Inspiration can come when you least expect it, I've found myself waking up in the middle of the night determined not to forget a brilliant dream I've had about pot plants so I can draw them in the morning or buying a box of tea because it had a great color scheme despite the fact I don't drink tea. I've found my phone and its camera the most useful tool for recording things and I often upload photos to folders on my pc for perusing later. I love to draw inanimate objects so sometimes a quick look in the kitchen cupboards is enough to spur on the idea machine.
Bright, bold colours have been my thing since I started in the field, I have a "go big or go home" approach to colour and line. When I create a new pattern or illustration my aim is usually to be as eyecatching as possible. You could say my work is a bit of an attention seeker! I'm always on the lookout for interesting colour combinations on fabric, packaging, book covers and ads and I like to snap photos to refer back to when I'm choosing new palettes.
Working from home, as a lot of freelancers do, it can be hard to stay motivated and make the transition from home to work. Sometimes it can be tempting to stay in your pajamas all day and not leave the house, but I find that getting dressed and popping out, even if it's just for a quick walk, can help kick your brain into gear and save a lot of time that might've otherwise have been spent procrastinating.
Share your work everywhere you can -- online, to friends and family, to new people you meet; it's the best way to get noticed. Produce as much work as you can; it's the best way I've found to get better and you will need to be the best you can be to beat the competition. And don't worry if you have to get a part time or full time job in the meantime; everybody needs to eat and it isn't easy finding reliable income as a freelancer.
All of my work begins life on the page, sketched out in pencil and then outlined in pens of varying thicknesses before it gets scanned in, cleaned up in Adobe Photoshop and taken over to Adobe Illustrator. I've become an adept with Illustrator's Live Trace feature and it has been a real life saver when it comes to creating the vectors for my artwork. Then comes the fun part: choosing the colours. Sometimes I'll have an idea before I start but other times I'll spend hours trying out different combos and shades in an attempt to get it just right.