The problem with freelancing is that you never want to say no to anything that comes across your desk because you never know which project might take hold and grow into something big. Just when you think you're on schedule and might have time to make something for fun, an email comes through and someone is asking if you have any, oh I don't know, frog, illustrations. You reply "of course I have frog illustrations" and get to painting frogs; a subject that you may or may not be particularly fond of. If they like your frogs then great, you have a frog line. If they don't then you have a bunch of frog paintings to add to your portfolio.
Now don't get me wrong, I love what I do. My worst day in the studio is still better than the best day working for somebody else but there are times when it feels like I'm working hard for no money. If the little froggy's are chosen it could be 6 months to a year before any kind of royalty revenue shows up (not a complaint, simply an observation) and by the time it does, the frogs have all but been forgotten about. In other words there is no immediate gratification and we all need that every now and then.
I keep telling myself that I am only going to paint what I want to paint and concentrate on projects that really grab me but that is usually easier said than done.
I'm getting better though, really I am.
I actually said no this week and it felt pretty good.
Now I think I'll clean the studio and get some of that instant gratification that I'm so fond of.