Shane Johnson, Freelance Illustrator, Washington
For the past twenty years Shane Johnson has worked as a freelance commercial illustrator. As the sole proprietor of Shane L. Johnson Illustration, he has created artwork for national clients such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Blizzard Activision, Penguin Random House and more. Working for himself gives Shane the flexibility to set his own rates, schedule and allows him to work from his home office in Central Washington State.
Like many small business owners, Shane worked long hours and sacrificed much to establish a national profile and steady workflow. He has built valued relationships with clients across the country that have lasted decades. As a result of this commitment, self-employment has been more rewarding personally and financially for him than working as someone else’s employee could ever be.
Unfortunately, the new Department of Labor rule regarding employee misclassification seeks to take away the business Shane has created, and disrupt a field primarily based on freelancers like himself. Should this rule go into effect he would find himself thrust into a market for which few, if any full-time illustration positions currently exist. For Shane, his career is not a gig, or a side hustle to be dictated by a bureaucracy, but a successful business that has supported himself and his family for years.