Illustration: Washington Outgunned

If you haven't listened to the soundtrack to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton on Broadway, then you need to stop and do that right away. It is so good that I'm now reading Ron Chernow's biography of Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton, never a U.S. president, created our financial system, the coast guard, first Secretary of the Treasury and was George Washington's right-hand man during the revolutionary war and his presidency. In this illustration, I incorporated lyrics from "Right Hand Man" as General Washington was introduced in this play.

Watch the speed drawing.

The following video shows the process of creating this illustration, starting in my sketchbook, creating basic shapes in Adobe Illustrator and then finishing it all off with digital inks and color in Adobe Photoshop.

In this episode of illo talk, I tackle the challenge of

Becoming a Working Freelancer

What is the best approach to take to become a freelancer and how do you attract clients?

"I've said it many years and nobody ever takes note of it because it's not the answer they want to so good they can't ignore you... If somebody's thinking 'How can I be really good' then the people will come to you" - Steve Martin

Know it, Do it, Show it, Repeat

The challenge of becoming a working freelancer is two-fold. On the one hand, you need clients willing to pay and on the other hand you need a body of work that proves you are worth being paid. It seems like a catch 22 situation, but it isn't. You don't need clients to build a body of work, you need a personal project.

  • Know what you want to do
    • Be specific
    • Can change over time, but focus and let it evolve
    • Do something good, when that stops working, do something else good
    • Do it
      • Create the type of things that you'd like to create
      • Choose a personal project that will help you create and showcase what you want to do
      • Work for free, but work for yourself
      • Many people wait for clients to do the work that they'd like to do, but a client isn't going to hire you if they haven't seen you make things.
      • Show it
        • Wip, Show your work posts, the story, or narrative of your work should be shared
        • if you are constantly creating and sharing your work, then people will see what you're making and you'll be known for that type of work
        • you'll build a body of work that you can use to promote yourself.
        • Repeat

Other tips mentioned in this episode

  • Seek to make people's lives better
  • Follow people on Twitter and interact in a non-creepy/fanboy way
  • Support other creators on Kickstarter, Patreon, etc (give and take, law of harvest)
  • Be Patient it'll happen
  • Be consistent
  • Have a website (not .wordpress, .blogger, weebly, but a dot com/net/ whatever. Even .ink or .art)
  • Design your site to feature you work. Focus it.
  • Social media

Suggested Reading, Listening and Watching

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