From Employee to Creative Entrepreneur in a country where PayPal is not supported. I’m Sawyer Cloud, an author, illustrator, fashion designer, comic artist and filmmaker from Madagascar. Ask me anything!
My name is Sawyer, I’m 25 years old and I work as a freelance illustrator/Designer/Author for companies and individuals around the world. I grew up in a tiny village in the capitale of Madagascar where trees grew all around. I used to work as a first grade teacher, librarian, video artist etc before becoming a full-time illustrator. I’ve always dreamed about becoming my own boss and earn my life with something I’m passionate about. I love drawing, since my childhood I drew on walls with mud and a piece of wood on the ground. Growing up I discovered the internet and started to watch vlogs and tutorials of foreign illustrators who were talking a lot about pursuing dreams and running a business as an illustrator. But I didn’t have the courage yet, I waited to become brave enough until the day I was losing my sick father. I realised life is too short to live “as we should” and not taking risks. I left my job and I decided to go futher as an illustrator and author.
It was an insane decision because in my country we do not have neither the structure nor the culture to run a business in illustration... We don’t have paypal, so I could not do the half of things other illustrators out there in the internet do to earn money. Fortunatly most of my clients until now accepted to make paiements differently, I get paid either on Payoneer or Western Union.
However difficult it is to live as a freelance illustrator from where I am, I’ve never stopped moving forward and arming myself with whatever I can take along the way : books, tutorials, articles, movies etc.
Few months ago, I contacted a publisher in the US and we have published my first children book “Under Lucy’s Bed” which talks about the fear of darkness and how a little girl was fighting it.
A small video talking about it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfEB-xZhlMA
Besides illustration, I also have a little background in Design and started a collaboration with a local fashion brand for a fashion collection inspired by the plants of Madagascar.
I aslo published few days ago the first episode of my Webcomic “The Cactus fever” on Webtoon. It’s about 3 little cactus who decide to create a comic book in order to give a sense to their lives.
Here is the link:
And I have a patreon creator page where I'm sharing most of my works in progress. It's also the place where I get supports from my fans for my webcomics and illustrations.
Here is the link : https://www.patreon.com/SawyerCloud
So, how do I get clients?
Well, most of my clients find me on the internet, mostly on my social media such as facebook or instagram. I always try to be as active as possible on social media. This helps me not only to find clients but it helps me building a bridge from my island to the rest of the Wolrd. I like talking with other illustrators and exchanging advices to go through this jungle called “creative business”.
I also spend most of my days doing researches on the internet to teach myself about the industry and to look for companies I’d like to work with. Then I send them mails requesting jobs or collaborations. I hasn’t worked yet for me but I know lots of illustrators get jobs like that.
Being a freelance artist is not always happy, bad days are come even frequently. But this is my dream and it's worth all sacrifices.
Here are the links to my social media:
My blog: https://sawyercloud.blogspot.com/
Sawyer Cloud says:
This AMA will end Jul 22, 2018 12PM EDT
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