Strong & Free(lance): Updates and...Ads?

I've been talking about going full-time or part-time freelance in the Strong & Free(lance) series.  Here's a few tidbits and updates on where things are headed right now. 

(I think Strong and Free(lance) needs its own header.  Hmm.)

I realized some readers abroad may not get the "Strong & Free(lance)" title. I'm Canadian  and a line in our national anthem, O Canada, is "the True North strong and free".  That's the reason for the "lance" in freelance being marked off by brackets.  Sometimes I think I'm clever.

-Boy, do I know how to pick my timing!  Michelle was switching schools.  We're moving on August 1st to a much nicer apartment. And I have resigned my job and there's a big question mark on the future income.  It's daunting. Doubts creep in. I have never done freelance illustration and fine art full-time, and I'm not sure of the market.

-I'm going to try and keep posting art in progress throughout the move to our new place.  Lots of packing to do, so there may be more in-process stuff than finished pieces.

-That said, Michelle has been really encouraging that it will work out.  If not, as another wise artist said to me, I can always try to get another job in retail management. I may go for something at least part-time to have something steady.

-I am currently still at my full-time job.  The company has been great to me over the years, so I wanted to be flexible with my ending date.  Currently, we're looking at me leaving sometime between August 1st and September 30th.  This has lead to a number of "what year?" jokes at work.

-There's been some hopeful signs lately that there is a market for what I may offer.  I have seen a marked increase in requests for original oil paintings since The Last Refuge was completed.

-My Facebook fans have doubled recently -I'm not sure why, but it's welcome- leading to more interaction with interesting people.

-I'm currently ranking in the teens in the Life Science category of ScienceBlips. Make sure to click it in the sidebar on the right, and use the AddThis sharing widget I've added at the bottom of each blog entry to post on Facebook, Twitter and more. I'm #18 in Life Science and the time of typing this, which is pretty good I think when you consider I'm an artist messing with prehistoric fauna.

-I'm making plans for the freelance era of Flying Trilobite.  How does an art book sound?  I think that's a major project I'd like to undertake.  I wonder if anyone would be interested in writing short one-page SF stories riffing on some of my paintings?

-Finally, I also wanted to ask for opinions on adding Google Adsense to this blog.  What's your opinion?  Would it turn you off from reading here?

-I find myself wondering if I should be looking into art grants for the fine artsy stuff, or incorporating my brand for the illustrative stuff.  I'm thinking a lot about concrete definitions.  Is that silly?  Do I need to focus, or throw it all out there and see what happens?

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