Cristian’s monthly newsletter for artists and creative professionals!
Being a freelancer is the #1 choice for over 57 million Americans
According to a survey commissioned in 2019 by Upwork and the Freelancers Union of 6001 freelancers across America, there's an increase each year of skilled individuals choosing the freelance lifestyle. The findings by Freelancers in America (FIA) shows that since 2014, the share of freelancers that do it full time has increased by 11 points. 53% of Gen Z (18-22), 40% of Millennials (23-38), 31% of Generation X (39-54), and 29% of Baby Boomers (55+) are freelancing, so the new generation is definitely leading the way. The number of freelancers that sell skilled services or labour is 45%, leading the way again. Professional fine artists, illustrators, designers, animators, writers, photographers, and filmmakers fall into this category. Out of all artists, designers, and entertainment providers, 75% of them freelance for a living, although they definitely do not consider themselves "gig workers" because it's a career choice for full-timers. These creatively-skilled freelancers often participate in different types of jobs, which shows that the most successful artists have a wide skill-set. Nearly 3 in 4 freelancers work remotely, which means that you can work from anywhere in the world. Being a self-employed creative professional is the most appealing lifestyle. Whats more, the average freelancer makes $20 per hour, while the average skilled freelancer makes an average of $28 per hour. It pays to be creative! As a smart and skilled artist, monetarily you are the most valued out of all freelancers. Our skills are make for this lifestyle, providing us with freedom to work from anywhere, earning the best wages. 
I've been a freelance artist for over 17 years. That's why I've written IT'S A LIVING, to inspire and educate creative professionals to join me on this amazing journey. I started out in Ottawa during the tech boom, in 2002. I lived in Las Vegas for three years and now I'm in Manhattan. Through it all, I've worked online from my home studio. It's fun but that doesn't mean it's easy. Most people are used to having a boss. All of a sudden, you're your own boss. You have to hold yourself accountable. You need a daily work schedule that keeps you productive. You need to satisfy clients so you can be in a position where you don't have to look for work because you've got repeat clients and people seek you out as an industry leader. I've put all my knowledge and heart into IT'S A LIVING. I show you how to win projects online, on sites like Upwork, how you can brand yourself as a fine artist, how you can open your own company if you want, and how you can make residual income with little effort. I also write about existential aspects of being an artist. I became an artist because I'm a lover of life, not just so I could be my own boss. If you want to ditch your 9-5 job, you want to improve your daily regiment, or you're simply curious of what a contemporary artist's lifestyle is like, this is the perfect guide for you!  Be the first to get IT'S A LIVING when it comes out on December 8th - PRE-ORDER TODAY!
Featured Artwork 
of the Month
This piece is called "BEAUTIFUL THINKER" and it's 14"x17" mixed media on archival paper. It started out as a figure drawing. I went to one of those three hour sessions on and did a quick 10-20 minute drawing. The model had her leg on a chair. Her face was not finished. The drawing sat on my shelf for months. Then I spray painted the background and inked her with pen. I made up her face. I pinned the drawing up on my wall and kept walking by her. Something was missing but I didn't know what. A month later, it came to me; The Thinker! I've always loved Robin's Thinker and this is the perfect homage. The image of his famous sculpture fit in so perfectly. And voilà! It's my absolute favorite from this new series of black and white illustrations! Prints are available at I'd also consider a fair offer for the original, if it means the piece will have a good home. Email me!
The Bantam Barbarian #1 & 2 on Comixology
The Bantam Barbarian #1 is a funny comic book that I illustrated for a client. I write about the experience in IT'S A LIVING. This was a situation where it was a passion project and we were working with a small budget. We negotiated a flat fee plus a percentage of profits. Residuals are not exactly flooding in but I really believe in the project. It's inspired by Saturday morning cartoons of the 1980s and fantasy art of that same period. You can read the premise at the link and see preview pages. My art actually gets better in  The Bantam Barbarian #2 , since I switched from traditional inking to the iPad Pro, and I'm a little bummed that the second issue only has 3/5 stars, as I think it's much better than that. Issue #3 is drawn and coming soon. My art improves with each installment. Please check them out!
A book called " Il Gigante: Michelangelo, Florence, and the David 1492-1504."  Although it's an academic book, it's one of the most fun reads ever. It was fascinating to be transported to Florence during Michelangelo's time. I didn't know that Da Vinci and Michelangelo were both in Florence at the same time, Da Vinci being Michelangelo's senior by about 20 years. The political and socio-economic climate during that period was really intriguing. On top of that, there's a young ambitious Michelangelo laboring over "the big one" -his sculptural masterpiece!  You can find it on Amazon. It was definitely a great inspiration for IT'S A LIVING!
Cristian S. Aluas (pronounced KRIS-TEE-an ah-LOO-ahsh) is an artist, writer, and filmmaker. He was born in Romania and emigrated to Canada with his family when he was eight. At 18, while still in High School, he self-published his first graphic novel with his iconic "Big Boss" character. After studying Animation in College and Creative Writing and Fine Art in University, he focused on publishing and freelancing. Cristian started teaching art and opened his own art school in Canada (online art classes are available at Over the years, Cristian has had a handful of notable fine art exhibits and sold thousands of commissions. His original work can be found in the  National Gallery of Canada, the  Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum, and in private collections worldwide. Most recently, he's produced a short live-action film (based on his "Big Boss" comic), directed another short film, and completed a new graphic novel. His new book IT'S A LIVING will be out in time for the Christmas holidays 2019 . Cristian currently lives in Manhattan and enjoys creative pursuits, exercise, and travel.

© 2019 Cristian S. Aluas, New York, NY

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