Starting a Career as a Freelance Artist

Danielle Thompson

Founder @ Freelance Travel Network, Freelancer and World Traveller


Starting a Career as a Freelance Artist


starting freelance artist

Starting a career as a freelance artist can be extremely challenging. Freelancers are often a multi-talented group. Most of us are creatives who have practiced their skills across different mediums!

With a diverse range of creative skills, there’s no doubt some of us have thought about freelancing as an artist.

What keeps many of us from making the jump to freelance artist is uncertainty.
We know that skills in marketing, technology and web are always in demand. But what about art? Every artist is different and it’s hard to predict demand for unique skills.

Remember that freelance artists are still freelancers. Building this career will take hard work and organizing! Start your plan to make the jump.

man in white and red apron holding paint brush
Photographer: Eddy Klaus | Source: Unsplash

Choose your specialty with money in mind.

The scariest thing about becoming a freelance artist is wondering if you’ll be able to earn enough income.

Your chances of success are higher if you sell something you’re great at or is in high demand.

person lettering on tracing paper using mechanical pencil
Photographer: Kelly Sikkema | Source: Unsplash

You may find that at first, you need to supplement your income with a more ready-to-market skill, like taking customer requests or making how-to videos of your art.
You could discover that you’re more successful with using your art skills in ways other than making and producing art!

The path to success is never a straight-line, so keep your options open and keep at developing those art skills.

Find your market and network within it.

You won’t find success without a demand for your product; you’ve got to find your market.

The first step to finding your market is to distinguish whether your art already has an audience out there or if you’re creating something new and niche.

If your art already has a market, you know what you’re selling is in demand!

starting freelance artist - neon sign
Photographer: Ian Williams | Source: Unsplash

However, that means competition, so you’ll need high-quality products and lots of promotion to outrank them.

If your art is completely unique, you won’t have much competition!

In this case, you’ll need to curate the market for your products, focusing on attracting clients and brand marketing.

Freelance Artist: Never stop developing those skills!

Carving a career out for yourself is a long, slow-growing process. So is your artistic development! Keep trying out new techniques, developing your style and most of all, staying on top of the latest apps and software.

Not only should you keep yourself updated on the latest art-creating software, but you should be using the best tools for freelancers as well. They help your time management, productivity, and even bookkeeping. 

Even practicing your art can make great content/marketing material for your followers, so keep at it!

Are you a freelance artist? What were your most difficult moments when starting out?

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