“I started to realize that I have to do it. I have to quit my job and do it full-time because otherwise, I’m never going to succeed in anything because I’m doing both with half of my power. So, I quit my office job and went full time and it felt amazing. It felt scary but I never felt better because I knew I could do whatever I want.”
At first, Sara continued to work on commissioned drawings and freelance projects to supplement her income after leaving her job. Then, she found the perfect place to engage with her community and find support, Patreon.
“If I describe Patreon to people who don’t know it, I always say it’s like my own little drawing school because my main rewards are tutorials,” she said. “I’m always trying to talk to my patrons and find out what they want. They give me a lot of inspiration and ideas. I like to call it a sketch club or drawing club. It’s a real community now, and I’m very happy those people found each other.”
Patreon makes it possible for her to embrace the creative freedom that initially drove her to share her work online, all while fostering a community that is willing and excited to support her.
Sara still grapples with the fact that she’s making a living off creating her own art, but she’d always been on the path to making that happen, even if she didn’t realize it at first.
“I did always draw when I was a kid,” she told us when we joined her at her home studio. “I got myself comic books and manga stuff, and I always tried to teach myself. And then I forgot about it when I was a teenager but got back into it once I started studying in college.”
When she initially got back into drawing, Sara’s main goal was to share her drawings for fun, however, it quickly became clear by the following and engagement she was attracting online that she had a shot at making a viable career out of her hobby.
It was still hard to see herself living in a new reality where she got to create her own art on her own terms, then, inspired in part by her move to Berlin, she decided to make her dream of being a full-time illustrator into a reality. “Living in Berlin, it’s more accepted to work in something that’s not traditional. So many people here are creative and they make their living doing anything basically. So I felt like it was okay — and it was normal.”
Now, Faber works for herself — no freelance work required — drawing, making tutorials, and shipping off products to the international supporters who regularly purchase her work.
“Now that I have more income streams, I was able to stop the ones that I don’t really enjoy as much.”
“Now that I have more income streams, I was able to stop the ones that I don’t really enjoy as much,” she explained. “So it definitely changed my business structure, because I can kind of focus on it and do other things as well, instead of having to do some of the jobs that I maybe don’t want to do.” She’s also able to relax, knowing that her community offers her stability. “Patreon allowed me to stop taking client jobs because I would fully rely on YouTube and maybe that’s a little risky.”
While working as a creator might sound like a dreamy setup to plenty of aspiring artists out there, she is quick to acknowledge that although this lifestyle affords her freedom, working for yourself is just as taxing as any other job.
“A lot of people think that it isn’t a real job, or just because you work from home and decide what to work on, that it’s not as exhausting or not as much work,” she explained. “Maybe they just see the good parts. I actually find that I work much more now than I used to in my job before. Yes, it’s nice, because I have all this freedom. But this is also tricky because you have to set your boundaries and working hours. Not everyone sees that part of the job, especially if you’re not in it.”
Though Sara doesn’t consider herself to be an entrepreneur in the traditional sense of the word, she thinks that most creatives who want to exist outside the system figure out a way to make their own path.
“I’m definitely motivated. I know my goals, and I know how to get there. I found out about Patreon because of other artists using it. And I realized that if I really put in the effort and the hours, then I could get to where I want to be. You have to have a little bit of entrepreneurship in you.”