How To Make An Art Of Being a Freelance Artist

An art career can involve working at home

Whether you’re a fine art tutor teaching from your own back garden studio, or an illustrator taking commissions from multiple clients, an artistic career can often involve home working. But it’s not all creativity and free spiritedness. Planning, admin and other less exciting tasks take up a lot of time and working for yourself means being incredibly disciplined.

Artist's hands with paint on them

Keep your hands in Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brush up your skills

Even if you aced art college and you have an impressive professional portfolio, it’s important to keep learning even when you don’t have colleagues to interact with face-to-face. Sites like Folio Academy provide online resources so you can keep your hand in.

Don’t waste time

Inspiration can be tough to come by, and it’s tempting to avoid sitting down to work when you’re experiencing a block, especially if it’s a piece you’re intending to sell without a fixed a deadline. It’s important to make sure you keep busy, though. Use this time to do some admin, or try a little exercises to get your creative juices flowing. It’s best to plan your week in advance, but there’s no harm in juggling a few tasks around if you need to when it comes to doing your best creative work.

… But do take breaks!

Equally, it’s easy to get obsessive when you’re in the zone and the ideas are coming thick and fast. Don’t be afraid to step away from the canvas for 10 minutes, though, and have a cup of tea. Burnout is the last thing you want.

Network

Attend gallery openings. Sign up for conferences where they’re showcasing the latest digital illustration packages. Ask friends if their companies need to outsource any graphic design work.

Showcase your work

Make yourself profiles on sites like Etsy. Be clear about your skills, your availability, pricing structures and if you’re capable of a diverse range of styles, show them all if you can.

Find other income sources

There may be times when your art can’t earn you a living, so try and have back-up plans for those “dead” periods. Extra income sources such as paid survey sites can be a real life-saver when your bank balance is looking peaky. Sign up for a few and fill out surveys as and when you have a free moment.

Stay positive

People may laugh and sneer when you tell them you work at home as an artist. What they don’t understand is that this can be a satisfying, lucrative and highly legitimate career if you’re willing to put the work in and be savvy about business opportunities.