When I was 19, I ventured out on my own to be a freelance illustrator when I saw how much money the ad agency I worked for was charging for my drawings. Little did I know that I would have to start my own business, deal with accountants, lawyers, taxes, sales taxes, etc. I felt I had the art side down, but I needed to learn all of the business. I took classes and read lots of books. Eventually I got it down, but it was a necessary addition. I just wanted to draw for a living, but I needed to put the time in to make it happen. At times I said, “If I had known how difficult it was going to be, maybe I wouldn’t have done it” But I’m glad I did. My business grew into a great entertainment and animation business.
I’m feeling the same way about relocating to Belgium. It was definitely a risk. I had fear. I’ve been here since September and I’m having my struggles trying to get the ways of working within the Belgian system. Hitting lots of snags with banks and businesses. There is definitely some skepticism working with an American. It seems like everyone here thinks if you are American, you must be like Trump. Well I didn’t vote for Trump, and I too do not want him as our president. But eventually, America will hopefully recover. I feel like I have an uphill battle in front of me but I will persevere. It’s going to take some time. I feel like a settler whose learning about soil and seeds. My first crops are not doing so well. But eventually I will learn the land, what grows best and what doesn’t. How to work within the climate of the land. And I hope the Belgian people see me as a person and not as a relocated American.
But I’m here to stay. And I will learn it and make it work. It is whats best for my family and we will make roots. I’m having a real difficult time, but I’ve been through it before.