Howdy folks! As many of my readers know, this week I quit my day job to focus on my startup and my freelance business full time.
This was a big decision, and my husband and I weighed the pros and cons carefully, because we live in Silicon Valley and it's super expensive here. However, we were both confidant that I could earn as much as my day job doing design and branding work for clients.
Things were looking excellent - I got a fantastic client right away that covered my earnings for the month. I was super excited and motivated to get started with my new freelance career!
And then - disaster struck our family.
Luckily, it's not as bad as our house burning down and all of our belongings being lost like the hundreds of victims of the raging wildfires up north.
However, it's still pretty devastating. My sweet little Pomeranian, Sammy, fell and landed on his leg wrong. We took him to the vet to get him checked out. The vet felt him all over, but wasn't sure if he was broken or sprained. He didn't seem to be in terrible pain, not even yelping when she palpated his forarm. We thought it might be a sprain, so she gave him some medicine and told us to bring him back if it didn't improve in a few days.
It didn't improve. We took him back for Xrays... and it was pretty bad. His poor little leg bones are broken clean in half. It was completely heartbreaking to see the Xrays, and everyone was totally amazed by how tough and resistant he was. We immediately took him to a specialist and they told us he was going to need surgery, ASAP. He would have to have his bones pinned back together... and the quote was between 5 and 6 thousand dollars, to be paid up front.
My husband and I drove home with heavy hearts. Not getting the surgery for Sammy was out of the question - but we don't have that kind of money right now. We could drain our savings for part of the cost. We were figuring out who we could borrow from, if my husband could draw money from his 401K.... and stressing about how the bills and rent would get paid, with me having just left my job. Every day that we couldn't schedule the surgery meant my poor little dog was limping around with a broken leg.
I put up a post on Facebook about Sammy's injury and how our family was struggling... and my phone immediately rang.
It was one of my husband Jeff's close friends. I was too worked up and upset to talk on the phone, so I handed it to Jeff. After a few minutes on the phone, he came into the room. "We're fine. Schedule the surgery. Josh is going to lend us the money."
You guys, I was so shocked and grateful. Our generous friend (who's also a dog lover) came through for us. Our entire family was so elated - and amazed. It's truly a blessing to have friends like this, who will immediately step up to help you in a time of crisis. I scheduled Sammy's surgery and he will be going in tomorrow morning.
There have been a few times in my life when I've been blown away by the generosity and support of people in my life, and this is in the top 2. We are so blessed!
Now that I've been reassured that Sammy won't be suffering any longer, I can refocus on my business. Having that feeling of fear and insecurity that we wouldn't be able to pay for a large, unexpected bill and our family's financial security would suffer has made me even more motivated to make this work.
I realized that I need to get a move on diversifying my income streams. Branding and design for individual clients is fantastic, and it pays well in chunks. But I also want to figure out some recurring income streams. One of my struggles has been finding a way to make money with my illustrations and artwork, not just my visual and graphic design skills. Selling art prints on Etsy isn't a very lucrative business, and it requires a large amount of up front costs, marketing, and advertising to make it work.
However, I have another idea.
I personally love graphic asset packs. These are pre-made packages of PNG assets that artists make and sell for use in all kinds of end products - branding, graphic design, posters, cards, physical products such as cups and textiles. I buy and use them for designs when I don't have time to sit down and make my own - and I just love other artist's work sometimes.
Here are some beautiful examples from Creative Market, where I get most of mine from.
I can definitely make this kind of illustrative asset packages... and it's work I love.
So I'm doing some market research with you, my blog readers. Would you be interested in purchasing asset packages like these from me?
A typical asset package with have dozens of individual assets, all in a theme. There will be pre-made arrangements such as wreathes, flourishes, letters, illustrations, and textures. All assets included will be useable in any graphics program (and Canva!) to make beautiful products and designs.
I did some watercolor paintings last night and experimented with creating some different assets. Here are a few of the ones I am working on for an Autumn themed pack.
As you can see, the different watercolor elements can be arranged to create beautiful, themed layouts and designs.
What I need from you is feedback. Please let me know if this type of offering is something you would be interested in for your branding and designs.
You can leave me a blog comment, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much, everyone!