How to survive as a freelance Illustrator – Part 2
So now you have your website. You have your followers and are taking on commissions, making a little bit of cash and paying that rent, but most importantly, you’re making art! good on you swell fella or lass, keep up the top notch effort!
The next little tid bit of advice I can give is to know when to say ‘no’. You need to know what your limit is and try really hard not to take on too much at once.
At first its fantastic, you receive a couple of commissions for portraits or logo designs and then you keep accepting more, suddenly you have 6 artworks due by the end of the week and it can all get a little over whelming. Saying ‘no’ to someone is not a bad thing. If you know you just can not give that piece the attention it deserves in the time limit you are given, it is best to just calmly explain that to whom it may concern and carry on your merry way.
You need to set your limit and stick to it. Give each piece you are working on, the loving attention it deserves. Give it your all.
J U S T B E Y O U
Be true to yourself with your craft. What makes someones work unique is the person who makes it, their stories and love, mistakes and hard work. Your style in your craft is reflective of yourself, so there is no point trying to alter it to please people. Just make what you want and then go to bed with a smile on your face.
Having inspiration from other artists is important. It is always fantastic to see artists explore new styles and textures and mediums and I encourage you all to go out, right this instant! (I shall wait patiently here for your return) to visit museums and see exhibitions and take it all in, get inspired dammit! Just don’t look at something and say ‘gee whiz that’s pretty fancy, I am going to draw/make that. Just exactly the same and claim it as my own’. Don’t be that guy. Nobody likes that guy.
Be inspired, but do not copy.
Stay true to yourself and your craft, find inspiration from your own stories, your own dreams and mistakes and adventures. Create something for yourself and at the end of the day you can look at it proudly upon your mantlepiece and say ‘I made that and by Jingo its awful, but I love it!’ (this may happen a lot throughout your career).
I have an endless amount of terrible half drawn, or finished but shitty artworks loitering around my house. A constant reminder to not always try so hard, sometimes you can’t force it, you just have to patiently wait until your hand and brain mingle together in a perfect harmony and allow you to make some sort of something out of it.