Do What You Have To Do
I know there's a lot of discourse online about what makes someone a professional comic creator. How are you "IN" the business? Do you have to be full time in order to be considered in the industry? This blog is really just my personal opinions on things, and maybe not 100% the truth, but as someone who has been milling around the comic space for a decade, here are my thoughts.
Did you make a comic? Yes? Then you're "in" the industry. Did you sell it? Meaning, did someone give you currency in exchange for your goods and/or services? In my eyes, that makes you a professional. Pretty simple definition.
Do you have to be working on comics ONLY or be a full time creator? No. Capitalism reigns supreme, and most artists in any industry can't pursue their art full time, at least not until they get more established. There is absolutely zero problem, or shame in having a dayjob, while creating comics is your passion on the side. You're STILL in the industry! You're STILL a professional! Many of the big names in comics still have other jobs as well. All kinds of jobs from manual labor, fast food, to teaching, and corporate jobs. None of these things should prevent you from making comics.
As far as being a part of the industry, well, on top of being a creator, you should go to conventions, and meet other professionals, or aspiring professionals. It's good to have others in the industry know who you are, what your work is about, and if you're a good person to refer to available opportunities. The more you ingratiate yourself with the industry, the more "IN" you are. If you never leave your house, it's kind of hard to be a part of ANY industry, right?
Short thoughts from Jordan.