Ooops I've done it again - I overbooked myself on freelance work and am finding it hard to stay motivated as this last quarter of the year becomes insanely busy with my full time job as well. On top of that we're moving homes in a week. Yikes! Will I survive the last month of 2021 and make it into 2022 without letting any clients down? Stay tuned......
Better late than never right - September was a whirlwind, more so than normal. Day job has gotten very busy and my freelance work has also picked up quickly as well. At work I've been tasked with redesigning processes and webpages, as well as the shared word-logo for our department. Freelance wise, I've started managing the social media accounts of a small book publisher. It's a great group and I'm learning so much about the industry. I won't be participating in Inktober/Drawlloween because of how busy I am but I want to make sure that I do some drawing and creative work this month in the spirit of the 30 day challenges. I honestly cannot believe we are already in the last quarter of the year. 2021 really flew by quickly.
I was so busy in July and August that I forgot to post updates on this little blog. Mid-july I took a trip to Iceland for 9 days, it was a beautiful experience. The landscape the closest thing I've ever been to an alien world (speaking about Aliens one of the waterfalls was featured in the movie Prometheus!) I've been busy plugging away at my freelance work - two more articles were published in APHA Chrome magazine in August (posts will be up in January 2022), and I delivered 2 finished articles which will be featured in the Winter edition of Chrome. This month I begin work with a new retained client on managing their social media platforms. Hopefully will have more information and screenshots to share in the future. Looking forward to a very busy fall!
Happy July everyone! I was finally tasked with doing something creative at work - wireframing our new intranet site! It's been almost 10 years since I wireframed a site, and many of the tools have changed. I made mine in photoshop because I wasn't sure but after having a quick chat yesterday with one of my UX Designer friends she gave me some modern tool suggestions that I am looking forward to figuring out.
Half way through 2021... oh my! How can it be that midsummer is a little over a week away?! I landed my second cover story with Sidelines Magazine. My work for them has taken a bit of a backseat to APHA's assignments, but once my last 2 APHA articles for 2021 are finished in August, I will be focusing more on my drawing freelance and picking up a couple more articles for Sidelines to round out my 2021 work done.
Here is a scenario - you are a manager hiring for a writing position. You get a bunch of candidates, one being an internal candidate who has experience freelancing and degrees that match the job requisition, they just don't have the day-job titles that would match the position. But, they hustle, they land paid writing and design gigs for years - DO NOT offer that person 'exposure work' FULL STOP. It's condescending as all hell. Unless alienating one of your companies employees IS what you are after.
This happened to me recently, I guess I'll quietly look for work elsewhere while continuing to contract my services to the wonderful magazines that have been giving me work.
No jokes here this April Fool's day. Inevitably I fall off the wagon on keeping this space updated. Last year it was due to a major slowdown in freelance work. This year I was just surprisingly busy and continue to keep myself occupied. My first profiles for American Paint Horse Journal were published and have been added to the portfolio section. I've also been taking programming classes to see if I can pivot my day job!
I still want to get back to comics at some point this year, especially my pet project '4'. Here's to hoping!
Happy New Year! (A tch late!) What's to say, 2020 the weirdest year in my (and most of our) lives is now over. I don't expect 2021 to get much less weird which I honestly think might be the better mindset to have right now. My resolution (because I cannot stop making goals for some reason) is to continue plugging away at writing, riding and drawing. In the past I'd get very frustrated with how slow my progress is in everything I do, but I now realize that maybe it's the better, more sustainable way. Regardless, I'm still here and I'll keep working at it.
The day after my last post, my maternal grandmother passed away. I continue to grapple with my emotions. She was an amazing woman, with an amazing tale and no one can replace her. The month just got away from me, the election, Thanksgiving came and went, my Anatomy of the Hand class wrapped up. I signed up for a Python programming class in hopes I can move my day job into data visualization. I am happy to announce that my writing has began to pick up steam - I received my first cover story for Sidelines Magazine (it will be out in January) my second cover sub-title article was released in November (Jay Moore being my first) and I will start freelance writing for American Paint Horse Association's publications Paint Horse Journal and Chrome.
Another months of ups and downs has just passed. I fell flat on the Drawlloween, my car started to give me some major trouble, my grandmother was given a terminal diagnoses and was actively dying. I spent a lot of time feeling frazzled, lost and anxious. I did sign up for a drawing class - Anatomy of the Hand. Very exciting and a much needed skill. My article on Jay Moore came out and it was much liked by all, especially those involved. Halloween is the pagan new year and it is a good time to mentally reset to finish out the calendar year on a more sure footing. The path forward in November is a bit clearer.
As a woman of color, it brings me a lot of joy to be able to write about other BIPOC riders and bring their stories to people who may not have heard of them and the work they are doing. It really helps give my writing a clear purpose, and it makes me feel good to use a skill I have to uplift and amplify. I've recently been approached to pitch to a couple other magazines, so I've been brainstorming what riders, trainers, non-profits and content creators that don't fit Sidelines Magazine's niche and could benefit from the amplification of my small platform that I am trying to grow. Opportunity is knocking, so I am opening the door!
After the controversy surrounding Jake Parker and Inktober, I will not be participating in the trademarked event. Instead I'll be participating with the hashtag Drawlloween and NoirLifestylePrompts (if they release them). This of course means dusting off the ol' art IG account which I've neglected for all of 2020.
I was happy to be included this month as a finalist for Eventing Nation's first diversity scholarship. I don't talk about my horseback riding much on my personal website though my love for horses permeates my portfolio. It's one thing I'm just very passionate about, and being biracial Black means I have the perspective of not being default in the community. I'm glad people are listening. You can read the whole essay here: https://eventingnation.com/lyssette-williams-bipoc-riders-like-me-are-watching-and-waiting/
I had some really big plans for August, I took a week off to work on my writing pitches and also to start inking again. We also almost bought a house. All these plans came tumbling down - work (my 8-5) kept me from actually taking time off so nothing got done on my personal projects. It's hard to feel like I'll ever get ahead with letting my creative career take off when I'm stuck bogged down trying to pay my bills with my steady job. But that is capitalism for you. I'll try again this month.
And then like that July is out like a flash! Why is it that some months seem interminably long and others we are barely able to catch our breath? I currently am having a moment of crisis - or maybe that is too harsh of a word.. maybe what I'm feeling is doubt. This was brought on by my new boss asking me where I'd like my career to go. "I have a career?!?!?" Was what my brain shouted. I always just considered it a "job". My accidental career at the lab is comfortable and slightly more secure now that everyone is working from home, but I want to pursue creative work which is why I love working from home. No commute = more time to pursue other things outside my 9-5. So now I am doing some soul-searching and deep diving. What do I want my next 5-10 years to look like?
"When it rains, it pours." - I was internally suffering for a while creatively, and that was also compounded by the fact that freelance work mostly dried up as well. I can't blame potential clients - a pandemic is a scary time to think about paying for a logo or web work. Just like it was a weird time for me to think about drawing comics or writing. But amidst chaos there is some opportunity. I've been writing more about Diversity, Inclusion, Equality and Equity specifically in the Equestrian space on various platforms. Writing opportunities have opened up, I've also been thinking of some more short form comics. With infection cases rising again and things beginning to shutdown, again - there will be more time to mentally pursue creative work now that I have ideas without a feeling like I have to go out and interact with others because things are open. Balancing is tough but I need to continue to push through.
In these crazy times it is hard for me to wrap my mind around doing my own creative work. I know it will come in time but that also I should be doing small things everyday to improve. I have done some painting but not on canvas - just at the barn I keep my horse at. It was a fun activity and I think it reminded me that I can still think creatively even if its not drawing or inking.
To try and stretch out my drawing muscles - I signed up for a class through my employer. I unfortunately did not read the course catalog very well and did not realize it was meant for those with no drawing practice or creative background. As you might guess I became underwhelmed and uninspired, add onto it the global coronavirus crisis and my drawing muscles became atrophied.
Drawing at one point in my life was my crutch to cope with the things I couldn't control. As I became an adult and could actually control my life it became less so. While I have many ways to cope, I do think I need to supple my creative drawing muscles. I can't draw us through this pandemic but with little else to do and a lot of time on my hands, its now or never!
Between my honeymoon, the holidays and the dawning of a new year I fell behind in many areas of my life. But a new year always brings new vigor! So I rounded up my favorites from my Grad School cohort in order to get together a virtual comics working group to help keep me on the path to creating things. I also spent a lot of time these last two months crafting email marketing campaigns for the Yogi I’ve been doing freelance work for. Now to get back on the comics grind!
Happy Samhain! Inktober is officially over today and I uploaded my favorites that I drew over the course of the month. Some days I felt really inspired and others not. It was a month of trying to get organized and catch up, building relationships with new clients.
September was no slouch of a month. I finally acquired a flat file for print storage – this is something I’ve desired for many, many years and I found one on craigslist for a song of a deal. I spent a whole weekend rearranging our spare bedroom to accommodate it and I have to say I’m loving the energy in this room after incorporating the flat file. It feels more like a studio space than just a storage room. Everything is settled and in it’s right place just in time to do Inktober! You can follow along on my Instagram account @lyssytetro all month long. I’ll post some of my favorites on this blog at the end of the month~!
Yikes! Long time no write – the year really slipped by me I suppose. A lot has happened – I got married in August, I started working on new equestrian product branding, I also wrote several articles for Sidelines Magazine. Besides the wedding (which was pretty consuming in mental and design capacities) I was super excited to get a brand new printer! Looking forward to making art prints on this baby!