Gunship Revolution is an art and design group currently making waves in the country and abroad, with some of the top local talent in the field today. They’ve been running a series of workshops–dubbed Creation Live!–for the benefit of aspiring creators, and their latest one, Sellswords, will veer away from art tips and into the murky-yet-rewarding world of freelancing. I asked Gunship’s Marthy Angue to give us a little preview of what he’s got in store for Sellswords, and he graciously agreed to write a guest post on the topic for Rocketkapre.
FREELANCING: THE UNEXPECTED UPSIDES OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
By M. Arguelles Angue of Gunship Revolution
The smart thing, of course, would be to not quit your regular job. Steady work means steady pay and most companies do provide some semblance of insurance in case your boss decides to toss you off the building after being caught playing Angry Birds on company time once too often. That’s the kind of good, clear-minded sense that gives parents confidence that their children aren’t throwing their lives away. Conversely, walking out of your nine-to-fiver (or its night-shift equivalent) to pursue freelancing is pretty much the most spot-on illustration possible for that old bromide “out of the frying pan, into the fire.” Stomping off, especially in this economy, is like breaking free from a bag of Jalapeno-flavored Cheetos and realizing after that glorious split-second of liberty– “oh snap, I’m gonna get eaten out here.”
Then again, it could also be noticed that history is seldom made by people doing “the smart thing”. “The smart thing” was never to go past the horizon on your moldy, rat-infested ship nor was it ever attempting to fly using a pair of highly-flammable wings propelled through the air by explosions. “Adventure” has always been taking the worst bits of the human experience and insisting that there was something in the journey that made it all worth it. The rogue little cheeto could have escaped to go on a Pixar-esque adventure or it could have been eaten but either fate, one might be led to believe, would be preferable to staying inside the bag. In the same way, Freelancing is made more bearable when it is seen as an adventure. The problems don’t stop being problems but you may find that some harrowing experiences are worth the trouble after all. To note a few:
1.) Freelancing is a Voyage of Self Discovery
You’re no longer an employee. Heck, you’re not even self-employed (you have clients, after all.) You are now both a product and a service primed up to be sold for the highest bidder. When you’re trying to come up with ways of promoting yourself, you are pretty much indulging on one of the fundamental themes of human existence: “Who Am I?” You can either make this a matter of leveraging your education or your work experience and making a four-page CV out of it for your email blast. Or you can promote yourself as being more than a list of statistics and a glossy 2×2. Whichever rocks your boat, as they say.
2.) Freelancing builds Character
Freelancing is a powerfully transformative experience. This is a nice way of saying that Freelancing will either change you, kill you, or force you slumping back to your nine-to-five. Because so much of your work and day-to-day survival depends on your own professionalism, patience, frugality, focus and time management, you will need to evolve into the kind of person who is professional, patient, frugal, focused and capable of bending time to your will. Your success is pretty much hinging on your character development – from slacker art kid to legendary master of the craft.
3.) Freelancing is Flying Solo
We are all, ultimately alone. Well, some great thinkers would say so anyway. Half the time, you would certainly find yourself agreeing with them. There are usually no senior staff to take the heat and no underlings to slap around for assistance so much of the skills and responsibilities often fall squarely on you. Instead of specializing too deeply on one skill, this is a perfect time to broaden your skill-set. Not only will it allow you to handle many projects from start to finish…
4.) Freelancing is Finding your Place in the World
…it also allows you to take on jobs for other freelancers who need help. Just because it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there doesn’t mean we can’t run around in packs. Sometimes, seeking out other freelancers for mutual support and friendship could be the best thing you can do for all your solo careers. Some jobs will demand that you function as an island and some jobs will demand that you realize you can’t be one. Any freelancer with both a willingness to help and a willingness to learn has a wide world of mentors, peers and apprentices to welcome them.
To the well-adjusted imagination, all the crises and issues of the freelancing life can become opportunities. Keeping such a positive, hopeful outlook won’t necessarily make you a successful Freelancer of course (you’d actually have to be good at what you’re doing) but it will help keep you on track. If you have the raw imagination to see all your anxieties, uncertainties and sporadic, unstable hours as “the gripping perils faced by a dashing young hero’s ascent into immortality” then you may find Freelancing as a perfectly viable alternative to the smart, sane, sensible thing.
For more information about freelancing, we’d like you to come over for “SellSwords”, a workshop from Gunship Revolution. The workshop takes a detour from our regular art workshop fare to bring you an insider’s guide to successful freelancing in the arts. In an industry dominated by megalithic studios and populated by hordes upon hordes of other freelancers, we’re serving up a survivor’s crash course to assembling a portfolio, building up an online presence, hunting for projects, negotiating with clients, and weathering out both dry spells and workload storms with almost all of your limbs intact.
For questions about Creation Live!, you can creationlive.gunshiprevolution.com/next-up.html. Sellswords will be held at Fully Booked High Street on July 14 from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Specials prizes and giveaways await the attendees.
Admission is P1000.00 with 20% discount for all students. This workshop is recommended for ages 15 years old and above.