By the skin of my teeth, I finished up my first big illustration project today. It only took one deadline extension, two all-nighters, and several panic attacks to bring it to completion, but it's done!
Learned some valuable time management lessons -- on the positive side, for once I actually estimated the amount of time it would take with almost perfect accuracy. On the negative side, I glossed over the fact that I didn't actually have that much time available... But I guess it is good to face my fear of freelance overbusy-ness early on, and see how to constructively work through it and survive.
Fortunately, this project was worth the trouble! Seven fun illustrations, and abundant opportunities to practice what I've been learning about perspective, figure construction, dynamic poses, and composition, along some great experience in photoshop painting and visual research. Unfortunately, everything is on non-disclosure agreement, so I can't show anyone (hence the vague descriptions). It was a great learning experience though and a HUGE jumpstart to my confidence in drawing.