I love Star Wars, and I especially love X-Wing pilots. I’ve mentioned that a few times already on this very young blog 🤣 And as soon as I decided to start making patches I knew I wanted to make the Targeting Computer graphic!
But this post isn’t about this particular image, or even about Star Wars, per se. It’s about the freedom to work on your own terms.
Up until very recently I made commissioned costumes, which rolled into other commissioned garments and accessories, including patches. My first patches were commissions, or otherwise determined by general public demand. Like now, my head was full of ideas for things I wanted to make that hadn’t been specifically requested, but my commission schedule made it difficult to find time to actually make those things.
I went to UFOFest in 2018, as I do most years. UFOFest is a delightfully weird event that is equal parts convention, professional conference, and block party. The host hotel has drink specials and bands and dance parties. Serious big-name UFO experts speak in the community center. The local shops have elaborate window decorations. There is a parade, costume contests for both humans and pets, a film festival… it’s a weird little event unlike any other I’ve been to, and I love it!
The event technically starts on Thursday evening with the first panel and the first band, but it doesn’t really get going until late Friday afternoon, with the second panel and the beginning of the weekend’s entertainment. I’ve been going to this event long enough to know I’d have this Friday morning/afternoon lull, so I decided to bring my computer and actually get some work done. I sat in the hotel restaurant for several hours drinking coffee and eating breakfast, and digitized the Targeting Computer patch.
My work up to that point had been big - costumes require lots of materials and equipment; it’s not work you can really throw in a backpack and take to the coffee shop - so this was really my first time doing real work outside of my home studio. And it was so liberating! I was still relatively new to the idea of successful self-employment, and to take it one step further to successful self-employment from remote locations was amazing! And paired with doing work that *I* wanted to do, not work specifically requested by other people? That made it so much sweeter! I felt like my eyes were open to a whole new world of small businessing that day. And the end result was my Targeting Computer patch.
It took a few weeks for people to find it, but it has been a favorite ever since. It makes me so happy to know that something I thought was cool is a thing that other people think is cool too!
Someday I'll be a true nomad again, but until then I'll just say that I love the work I’m doing now, I can’t even express how grateful I am to all of you who like my work, and I love that we as a society are starting to figure out how to not be tied to a desk all day. Humans were meant to go outside and explore and socialize and experience the world! But we’ve also gotta make money, and I think it’s awesome that it’s becoming easier to do both. And I hope if we learn anything from this dumb pandemic, it’s how to better balance life and work and to find more creative ways to make a living other than being trapped in cubicle hell working for the man*.
So, hey, buy my Targeting Computer stuff! I have patches, stickers, and, as of today, enamel pins available!
*And also, America needs sweeping policy change on how we treat employees. Pay people what they’re worth, and make sure it’s a true living wage. Pay people equally for equal work. Give us adequate time off for physical and mental health, family care, and fun. Separate health insurance from employment. Stop paying CEOs a bazillion dollars a year. Give us access to education and other advancement opportunities. Treat people with public-facing jobs with respect and kindness, and, again, pay them what they’re worth!!!