Today I celebrate my silver anniversary of freelancing. On April 9, 1985 I began working full-time as a freelancer with little more than a drawing table, a sketch pad, some paint, a couple of brushes, pens and pencils, and a few sheets of illustration board. Freelance life wasn't as complicated back then -- no computer, no cell phone, less competition. My first real assignment was cover art for The Pennywhistle Press, a children's Sunday newspaper supplement published by the Gannett Company.
It hasn't been easy and I haven't made a whole lot of money, but I've sure had a lot of fun creating stuff over the years. And I'm very grateful for my wonderful wife and daughter and all the friends who have been so supportive over the years. So here's to twenty-five more years (I'll need at least that many before I can afford to retire!)
Back in 1985...
* All art samples were sent by "snail" mail. At 22 cents, first-class stamps were a bargain.
* There were no color copiers so you had to send original art, slides or photographs as samples.
* At about $10,000, a "graphics" computer was out of the question for a starving artist.
* Fax machines and mobile phones existed, but were also prohibitively expensive.
* I often worked in black and white for many assignments because color was too expensive to print for many companies. And when color was indicated, it was often just spot color and had to be separated by hand using Rubylith.
Visit my website to see some of the artwork I've created over the years.