It’s time for strategy.

So due to circumstances outside of my control, I’ll be leaving my day job (or, if you prefer, my day job will leave me) by February 23rd. However, it’s looking like it may happen sooner than that, but I digress.

Now, I COULD get another day-job… But the day jobs around me that are available are full-time (leaving me no time for comics) OR part-time, minimum wage jobs. My losing my current day job is just a bit painful because it was part-time and paid higher than minimum wage, a rarity in today’s world.

However, considering how well my making comics was doing, to the point where the day job was getting IN THE WAY… I thought, “Screw it. Let’s make comics and art-making a full-time gig!”

So, what to I have to do to make this transition easier?

Well I already informed most of my clients of the situation – and quite a few of them have more work lined up for me for this year, which is excellent to hear. It doesn’t cover everything, but it covers the basics. That’s important.

I also noticed a small uptick in the number of patrons who pledge on Patreon. For those of you who don’t know, there are two Patreon pages I contribute to: one for the webcomic Validation (which is split evenly between Christian, the co-creator of the series, and myself), and one for my webcomics like The Case of the Wendigo, minicomics, and art. You give a tip every month to one (or both!) of these pages and you get super-secret bonus rewards, like page updates a day early and a subscription to my minicomics. Check out the one for Validation and the one for me if you’re interested in that.

Boosting both of those Patreon pages will help with this transition to full-time work – and in the case of Validation, it helps Christian, too! Awesome! I’ll keep sharing links to those here and on social media, and if you can share those links with others, that would be awesome.

Another thing that will help? Making small commissions.

commission art by kelci d crawford
Commissions like this one I made for Chris.

Now, I’m not ready for new commission requests YET – give me a week or two to finish the ones for Thoughtful Dinosaur KickStarter backers. To find out when I’m available for commission requests, sign up for my (free) email newsletter. Subscribers also get notice of when I post something new for sale on Storenvy.

Speaking of Storenvy, I have a shop on there. You can buy comics, minicomics, and other work from me! The plan this year is to post more original art on there – especially tiny paintings, like business-card-sized watercolor paintings. I have a small series of Navajo Reservation paintings that I want to finish and once they get done, I’ll post them on Storenvy.

abstract desert watercolor paintings
Left: “Navajo Mesa.” Right, “Canyon du Celley Markings.”

Outside of the internet, I’m going into other opportunities – the most recent one being an art collective forming in my area. We call ourselves Kinetic Aesthetics. The goal is to feature artists and artisans who don’t fit snugly into the conventional fine art scene. We’re not pastel landscape painters or anything like that – that scene is satisfied in our area. Instead we want to showcase the works of comic artists (like me and others), musicians, woodburners, printmakers, comedians, chefs, and other makers. We’re already planning our first show, which I’ll talk about in a future post. Hopefully this will lead into lots of opportunities for those in the collective to not only showcase our work, but be able to find good homes for those works.

One thing I want to ESPECIALLY AVOID, however, is drawing caricatures.

I used to draw caricatures for Cedar Point for three summers. I started this website back in the day when I did that, so if you dig deep enough into my archives, you’ll find blog posts about working there. They won’t be particularly substantive, though, because I was under contract to not say anything bad about working there (literally). But OH BOY I could talk for days about what happened at Cedar Point.

I still have VERY unpleasant memories of doing caricatures for a full-time living, including but not limited to terrible customers, heat stroke, hungry days, and exceptionally manipulative coworkers and sales tactics. I don’t want to return to that world, even on a part-time, self-employed basis. It’s just too unpleasant.

Besides that, I’m up for anything. Heck, I’ve done modelling for life drawing groups, and will keep doing that throughout the year. I’d rather do that than caricatures ANY day.

Got any tips for the freelance lifestyle? Leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.