Tuesday, August 3, 2010


This licensing thing can sure wear a girl out. I have been working on so many different projects that my head is spinning and my studio looks like a cyclone just passed through. There is ephemera, research material, tubes of paint, colored pencils and coffee cups scattered hither and yon. Unopened mail adorns my desk and little pieces of paper, with what I am sure are very important notes written on them, are everywhere.
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.


  1. Hi Paula - I'm with you on the "wear a girl out" part, haha.

  2. Great post!

    I know what you mean. It can be very difficult
    to know when to paint and when not to paint a request. I am not sure it is good to force something that is not really in our heart. (unless it pays very well....LOL).

    Congrats on saying NO.

    Funny you shared about a frog...I had an old frog in my portfolio, a client liked the concept but we both knew he needed to be repainted, so I painted him, in this case I was inspired and it was worth my time. Sometimes that is not always clear.

  3. Hello Paula,

    I just found your blog visiting Charlotte's.
    Your illustrations are totally amazing!

    Just had to say it...

    ~ Gabriela ~