After about a year and a half of working from home in New York, I realized that I wasn't taking full advantage of my location-independent job. I'd also been living in New York for almost 6 years, and I felt like it was time for a change of scenery and pace. The idea that helped me make the decision to join Remote Year was this: New York, your hometown, and all of the other places you hold dear aren't going anywhere, so go out, see the world, and do all the wild things. You can always come back "home", or perhaps you'll find a new home along the way.
On the professional side: I've been working as a hand letterer and illustrator for the past two and a half years remotely from Brooklyn, and I plan on doing the same while I'm on the road. I design typographic illustrations for magazines, paper products, advertising campaigns, and more. You can view all of my work at www.homsweethom.com
On the personal side: I knew this year abroad would be challenging, so I decided to make it even harder with a new personal project called No Photos Please. I've made a commitment to taking zero travel photos this year and instead have chosen to document my journey through drawings and lettering in a visual diary. I draw things for a living, so what better way to capture my travels than by sketching, not snapping, my way around the world? You can follow along at www.nophotosplz.com
It honestly happened pretty organically. Back in 2013, I was starting to feel unhappy at my full-time job right around the same time my freelance lettering career was blossoming. I decided that I'd rather spend the 60+ hours a week I was working at the agency on my own personal work, so I quit my job and focused all my energy on my illustration work. It's been almost three years now, and I haven't looked back.
I think it comes from my curious nature and love of variety. I'm the kind of person who will try all of the foods on the table. I like to wear a different outfit every day. So naturally, I wanted to see the world. Of course I have my habits and comforts, but as I've gotten older, I've started seeing change as a positive thing. I actually seek it now. Change shakes things up and gives you a chance to learn and grow, and I think traveling is the ultimate expression of that: new places, new people, and new culture. It's a surefire way to get out of your comfort zone.
Since I've been working remotely for the past couple of years, I don't think it'll affect my workflow much. If anything, I think being on the road will inspire me to create even better artwork, which would ideally result in more client work!
I hope to be a kinder, smarter, crazier, and even more open minded person than I was before I began this trip. I want to be more fearless and spontaneous and full of love. I want to be the kind of person who says yes to every new adventure.
I can make food disappear with my mouth.
I grew up in Los Angeles, California and moved to New York City when I was eighteen. I've been there ever since, with the exception of a brief 4-month stint in Madrid, Spain for a summer internship in college. I've traveled all over western Europe, and most recently I've had the pleasure of exploring Lisbon, Valparaiso, and Seoul.
A breezy sundress, my sketchbook, and sunscreen.
Overwhelming. Inspiring. Wine.
"So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." - Jorge Luis Borges
Sunshine, sketching, swimming, smoothies, sex, snacks, sleep.
In 30 years, I hope I'm still drawing or creating something new every day. I hope I'm living a life full of love, compassion, and constant growth. I could see myself living in a small seaside house with my family, growing our own vegetables in the backyard. I could see myself never settling down and traveling around the world forever. I have no idea what's in store for me or what my ideal life in 30 years would look like...and I like not knowing. All I know is that as long as I have creativity and love in my life, I'll be happy.
Do it! Whether you want to take little vacations or make travel a part of your daily life, you can make it happen. I think we should be building our work around our lives not our lives around our work, and it took me a few years to realize that. If travel is something you know you want to do, try to build a career that sustains that by finding remote work or working for yourself.