Many years ago, I made the decision to avoid a corporate lifestyle at all costs and earn a living working for myself writing and making pretty pictures.

The freedom of working for myself has brought with it joy and greatly reduced levels of office small talk.

Having done this for over ten years, I would not — and now probably could not — do it any other way.

The route I’ve chosen has allowed me to make cool illustrations of apes and aliens, earn a bit of money, and live and work mostly anywhere I want (writing this in Bangkok — how awesome am I, right?).

It has not been without its challenges, however. Not needing to follow a formal structure has lead to laziness and watching YouTube for hours instead of working, many times.

Not taking full control as my own boss has resulted in days where I’d consider cleaning out my email spam box a triumph.

I’ve been lonely and sometimes depressed through isolating myself without someone suggesting that it might do me some good to speak to an actual person at some point in the week.

About a year ago, I went on a week-long trip to Iceland with a friend. We hired a jeep, and covered as much of the country’s wild, alien landscape as we could.

The illustrations here were inspired by Iceland, but going on such an adventure also led to a new change in the way I approached my life from that point on.

I decided to bring adventure into my daily life instead of a once in a year short burst.

On every day that I can, I will go on a walk, sometimes a long one, and I will bring my notepad and my phone to take pictures and videos. I will use this adventure to collect and note ideas or simply document things I see as I go.

Read more: How to stay fresh by going on ‘Ideas Adventure