TFD: You're More.

#thefreelancediaries by @mollyjacques

Happy Happy Monday!

It's been a while since I've posted a diary entry. I've been feeling a bit inspired by conversations and self reflection these past two weeks so I wanted to write a more personal post today.

Today I want to talk about measuring self worth by your portfolio.

You see, this topic can actually be applied to a lot of things. Measuring self worth by how many followers or likes you have on social media. Measuring self worth by revisions or critique from a client. Measuring self worth by how well accepted your newest piece of work is. Hopefully you understand what I'm getting at...

The big problem here is that artists like us often measure our self worth by these things. We feel like our identity is mingled in with our "brand". And you know why? It's because we look at other artists' portfolios or Instagram feeds and we strip them down to those images as a representation of who they are. We say to ourselves: "I feel like I have a good grasp on who Molly Jacques is. She's bubbly, fun, has a positive attitude, she's encouraging, she knows a lot about freelancing and how to make it work for her, she totally has her shit together".

In the same thought, you might start to compare your own work to my portfolio. But you're not comparing your work objectively, you're comparing who you are as a person to who you think I am based on the images that I've presented you with. Which is a real big problem because you're a human that is so so so much more than a series of images on a screen. And likewise, I'm much more than the images I've presented. I'm real. Flawed. Messy. Into weird things that frankly most people would think are lame. And I'm cool with that.

And want to know a secret? I'm not my brand. My brand is what I sell, it's not who I am. Sure, I like to encourage others with a positive voice but that doesn't really say too much more about me other than that. My portfolio is full of bright colors but does that mean that I'm a bright, bubbly person? Maybe. Maybe not.

Either way, I just want to encourage each of you to think objectively about your work and know fully that your self worth is not based on your portfolio. You are so much more.

The thing about being a commercial Illustrator is that you are creating artwork for clients who want to sell products. They are interested in how you can solve visual problems to sell those products, they aren't interested in what your religion is or how pretty you are. If your client responds to your concept sketches by saying that they are totally off base, it doesn't mean that they are saying you are an off base human. See where I'm going with this?

Remember that you are so much more than your portfolio. You're more than how well you can direct people to buy a product based on images, words, and perception. Let your brand do that, and don't limit yourself to what your brand does.



Workshops: Bloom

@mollyjacques for #bloomtheworkshop

Hey all!

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you'll notice I've been posting about how I'll be teaching a mini calligraphy workshop along other creatives at Bloom on May 5th here in Michigan. If you're not familiar with the workshop, please go check it out right now!

@mollyjacques for #bloomtheworkshop


Interested in signing up? You probably should. This workshop has it all. Calligraphy, flower arranging, blogging, photography, styling...  Good times will be had. Go sign up now because the seats are limited. Hope to see you there!




Recent Work: Printables

@mollyjacques #handlettered digital printable // $5
Add To Cart
Add To Cart
Add To Cart
Add To Cart

Guess what you guys?


It’s been over a year since I’ve offered up hand lettered prints in my online shop but I’m bringing them back today as downloadable printables!


I just want to take a moment to reflect on the first image above… For anyone else who is a self professed freelancer, you’re gonna love it. And want this in your studio. Because you’re probably obsessed with working from home and freelancing ‘cuz you get to have some crazy awesome freedom in that (hence, free(lance)dom).


Okay, cool. Get 'em while they're hot.



MJW: Calligraphy Basics in Anaheim

#mollyjacquesworkshop #calligraphy
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile
#mollyjacquesworkshop photography by Will Coile

February 6th marked the date for my Orange County calligraphy basics class which was held at the lovely Anaheim Packing House. You guys, this place is seriously amazing. If you live around the area, I highly recommend you check out this charming little market. Not only are all the vendors absolutely top notch, the people there are extremely friendly and helpful. Between the sunshine, good food, and teaching my favorite thing ever, this workshop was high up on my list for most fun.


For those of you who aren't familiar with my workshops, I teach a variety of skill level classes focusing on hand lettering and calligraphy. This class was Calligraphy Basics where we covered all of the introductory content of learning calligraphy.


Students arrived around 12pm on Saturday to find their swag bags with a curated calligraphy kit by yours truly, a small gift from my friend (and attendee) Katie Dean, crazy cool tumblers from The Mason Bar Company, and snack tokens for Dark180 chocolate and Popbar (both vendors of the Packing House). Throughout the workshops, students sipped on coffee from Cafecito Organico and enjoyed the gorgeous florals designed by the ever so talented OC designer Shannon O'Neil of Cargo Creative


All of the photos for the calligraphy class were shot by Will Coile.


I'm so thankful to have met so many truly inspiring people at this workshop and I sincerely look forward to staying in touch and watching each of your progress in your new skills! If you want to follow along with the workshop, you can do so on social media using #mollyjacquesworkshop


And lastly - and HUGE thank you to all of our sponsors for this class! I'm so thankful for all of your contributions to make this happen. To follow our sponsors, check out their websites here...


Event Planning & PR / Alana Yarbrough

Flowers / Cargo Creative

Tumblers / The Mason Bar Company

Jewelry / Katie Dean Jewelry

Hot Chocolate / Dark 180 Chocolate

Photography / Will Coile

Popsicles / Popbar

Coffee / Cafecito Organico

Venue / Anaheim Packing House

TFD: Motivation Is A Luxury

#thefreelancediaries via @mollyjacques

Hey guys and gals!

Today, my twin sister (yes, I have a twin) posted a witty article on Facebook to her husband who is a freelance writer. The article was all about why motivation is NOT the key to getting things done and meeting goals.

Let me start off with a little background info... My brother in law (his name is Jon) and I have very different jobs, but we often find ourselves chatting about similarities we face every day as we work. Ultimately, we have a few things in common: we set our schedules, we monitor our productivity, and we set and achieve or fall short of our own goals. These are all important aspects of being self employed and can make or break it for you. We don't have someone there to hold us accountable for finishing up a hard day of work or making sure we meet a deadline.

And this brings me to today's topic... Why motivation is a luxury. You see, I can't tell you how many times I get people saying to me: "Man, I don't know how you work from home. You have to be REALLY self-motivated!". I think that people assume that to be a successful freelancer, one must be motivated to do their job. 

But, you know what? Motivation is a luxury and is based on unreliable emotions. I love my job, but it's a job. I don't always feel like working but I sure don't wait until I have a spark of inspiration to finish what needs to be done that day. To be a successful freelancer, one doesn't need to be motivated, one needs to be well disciplined in their approach to work.

Wisdomnation put it well when they describe the difference between motivation and discipline...

"Motivation, broadly speaking, operates on the erroneous assumption that a particular mental or emotional state is necessary to complete a task. That’s completely the wrong way around. Discipline, by contrast, separates outwards functioning from moods and feelings and thereby ironically circumvents the problem by consistently improving themThe implications are huge."

See what I mean?

I hate to be a Debby Downer and rant here, but I think it's an important topic. So, for those of you reading this who are talented artists but for whatever reason are not meeting your goals, not getting consistent work, not maintaining healthy business relationships with clients, I'm going to offer up three bits of disciplinary advice that I encourage you to practice this week:



For any artist on the face of the planet, this probably is an administrative goal. Maybe it is answering every email in your inbox that day. Maybe it's going through your credit card statement to itemize your expenses for that month. Maybe it is making sure that your desk is clean at the end of every work day. All annoying things to do, I know, but doing these things regularly, and most importantly, when you don't feel motivated, is a step towards disciplinary success. It shapes the way you approach each day of work.



Every day. Make a to-do list. Itemize the list with things that need to be done right away and things that need to be done by the end of the day. Do all of those things. Even if you don't want to.



Thankfulness propels discipline. I know this sounds weird, but it's true. We always have something to be thankful for. Unmotivated because you hate your job? Guess what... The unemployment rate here in the U.S. is still around 5.6%. Not everyone else has the means to pay their rent and feed their family. To work is a privilege, not a given. If you are self employed and get to create art for a living, you should be pretty darn thankful. When you're thankful, you do work because it needs to be done. Not when "you feel like it" or feel "motivated". When you're thankful for what you do have, you stop obsessing over what you don't have.


... And that's it for today. Did you find this post helpful? Maybe you're like me and are astonished by how many people think you need to be self motivated all the time to get work done. Maybe not. I want to hear your thoughts. Comment below and share your story.