Like any other field, the beginning professional artist is expected to serve the needs and desires of the company, business mission, sales demands, and the other more experienced managers and practitioners. It's called "paying your dues", and you must time your advancement and future creative business ownership responsibilities and rewards with patience and discipline.
Your personal vision and imagination will require work and maintenance away from your paying job, often waiting through unfulfilling periods of time. As you cash a paycheck you might call it your "personal survival fund", breathe deeply, and look ahead to new possibilities in your desired field. It's not easy but it is very rewarding when your work gets better and you get recognized.
You may choose to freelance completely when the timing is right or to freelance part-time while working in completely unrelated jobs. Let the pleasure of the art-making be your goal.
Frederick H. Carlson is one of the most well-known artist/illustrators in the mid-Atlantic region. No venue is too large or too small for his incisively drawn and lucidly painted pieces. He has executed everything from room-sized murals to LP covers. He drew over 150 portraits for National Review between 1990-1999.
Carlson is a 1977 Carnegie-Mellon University alumnus, and has been a freelancer for over 30 years. He has exhibited his art at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, the New York Society of Illustrators Cegep-St. Foy (Quebec), Dubendorf (Switzerland), the Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and at Daystar/One World Gallery.
Fred was the National President of the Graphic Artists Guild from 1991-1993, the first non-NYC based artist to be so elected. He served on the Guild's Executive Committee for 8 years. He has written extensively and has been published in national publications such as The Artist's Magazine, Communication Arts, GAG News, Artists Market, and his work was featured in ART DIRECTION. He was one of the speakers addressing the Illustration Conference (ICON3) in Philadelphia in June 2003, and he served as a juror the same month at the 44th annual Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh, PA.