JS: Personal work is the lab where you cook up and make a mess with different experiments. I often use smaller self-initiated projects to figure out and refine different approaches that I will either use in a longer term project or for an editorial client. The relationship between commercial and personal work is symbiotic, I’ve found that I’m often hired for a specific approach that I honed during a project that I pursued on my own. Always remember that the main through line with your work is YOUR VOICE- don’t get tripped up on if it is too much of a departure from your past work.
EG: If you’re not crafting new things and experimenting . . . then why are you even here??? Personal work is where you experiment and try out things you’ve been wanting to do. It also is the only time that you can be 100% selfish and do the work YOU want to do. No one else has a say in what you make. If you do personal work right, then assignments will follow in the same style as your personal work.