I am new to the forums, but not to SVS. I live in Portland, Oregon and graduated from Portland State a few years back focusing on Photography / Graphic Design. After working 4 years in the corporate world as a Graphic Designer, it started wearing me down mentally and physically. I felt like a zombie punching in and out. As the company took a nose dive, I was laid off (coincidentally right after my wife and I bought a house). The anxiety and fear kicked in full force, but was surprisingly replaced by joy. I felt like my eye lids were more open and everyday felt like the first spring day in Oregon. I told myself I'd do anything not to go back to that corporate soul sucking lifestyle again.
Luckily and shortly after my friend referred me to a local company who started giving me freelance design projects. I made it a point to do my very best with every project they gave me, and do them as fast as I possibly could to show them the value I can bring to the company. Now I am on my second year long 20 hour/week retainer contract with them, and couldn't be happier. I get to work remotely from my home office for an amazing company that actually values me for once and in my extra time, I focus on my personal artwork or additional freelance design jobs.
During the tail end of my corporate job, I started dabbling in illustration. Deep down I knew I wanted to write and illustrate my own stories, but didn't know where to start. I started following Will and Jakes Youtube channels, which directed me where I needed to go. At 28 years old and with no writing or illustrating experience, I dove deep into teaching myself both. Three years and a successful Kickstarter campaign later, I self-published my first picture book! I'm more proud of completing this book than anything, even my college degree.
Out of all this I've come to realize whats important isn't money, status, or a position in a company. For me, its becoming the best artist I can be, and taking big strides in that direction. I have more stories to tell and this is just the beginning of my story.
I am having my FIRST art show March 3rd and 4th in Portland. I am excited/nervous, if anyone here is in the area, stop by! It would be great to meet you. Sorry I rambled on a bit there.
Tommy P. Tinker and the Super Duper Rare 1892 Bottle Cap
Captain Black Claw
Night Light Series