help my parents. Even though I know that my earnings aren’t that high. the amount is enough for my allowance.
I accepted multiple offers. I now also work as a designer for kid’s shirts. And slowly, I started to feel the difficulty of what I’m doing. I always feel tired. I lack sleep. I can’t focus that much on my studies. I get to open my textbooks only inside the university. At home, I stay late at night to finish my designs. (My drawing time is usually from 11pm to 2am)
BUT, despite all those deprivation of sleep and wary days and nights, when I get my pay, all those feelings eases away. I don’t want to sound like a money-greed teenage girl, but what can I do? This is for myself, I know. And I don’t care what other people will say.
Why did I entitle this post “Fulfilling” anyway?
I still can hardly believe that I’m now able to buy my own needs without the help of my parents or my brothers anymore. It’s not like I am fully independent, but you see, I pay for my own books (both school textbooks and books for pleasure. hehe), I don’t ask for allowances, I buy my stuffs with my own money.
(though there are times when I really need the help of brother. As I’ve mentioned, my pay is just good for my allowance)
I was able to buy my phone.
I finally got a new one after my phone got snatched last time. And the money I used to buy this phone is not from my parents’ pocket like a daughter asked her parents to her luxury. It is from my own pocket… and I earned it myself. It’s not from the allowance they give me (because they don’t give me allowance ever since I started doing commissions). It is entirely the fruit of my blood, sweat, precious time and imaginations.
And why the hell am I blabbing these things right now? It is not to boast around about achievements. I only want to tell you guys, especially teens my age, that you can help yourself. You can do better than sit all day in front of your computer tweeting, FB-ing, reblogging or just plainly lazying around.
As I go through this experience, I now understand how hard it is for our parents to earn money which we, just spend carelessly.
AND just so you know guys… Other people think that what we, artists do is really easy. And they want us to do something for them for free, since it looks to them that we’re making no effort out of everything we draw. (based from the comments I’m hearing almost everyday)
Say… Drawing is not easy. You watch artists draw like it is super easy and effortless. There’s NO WAY it is like that. We don’t just move our hands around and stroke freely. We don’t just randomly sketch and doodle just like that. We visualize things. We imagine. We create arts on our minds. We experience art blocks. We think endlessly.
We’re so young! Let’s be productive on our very own ways. Let’s not waste time. We love to procrastinate right? I do. But then, when I think carefully, instead of wasting my time doing nothing, why not try to do something for myself. Then I discovered I can do better. I made myself useful. You just don’t know how fulfilling it was for me when I received my very first payment. It may sound like a very small talk not worth for bragging, but you’ll understand what I meant when you experience it.
I even named my blog’s URL the Formidable Indolent. Just wtf right? Hahaha! Oh yeah, I’m a well-known lazy ass youth, but I still know that I’m good with certain things. I’m an inspiring lazy crap. Hahaha.
I’m making no sense.
So yeah. I’m not trying to impress anyone, you see. Just like what I’ve said, I just want to share my experience and maybe, just maybe… you’ll think you do the same. Well, as if anyone would read this right? What I did is just a small gesture for my own good. And I feel awesome about it!
Good luck loves~
Erika is a freelance content writer and illustrator from the Philippines. Aside from her love of arts and reading, she loves taking photos, coffee, cats, and fairies. She’s into fantasy, historical fiction, and contemporary, and anything young adult genres.