As of this month that is how long I have been a full time illustrator. My business plan was simple - Have enough money to pay bills and then maybe an occasional pizza and beer. My creative mantra: Do the very best you can and try to avoid fist fights. Those were simple times so I was able to keep on keeping on. Now my business plan must account for a wife, two kids, three dogs and a revolving door of other pets. I am very fortunate to have been able to weather a couple of dreadful economic storms during that twenty year span. I have also been blessed with the friendship of other illustrators who are eager to inspire, question and criticize our business in an effort to see it become something better for all of us.
Artists with families face the slippery task of balancing the job of creating art vs. spending time with the family. It's a daily effort that often seems impossible. I owe much of my success to my wife and kids. Their patience and sense of humor has been an inspiration.
My hope for all of us that pour our time, sweat and love into our artwork is that we may all enjoy twenty more years of success and fun in a business and life we have chosen for ourselves.