In this podcast episode, I talk to illustrator Will Terry. We dig deep into how he went from freelance gigs as an illustrator to developing a sustainable career with multiple revenue streams.
Will illustrates children's books, sells his art at conventions, and is the co-founder of an online art school called The School of Visual Storytelling.
In our chat, he share specifics about how he got his first jobs in illustration, and how he developed his network with other professionals, even though he worked alone from home. His story reminded me of what I hear from so many successful artists and writers: even though he is an introvert, he has spent years developing collaborations and sharing his work in public.
Will opens up about the downs of his career too. He recalled a time when his financial situation looked so bad that he thought, "All of this financial mess will go away when I die."
What was most astounding from this story was how he turned down financial help from a relative when he desperately needed the money. He concluded that all of his later success came from that single decision to dig his way out on his own. He says,
"If I had taken that money, I don't think I would be doing the things I'm doing today. Today my life feels so much better and happier, almost zero stress."
Will share such practical advice, including how he grew his business. He talks about how he got more work, with a pretty incredible insight: "You actually have to ask for it." He assume that if he turned in freelance work to a client, that they would reach out to him if they wanted more work. It turns out, they were ready to hire him again, but were waiting for him to tell them. You have to ask.
You can find will at the following places:
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