8 min 46 sec

Colorado Artist Quits Job, Goes Back to Work, Then Quits Again

A Colorado artist utilizes Instagram and wholesale relationships to grow his following and bank account with unique designs. When his first attempt to go full-time ends in frustration, he regroups for a second attempt.
Design Manufacturing Print on Demand Product Social Media

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What It's About

Art Director takes a new direction with his art.

Business Model
Skills Required
Design & Research
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Jimmy recommends that you start small—pick one product design to gauge how people respond to it. If you can get customers in with smaller purchase items such as stickers or hats, you can then bring them into your audience and sell them higher priced items like t-shirts and hoodies.

Fun Fact

Through networking and online exposure, Jimmy has had the opportunity to sell his designs on Nordstrom.com, and create merchandise for bands like Norah Jones, The Grateful Dead, and Counting Crows. And starting later this year, you’ll find some of his designs at REI!

Notes from Chris

Episode 811
Colorado native Jimmy Bryant has been designing and creating art his whole life. When he wasn’t working his 9 to 5 job, you could find him sketching or creating new designs on his computer. His passion for designing unique styles consumed most of his free time.

While working in a construction job in California, he began taking on various freelance projects to fuel his hobby. After doing this off and on for many years, he decided it was time to take the leap and launch himself as a full-time freelancer with his brand, Atomic Child Designs.

He moved back to Colorado and began listing his designs with various sites like Mintees and Red Bubble. On these sites, he was able to get his designs out there and find clients. Jimmy also did several band merchandising gigs where he would design t-shirts and promotional items.

However, life as a freelancer didn’t last long. Jimmy had left his previous job with little money saved and learned early on that he wasn’t prepared for this lifestyle. He decided to go back to working for a company so he could have a steady paycheck again and found a job as an Art Director for an apparel design firm. While there, he continued his art on the side. Jimmy still loved doing it and wasn’t ready to give up on his dream. Having a full-time job took the pressure off of making regular sales from his side hustle, and allowed him more freedom to experiment.

Part of his experimenting happened on Instagram. He started a 365 challenge, where he began posting one new design per day for 365 days. During this challenge, he picked up more and more followers. People were eager to see what he was going to design next. And it provided accountability to continue creating and expanding his design skills. When he began this challenge, he had just over 500 followers. Today he’s up to 659 original designs and almost 14,000 followers.

Sales and clients continued to grow. After much consistency and persistence, he was averaging about $11,000 per month and making more money from his side hustle than his day job. That’s when he knew it was the right time to leave his Art Director role.

It’s been quite the journey for Atomic Child, from freelance to full-time, to part-time, and now back to his main hustle. In his words:

“The best experience is realizing you can make a living off your designs by designing for yourself and not being tied to client work. It has given me the freedom in my life that I dreamed of for so long.”



Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"If you’re wanting to grow your side hustle into a full-time gig, make sure you have multiple sets of revenue coming in first rather than relying on one stream. It’s easier to make mistakes and take risks when you have a steady paycheck than to jump ship and start with nothing."
—Jimmy Bryant #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau