I work as a comic artist in Greece. To be honest you can’t work only as a comic artist in Greece and make your living unless your clients come from other countries. So almost every professional Greek comic artist usually works as an illustrator as well, or as a graphic designer, or as an animator or even as something totally outside the arts just to make a decent income. You usually have to work endless hours for just a few fees and you have to be patient.
Nevertheless, it is definitely a rewarding job. It is a very creative job, very funny and something you really love doing so you never get too tired to go on. Your home can be your workplace so you need no transportation to go to work, you have no specific working hours, no bosses over your shoulder, no dresscode but at the same time you have no holidays, no human contact for days or even weeks and no job security.
Advertising your work is the number one thing you constantly do. You are not just a comic artist, you are also your own marketing manager and you have to work a lot with social media as a way to familiarize people with your work and make them read your books. The more people know your work the more clients you have. The best scenario is there are people reading your books, true fans that give you comments and reviews that make you eager to go on. It is really amazing to get messages from people telling you how much they enjoyed your stories or even how these stories affected them. And of course it is also frustrating and embarrassing when you have negative comments, that eventually make you want to be a better artist.
Personally I gave up a “safe” job as a civil engineer, with a very good income, for an uncertain future as a comic artist and illustrator and I have never felt sorry about that choice.
I think it was Confucius who said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”.
Nicolas, Athens, 11 December 2017.