Freelance: A Day In The Life


I took the long way round to becoming an freelance, actually-working-from-home, don’t-have-to-shower-until-2pm-if-I-want-to artist. I’ve done the 8-5 job, taught school briefly, and then worked part time at Starbucks while I broke into comics.

If I ink in a cameo by Lee Majors, will my editor notice?

We had a plumber come over last week and when I told him what I did he said that it sounded like a pretty sweet job, then added “but I suppose like anything else there are things that get frustrating.” He’s the first person who’s gotten it exactly right. It is a sweet job…and it can be frustrating and exhausting. He also did excellent work on my kitchen sink.

One of the biggest perks of being freelance is the flexibility it gives me. As long as I meet the deadlines, I can rearrange my day to accommodate whatever family stuff comes up. Here’s the basic template for how my days go (with a few dozen variations depending on what life throws my way.)

  • 7:00am – Wake up to my son yelling “Daaaady! Where aaaare you?” I then bring him to our bedroom where he snuggles up between me and my wife and I think I can sleep a little more. I never do.
  • 8:00am – Drive my son over to my mom’s where she cooks us breakfast. Every morning she asks him what he wants. Every morning he says “pancakes.”
  • 9:00am – I’m back home, checking email/twitter/facebook and reading the news.
  • 9:30am – I sit down at my drawing table and warm up with a sketch that I’ll usually post to instagram.

    These fine lads know a thing or two about bottling in their emotions.
  • 10:00am – Working on the pages that pay the bills.
  • 12:00pm – I eat and watch something stupid on Youtube. Check email/twitter/Facebook etc. Vow to check them all less.
  • 12:30 -Back at my desk working.
  • 6:00pm – My wife pulls up in the driveway and I go out to get my son out of his car seat.
  • 6:10pm – I tell him he can play ball/run laps around the house/or whatever else he’s doing “one more time” then he has to sit in his high chair. This usually works.
  • 6:20pm – He rolls dice to see if Daddy or Mommy is going first in their game of travel Yahtzee while we eat. My wife usually wins.
  • 7:00pm – I sit in the den while my son watches a cartoon. He’s into Caillou these days. I’m very NOT into Caillou
  • 7:45pm – Pajamas, brush teeth, wash hands…his, not mine.
  • 8:00pm – I read books to him. Then he “wants cuddles” and for me to tell him stories about when I was a boy. Or about when he was a baby.  But mostly he wants to procrastinate going into the crib.
  • 8:30pm – We finally get him in the crib.
  • 9:00pm – He falls asleep.
  • 9:01pm – I walk back into my studio, check email/twitter/facebook. Then work if I have a deadline, or have a tasty adult beverage and relax.
  • 11:00pm – Get in bed.
  • 12:00am – Fall asleep.

Before my son was born, most of that would have read “drawing, working on comics, reading, surfing the internet.”

I think this schedule is better.

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