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Santa Barbara, Ca

I'm a full-time rambler and contract designer with as many skill sets in my quiver as there are plane tickets in my passbook. I've worked in ornamental iron, jigsaw puzzle design, bookmaking, glass engraving, and a variety of other mediums. I'm currently living out of a backpack as I trek my way around the world.

Blog

Self-Employment is for Crazies (+¡Big Announcement!)

Zak Erving

Sometimes, when you're self-employed, it helps to take out stress on inanimate objects (also: I've always wanted to feature this photo, but have never had the chance…until now!)

Sometimes, when you're self-employed, it helps to take out stress on inanimate objects (also: I've always wanted to feature this photo, but have never had the chance…until now!)

Starting a business is a tough road to hoe.

Starting a business in the midst of an economic downturn is tougher still.

Starting a business in the midst of an economic downturn with career aspirations that have never in human history been seen as having high profit margins (*cough*travelwriting*cough*) is somewhere on that spectrum of just plain stupid and wildly ambitious.

I like to think I tend towards the latter. Hopefully history doesn't sandbag me with the former.

Me at my old job, workin' the plasma cutter

Me at my old job, workin' the plasma cutter

A year ago this past October, I had my hours cut in half at a job I loved. The work wasn't coming in to support me full time, so I had to figure something else out to round out my workweek. Fast forward a few months later, and I had moved back home to my parents' place in Alaska, under the condition (my own) that I would be out in four months' time as a self-employed nomad-designer-bookmaker-slash-travel-writer.

It was all working beautifully, except the hemorrhaging money part. Freelance gigs would trickle in, but unless I had locked something certain down by December of this year, I was dead in the water.

So you can imagine my excitement when I got some really, really big news last month—the kind of news that makes one realize that he's lassoed that dream out of the clouds and anchored it to the ground.

The big news? I just secured a contract with Amazon as a cover designer and typesetter for their self-publishing branch.

Former office of Sparkpunk.com (September 2012)

Former office of Sparkpunk.com (September 2012)

Yes, that Amazon. I make books for Forbes' #28.

And in January, I'll be taking this show on the road, as being a full-time nomad is actually cheaper when I telecommute for work. Pay rent? No, thanks. I'd rather score a private room on the beach in Ecuador for $8/night. Whatever I save every month I'll spend on another plane ticket.

It's going to be a fun ride. Thank you, friends and family, for your support and continued support :)

So where should I go next? Do you have any ideas?