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Bye-bye, Day Job...

I quit my job. Nearly three months ago.

Or rather, should I say, I UPDATED my career status to Freelance? Yup.

I thought this would be scarier. I thought this would be more complicated.
I don't know where to begin chronicling the ginormous life change, but it's essentially listed up there as one of the most difficult decisions I made in my life. It was a long time coming though and the conditions were right, so *poof!* I'm here!

The past few months have been filled with activity. So much so, I kept thinking "I should write a blog post about this…" and I'm just now getting around to that. So what have I been up to? Here we go:

#1: Prepared for and attended the New England chapter Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators conference.
Portfolio cover art (and inners) by Samantha Grenier
Finished portfolio cover art! Want to see inside? ;-)

The entire month of March was essentially me in a flurry of paper and matte medium putting some new images together for my portfolio. In the end, only ONE illustration from my previously printed book, went untouched! So, yes, I built an entire portfolio.

#2: More conference preparations.

Print goodies by Samantha Grenier - Postcard and Business Card.
Postcard (top) and Business card (cat).

I made new business cards and postcards for my next run of mailers. I haven't yet got those mailers out; still whittling away at re-building a mailing list (my current project).

Take my class on Skillshare: Drawing with (Painted) Paper.
Teaching some SKILLLZZZ! Yeah, SkillShare!
Pretty much! I joined SkillShare early on in March to help me build up some new skills in video editing and hand lettering… somehow landed on setting up a class on cut-paper art basics. YES! Watch the intro and then follow me! I have a special link which lands new users 2 free months of SkillShare Premium for those of you who are not already members. Ooo, it's a little addictive! If you miss school at all, start here. On a side note, I am plotting out my next class, but I will be taking my time with that one. Just waiting on feedback from class #1.

#4: Launched a RedBubble shop.
I am now on RedBubble! You can find me as Illustratorsam or Samantha Grenier.
RedBubble Shop is OPEN!

Now I can make mugs and stickers and phone cases with my own artwork. Y-E-S! This is just super exciting because I get to make THINGS with my art; not just offer prints. It so rewarding seeing my artwork on product.
#5: Designed a yearbook and logo for the Summer Street School's 4th grade class.
Year 4 Yearbook for Summer Street School
Summer Street School 4th Grade Yearbook.

This was a fun project, but also my first gig. Yes, some 4th graders do have yearbooks. And yes, sometimes they are super cute and fun like the one I designed. This has been one of the most rewarding projects so far. I can hardly wait to have my printed copy in hand.
#6: Consumed a TON of books!
 GoodRead Goal
Making my GoodReads goal… in May?

I can't believe how much I can listen to while on my own. In the month of March, I read/audio'd 12 books; April I consumed 10! It is because I am working all on my own and there's plenty of air space to fill. I'm well on my way to crushing my 2018 Goodreads goal this month. I found that I'm better able to schedule in my reading time. I don't have to rush around trying to wrap up each day after work so much. I can fit leisure activities into the day when I'm least productive (that's just about lunch hour… shhh! Don't tell my boss!)
    I don't think that my transition from FULL TIME Sr. Graphic Designer, to FREELANCE Illustrator/Graphic Designer/Teacher/Reader would have been as easy if I didn't already have a slew of goals in mind before I left my job. I had an action plan and the means to do it. There really hasn't been a better time in my life to pursue freelance. Every time I've tried to tackle this, I burn out within a week or two. To go from a very demanding day job in the creative field to trying to get my illustrated life in order, plus mix in any health and fitness, it's next to impossible to remain driven. It is easier to settle into a routine.

    But now I am establishing a new one. Next up: I'm launching a YouTube channel…. well, the channel is there, I just need to start adding videos. My target launch is end of this month/early June. So go to the channel and get subscribing for that so that my video can pop right into your feed! :-) If you're reading this, you likely fell into my blog c/o my Facebook page, which means you're cool with looking at my arts, so you can probably guess where that channel theme will be (hmmm…). Think ArtTube meets BookTube because that's nearly all I watch.

    There are some more projects going onto the burner now; some "knotty," some wordy, some imagery. I'll keep you posted!