How to survive as a freelance Illustrator – Part 1
I guess I should start by explaining who I am and why I am here. My name is Ruby and I work as a freelance illustrator under the label ‘Ruby & Wolf’. Basically I create works for people and in return they exchange said work for cold hard cash (or other goodies, I am always up for a decent trade) I take commissions, I create logo’s and designs alongside my personal work, which is forever ongoing. I get to design T-shirts for small kids, paint on wood, create pet portraits and all matter of odd requests. I wake up and I draw and that is pretty gosh darn amazing.
With this article, I hope to share my experience working as a freelancer and hopefully give some useful advice and other fancy tid-bits to those aspiring to work for themselves as well.
So here we go.
S E T G O A L S.
As annoying as it sounds, having something to work towards keeps you motivated and creative. It keeps you going in those days where getting out of bed seems especially hard. Plan an exhibition, enter an art show, set a T-shirt release date, set dead-lines. They will keep you going. If you are anything like me, procrastination comes too easily, setting a strict deadline will keep you on track.
If you are just starting up as an emerging artist I suggest creating some sort of web site to get you started. Social media (as damaging and harsh as it can be) can also become your best friend! Its easy to use, easy to manage and free! FREE! so please, take advantage of it. Gathering admirers of your work is essential (they are the ones who fund your coffee addiction after all) but social media is also great for staying motivated and finding out about things you otherwise might have missed. Upcoming showcases and exhibitions, competitions and other opportunities are constantly around you. It can also be a great place to meet fellow artists in your dwelling area, collaborations can be crafted and friendships created! Hazaar!
As much as you might despise the idea of self-promoting online, it can truly create some wondrous benefits. Just swallow your pride and show the people of the inter web how awesome you are. At the end of the day, it can get you work, rent money, recognition and some street cred if thats up your alley.
W O R K, W O R K & T H E N W O R K S O M E M O R E.
Keep practising, every day. Make quick sketches, jot down dreams and Ideas. Take photos of things that inspire you, take note of colours & textures that catch your eyes, discover angles and objects you have not noticed before. Take everything in and use it to your strengths. Discover what you love to draw or capture and try re-creating it different styles and mediums. Find your niche and then get better at it. There is always room to learn and discover and you can not discover them without learning from making mistakes.