Back again! First, I want to say THANK YOU (bold, in all caps, yet!) to everyone who bid on our recent art auction for Japanese Tsunami Relief. It really meant a lot to me (and everyone else) and I hope you all enjoy the art you won. I think winning it for a good cause just makes it that much more desirable and special. Then again, I’m biased because I bid on and won a couple myself!
Anyway, let’s get the obvious pachyderm on the premises out of the way.
You may wonder why my blogs have been so erratic this year. (You may also wonder why they have not been erotic, but that’s another entry. Entry? Ooooh, I just made a double enténdre! And I’m not even French.)
Well, as most readers know, I’m a freelancer. Or, as another freelancer on the Yahoo Comicart-L Group recently proclaimed, a “true creator”. And we, as this brilliant, sensitive and tactful gentleman described, are a different breed. Perhaps even species.
We not only march to our own drum, we build the drum and play all the instruments in the band. We need no clarion call to arms like the military, no rallying cry to band together like those in a union, no alarm clock to wake us at a certain time each day like corporate drones. We are the epitome of Freedom, according to this gent. (That is where the “free” in “freelancer” comes from, by the way. It has NOTHING to do with the amount our clients usually try to pay us for our time and efforts.) We are looked up to by little lads and lasses, envied by employees and lusted after by the ladies. The aspirational archetype for ALL to follow who dream of a Life Independent. (Or, as he would write, “independant.” Surely we are above any kind of trivial standard of language.)
Just look below at the heavenly work environment with which I effortlessly compose this missive of genius. What could be more desirable?
YOU, dear reader, wanting desperately to be Like Us, are no doubt saying to yourself, “There must be a catch. No occupation is perfect. There just has to be pitfalls!” It’s a common query I hear far too often from the huddled masses of human mundanity.
The answer? Well, you’re in LUCK. On LinkedIn.com, in a group devoted to Freelancers (of course, it’s very exclusive), someone posited that same question in a discussion: “I am writing a blog on the pitfalls of freelancing.. are there really any?” Granted, the group is for freelancers, not “Creators” per se, but since all Creators are freelancers (according to the aforementioned genius, one cannot Create and be an–ugh–employee!), the question applies equally. And in that inquiry, the key phrase is “are there really any”. Because there ain’t.
None at all. Nope!
Here’s what I wrote:
Pitfalls to Freelancing? Why, such a thing is foreign in our world, as polar bears are to Africa, as courtesy is to driving or common sense to government. There be no pitfalls! The Life of the Freelancer is one of leisure and luxury, where fame and fortune dance together inseparably in a harmony rarely seen in nature. Let me walk you through my typical day. First, I awake when I please, about the crack of noon…Or when one of my six live-in goddesses wakes me with the savory aroma of a home-cooked breakfast made with love. After sipping my fresh-squeezed orange juice (imported personally from the jungles of South America), I peruse email to choose one of the myriad overpaying projects waiting from my litany of clients begging for my services.
Sometimes there are phone messages wanting something urgent (due–gasp!–in merely a week), but for those I charge triple-time. Naturally I prefer my normal turn-around time of 30 days or, better yet, When I Feel Like It. After all, Creativity cannot be rushed!
Next, after deciding which five-figure project to grace with my abilities, I plunge into work, crafting a masterpiece of untold proportions, one over which I know my client will swoon. (It really is a pity I’ve not learned how to clone myself in order to give all of them the richness of beauty they deserve from me. Perhaps that, more than any other, is the lone downside of the Freelancer.)
When that project is completed (usually an hour or less), I take a much-deserved nap. Better to approach my next endeavor with rested brainpower, of course. Then it’s time for lunch, usually catered. Most of the goddesses are too busy assisting the many gardeners, pool boys, maids and such to prepare another meal. (As you all know, it’s not easy keeping a 25-room mansion and 12 acres of land in magazine-feature-article shape.)
Once nourished, I whip out another bit of phantasmagorical fabulousness for another five-figures, this one for a different client who has waited patiently for his turn. (Has it really been a year already?) Then it’s another nap.
This continues until 5 pm, the internationally agreed-upon time all Freelancers stop working. Of course, if one is a parent, he or she is permitted to stop at 2 or 3 pm to bond with their children when they are driven home from private school in the Freelancer Limo; or when the hired personal tutors are excused.
(Since the Freelancer Treaty was signed into effect in the middle part of the last century, we have the same rights and privileges as our white- and blue-collar brethren. It’s *so* nice to have government-paid vacations, sick days and maternity/fraternity leaves, isn’t it? How did we ever manage before!)
After another superb supper feast prepared by my live-in gourmet chef Gustav, I decide to take one of the goddesses out for a night on the town. The hardest decision, of course, is whether to drive one of the Bugatti Veyrons or take the Lear Jet. Since it is a work night, I opt to keep it close. My driver Kato takes us to the usual Freelancer Palace to hang out with my many mates of the Independent Lifestyle.
As we light our Cuban cigars with hundred dollar bills and drink our imported cognac and vintage Dom Pérignon (spiced with the tears of corporate Dilberts and blue-jeaned Joe Lunchboxes), we all let out a hearty laugh. My fellow Freelancers know life is good for the precious few of us so talented, so intelligent, so skilled–and superior–to be able to work this way of the gods. Then it’s back home for the usual lovemaking and ten hours of blissful slumber.
Truly, the word “pitfall” has no place is this professional paradise.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to take another garbage bag of plastic bottles to the recycling place so I can get some gas money.
P.S.: If you’re REALLY nice to me, I just may be able to squeeze in a commission for you. But make it something good, okay? I don’t want to waste my Creativeness. Be quick and ask Craig here. And if you mention this column, I won’t charge you my normal five-figure rate! How cool is that? ;0)
Mike is a freelance storyboardist, artist, writer, comic book/web comic creator, graphic designer, award-winning senior art director/copywriter, Kubert School alumnus, Spectrum Fantasy Art award-winner, guitarist/songwriter, future novelist and full-time, life-long comics fan, pop culture collector, and book hoarder. His creations include Bru-Hed™ (America’s favorite Blockhead™), The Game Buzz!™ weekly webcomic, Nasti: Monster Hunter™, Mikey Moo-Moo™ and more “™s” waiting to be unleashed from his crazy cranium.
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