I joined this local time bank a few months ago where the concept is that one gives an hour (in terms of goods and services) and gets an hour in return. The short explanation is that it’s an experiment in exchanging goods and services without using money. Here’s a link where you can learn more about the concept.

Through the time bank I gave someone an hour’s lesson in basic acrylic painting a few months ago followed by helping a woman with designing a brochure because she’s trying to jump-start her writing and editing business after having to take time off due to health reasons. So I requested some resume writing and career counseling for myself because I needed some advice on a few things. I met with a woman who’s normally a job and career coach but she’s putting that career on hold because she’s in the process of getting her Ph.D. We met for an hour a few months ago and she suggested a few things. It was a nice chat and everything. I really wanted to meet with her again because I still had a few questions that I thought she could help me answer. When I tried to schedule a follow-up, I had a hard time reaching her until I finally got an e-mail from her saying that she has gotten pretty busy with her schoolwork so she doesn’t know when she would be able to talk with me again.

Well, anyway, I finally got around to taking one of her suggestions of trying sites like Fiverr.com to advertise my services. The idea is to build up a work portfolio so I’ll have more contacts that would lead to more work, etc.

I delayed getting on Fiverr.com because I’ve seen people post very complicated jobs while charging $5 (which is why the site is called Fiverr in the first place) like building a full website. It’s just that I’ve done jobs like building websites in the first place and they are so time-consuming that paying someone just $5 is a bit of a rip-off. In fact, one would be better off working at McDonald’s than earning $5 building a website or programming an app. I mean, $5 might be a lot of money in a Third World country but here in the U.S. $5 is nothing.

But then I thought “Suppose that counselor wasn’t wrong?” and I decided to give it a shot. I decided to do vector tracing because that’s a relatively easy job that I can churn out pretty fast. Basically I’ll take your favorite photograph and trace over it using either Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape (depending on your personal preference). For $5 I’ll do it and send it out via e-mail within 10 days. For an extra $10, I’ll do it using one of the images provided by the Getty Library. For $20 I’ll get everything traced and e-mailed to you in 1 day. Here’s one sample of my previous work.

Petting Farm at Clark's Elioak Farm


I know it sounds like I’m cheapening myself but I’m just giving it a try for a few weeks to see if this thing really works. Right now I’m sticking with only vector tracing because there’s no way in hell I’m going to do something time-consuming and complex like making animations for $5 (which is actually an option on that site).

For all I know that career coach could’ve been giving me bum advice but I think I should at least try it first before I start denouncing this option.

So if you ever want the privilege to get the person behind the Sagittarius Dolly blog to trace your favorite photograph into a vector graphic (in either .ai or .svg), order my services right here right now. I’m only trying this for a month so if I don’t get any responses, I’m going to quit this site. So order now and don’t delay!