Noah Bradley, who illustrated several of the weapon cards for One Hit Kill, has a great post up about his journey to becoming a full-time professional artist:
The reason I decided to become an artist has nothing to do with what would make me the most money, or what I was “talented” at, or even what I necessarily always enjoyed the most. It was simply something that, in my gut, I just knew was the right choice. Without anything better to go on, that’s what I relied on.
From this moment, the fear began. I have spent every day since, with some variance, utterly terrified of failing. Of not being good enough. Not making enough money to support myself. Being a horrible, embarrassing failure.
And it was this fear that propelled me to improve.
Every writer can relate.
One of the things that’s impressed me about working with Noah is his commitment to working on his own projects in addition to assignments. Particularly in the fantasy art industry, it feels like there’s an easy path to burnout. How many orcs and angels can you really be proud of?
Working screenwriters face a similar grind with endless pitches and revisions, while TV writers have to find new stories to tell with the same characters each week.
Devoting time to your own work is one key to staying sane. The work you do for yourself is almost always a better expression of your potential, because you’re not trying to meet anyone’s expectations.
This is one Noah’s personal illustrations. It’s what first got my attention:
I have no idea why this piece exists, but it compelled me to contact him. When stranger shows up offering you work, you’re doing something right.