I've been a full-time freelancer for over four years now (not counting an 18-month freelance stint a number of years ago). I've been in Michigan for the past year after living in Denver for almost ten years before that. I was working as a studio artist for a big ad agency, but had a decent amount of freelance work on the side. The agency went through a big reorganization which meant that they were laying off a bunch of folks, including a number of artists. I knew that they would never lay me off, so I went to my boss and offered to take a layoff if I received the same severence package as everyone else. They agreed to give me the severence and I was free.
The package wasn't much...just enough to make a few months of house and bill payments, but I was sure that I could make things happen. As it turns out, I was right. I landed a few decent and steady clients right away (including the agency I used to work for) and have been out on my own ever since.
So what's your story? How long have you been freelancing and how did you get started?