Retrospective Part Three: Pirate Yetis & Sinister Unicorns, The Life Of An Illustrator

It’s June 2011 and I’m re-adjusting to freelance life. If you’re wondering what the life of a freelance illustrator is like, I can give you a rough idea by describing my daily routine. The goal is to stick to normal business hours so that I’m available to answer calls or emails from anyone who works the nine to five. The reality however, is that I find myself starting work between eight and eleven and working until midnight or beyond with two short breaks for lunch and dinner that often have to be enforced by my better half. I just can’t help myself, I’m good at meeting deadlines so I don’t need to work all day but once I start something my mind won’t sleep until it’s finished. I have a stubborn and grumpy cerebral cortex, I have to keep it happy.

If I’m not working on a piece for a client I’ll work on personal projects, follow tutorials , research, learn, try new software and techniques, shamefully self-promote, read something interesting or write something uninteresting to stay busy. Weekends are the same, which is probably not healthy and the main reason why I’ll eventually need to rent some studio space and confine myself to more sociable hours. Being your own boss is a strange experience and not for everyone, but despite the work-life imbalance and occasional bout of abject poverty, I really quite like it.

Anyway I get an email from a friend of mine who makes and sells screen-printed merchandise; shirts bags and that kind of thing. He asked if I would like to contribute a design to his range and I thought it would be a nice way to get back on the wagon without having to worry about serious deadlines. I came up with this huggable, hairy character to be printed on a cushion cover – because everyone likes to cuddle a cushion right?



Next up came a request from my friend Maria of Bubble Fusion who wanted a logo and character design to encapsulate her brand. I came up a rainbow-inspired logo and this slightly sinister yet strangely alluring unicorn; cute and colourful with a twist. If you’re a fan of awesome, colourful things then check out the Bubble Fusion Facebook Fan Page and Etsy Shop where you can browse and buy Maria’s work.



This brings me nearly up to date, in early Autumn 2011 where I’ll pick up from in the fourth and final instalment. Before I go, here’s a final reminder to get those presents wrapped and the turkey out to thaw – you don’t want to spend Christmas day tangled in sellotape, defrosting the old bird with a hairdryer and sobbing into the tinsel while everyone else is happily snoozing to the sound of her majesty’s annual lullaby.


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