March 24, 2006

Suddenly It All Makes Sense

I've been out of commission for a week, with a dreaded 'Error 13' message on my Mac. Believe me... you don't want to EVER see that dreaded 'Error 13' message. It really made me realize how CRUCIAL the computer is anymore. The computer started out as sort of a convenience... but now it's CRITICAL. It's like I'm out of business when the machine goes down.

Ten years ago I didn't even know what any of these things were... E-mail, PDFs, jpegs, Photoshop, scanners, the wacom, inkjet printers, Google!, InDesign, GoLive... websites, blogs. But now I wouldn't want to think about working without them.

Live by the computer, die by the computer... that must be the rule.

Meanwhile the freelancing drama continues on... intriguing, infuriating, impossible, wonderful, miserable, hopeful, exciting. I don't imagine anyone ever gets a handle on it altogether. The saving grace I think is that one never knows what's going to happen tomorrow.

Yet, I remember the day it all became clear to me... an insightful realization as to why freelancing is different from so many other callings.

As a freelancer, there's just one person... us, to be held accountable without any excuses. Just imagine how much easier would our lives as freelancers be if we too could deliver lines like:

"Oh, the head of the Pencil Department is away at conference, he'll have the pencil sketches when he gets back"
"The head of the Finish Art Department needs another 6 weeks. Someone down in paint screwed up ordering the new paints."
"The Director of Revisions is away on vacation. I can't do those requested changes till the end of the month... sorry!"
"The Deadline Director is only in every other Thursday... so I won't be able to get back to you on that deadline date for at least 2 weeks"

Suddenly it all makes sense...


medaydreamer said...

Hi John
It's nice to see you back again. I have to tell you that I couldn't agree more with you. I am still intimidated to a degree with my computer!It's a slow process for me at times. I am just now learning to do the blogging thing...I am alot more comfortable doing my art though by hand. Oh, I just love the kitty illo. Reminds me of Puss in Boots...Marge

John Nez said...

Thanks! That drawing was based on Puss in Boots. Did it years and years ago... but I still like it.

Computers are great... as long as they keep working flawlessly. LOL!

Roz said...

What a great post. How true about the responsibilities one has as a freelancer and the downfall of not having someone to past the buck to!!!

Yeah, the computer! If it wasn't for the internet I wouldn't even be in this field. It wasn't until I got "on line" that I found out that freelancing as an illustrator was even an option.

Plus, I don't even want to think of life before photoshop.


janee said...

WOW! Cool new banner!!!

John Nez said...

Thanks! It's one of those Photoshop smart images... where you can fiddle around with all the parts endlessly and GoLive automatically converts the layered photoshop file to a web ready gif.

That allows for endless fidgeting around with the image...


Steph said...

Very seussian. I like it.

janet said...

Hey John! I found your blog through Tara's blog. And now you're thinking "who is this person?" You'll remember me better as the art director of that journal project you did several years ago. And as ex-art director of a certain children's magazine :)

I'm freelancing, too (and would die without my computer). And I'm running a craft-type business (which is what my blog is for). Stop by and say hello.

Love your illustrations, as always :)

John Nez said...

Thanks for the compliments... such a small world of children's illustration!


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