Escape from Illustration Island

You love your art.

Chances are, you’ve been doing it since you could hold a crayon, and there’s nothing that fulfills you like hiding away in a corner and creating your next masterpiece.

There’s no doubt that you love being an artist, whether you draw, paint, collage, sculpt or cut paper.

But how do you take that thing that you love to do so much and make a living doing it?

The answer is simple: You have to start treating it like a business.

I apologize if this answer doesn’t turn out to be the golden ticket you hoped it might be, but the fact of the matter is that you have the power to turn your hobby into a career.

All you have to do is take it seriously and start acting like a creative professional.

What does this mean?

It means that no one is going to do it for you. It means that you have to decide once and for all that being an Illustrator or Graphic Designer is what you were meant to do. It means that you have to make it your full time job even before you get your first client.

You probably already think about art a good portion of your day, so now you’ve got to turn that passion into action by researching the industry, building your portfolio, launching your website, getting serious about self-promotion and calling yourself a professional Illustrator before anyone else does.

Start a blog, participate in an online community, join or start a local critique group.

Even if you still have a “day job,” pretend that Illustration is your main gig, and pursue it as if your life depends on it, because in a way, it does.

If you’re reading this, then you might be standing on the threshold, peeking over the edge, wondering how to begin.

It’s time to take your first step towards being a creative professional by putting as much passion into taking action to become a working artist as you do when you’re creating your art.

PLEASE NOTE: This article has been edited for brevity and clarity.