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What is next, I've finished my BA (Hons) Illustration degree.... Now what!

November means that I have now submitted my final assessment and it is a case of waiting for my results in January 2024. So once a student finishes their degree what is next? Get a job! Easier than that sounds, as I have always planned to work freelance / from home, this way I can work around my disability and access needs. Great plan, just how do I make this a reality? It has been a few weeks since I have turned in my final assignment and think I barely had chance for the dust to settle when my bank account starting getting in the negative. This should have been of no surprise considering how student finance messed up my funding at the end of my degree so months of "coping". It was due to hit a point I simply run out of money. After a moment of panic, I sat down and had a look at my plan for sustaining my practice which were. *Master degree *Passive income *Own projects (books) *Self-Publishing authors - books *Set up my own shop with digital downloads and calenders. I did have an issue, all these plans didn't involve making money. So, while had so much to do... I still felt like a deer in the headlights and not ready. If I am anything, that is a fighter. Giving up isn't an option, not when worked so hard to get to this point. I was at this time clearing my old uni work away, getting ready to put in the loft. When I thought it would be better to sell them... So that is what I did. From this I got request for commissions and so I opened a limited slots for personalised illustrations in my style (like below)

This is something that can do to keep me working, I do love making illustrations personal so this makes sense. I do not lose a sight of the bigger goal. I want to create pictures books, my own and illustrate for others that are tackling diversity in books as well as being an enjoyable reading experience. I am pleased to say this drive and follow on from my own research projects has taken a very exciting turn, with the chance to be something new and making a difference in publishing in England. I will share more on this front as it happens and gains direction. As for my personal skills I have gotten an unconditional offer to start my Masters in Illustration part-time in January 2024, guess you could say I want to see it to the end and how far I can go. That the thing about growing up in mainstream school and feeling the barriers and not getting the right support, once do get it right! it is a wonderful thing! It also keeps a good accountability for my working progress, guess could say it is like stabilisers on a bike! If that is not enough, well I am learning to sign again. This is more of a personal project, feels like the final missing part of myself.

With a little more help and time I feel I will finally get there. I once was a girl that didn't dare to dream... Now I am about empowering dreams.

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