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View Full Version : How to find work as a freelance artist?



Etch
09-09-2010, 01:34 PM
So I've recently been thinking about venturing out into the world of freelance art/graphic design. I started checking out some resources on the web but kind of came to a standstill. I can't really find any information on how to get jobs when just starting out, All there seems to be are websites where you sign up and bid for jobs and such. Even with all of those I seem to be in somewhat of a large disadvantage with having a fairly limited portfolio and no professional freelance work.

I don't even need to make much. I'm just trying to supplement my part time income and help pay the rent. So a job or two a month would be plenty.

Is there something I'm missing or are my expectations about how things work just really off base?

calilifestyle
09-09-2010, 02:22 PM
http://freelanceswitch.com/

sampei
09-09-2010, 02:45 PM
I'd say make a professional lookin website...and have a cool name. Yep, a dude I know changed his surname (for other reasons) and ended up getting A LOT more work, with the very same portfolio.

Etch
09-09-2010, 10:52 PM
Thanks for the link Cali. Made an account and am now searching :thumbsup:

Sampei: Working on a website and portfolio at the moment. I have a portfolio with ~15 pieces in it but it's not very well organized. I have everything from package design to abstract paintings in it. Definitely need to get it more focused.

Let's say I shoot for a portfolio with about 12 pieces in it. Do you think that if I split it up with 4 package designs, 3 logos, 3 flyers/ads, and 2 illustrations that would be a fairly diverse but organized mix?

oliversimonnet
09-10-2010, 05:07 AM
I'd say make a professional lookin website...and have a cool name. Yep, a dude I know changed his surname (for other reasons) and ended up getting A LOT more work, with the very same portfolio.
haha well im stuffed then haha :)

sampei
09-10-2010, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the link Cali. Made an account and am now searching :thumbsup:

Sampei: Working on a website and portfolio at the moment. I have a portfolio with ~15 pieces in it but it's not very well organized. I have everything from package design to abstract paintings in it. Definitely need to get it more focused.

Let's say I shoot for a portfolio with about 12 pieces in it. Do you think that if I split it up with 4 package designs, 3 logos, 3 flyers/ads, and 2 illustrations that would be a fairly diverse but organized mix?

I think it really depends on what sort of work you're looking for, not having much experience in the field Im probably not the best person to ask. However what I do believe, is that you should strive for the best possible quality and keep it short, when it comes to portfolios and demos most employers will have a look at the first piece and decide if its worth checking out the rest or not. Of course freelancing is different than working in a studio, as its possible to "get lucky". After all its quite common to see terrifying CG in different formats.

Oliver I think you might be in for a surprise as I reckon in english countries foreign names always make more of an impact than regular ones...well thats what I keep telling myself :D

oliversimonnet
09-10-2010, 08:55 AM
haha cool dude

Nangleator
09-10-2010, 12:02 PM
This is what I would tell myself, if I could send a message back in time: Be a great salesman or don't quit your day job. Expect to spend nearly 100% of the time drumming up business, in the beginning. This will drop over time, as you start working. But don't expect to spend less than 50% of the time finding new business, once you're established. If you start working nights as a freelancer while maintaining your day job, don't quit until it seriously interferes with your freelancing.

stevecullum
09-10-2010, 12:35 PM
The best advice as a former full-time freelancer, now pt one, is to network like crazy. Go to events, meetings and anything else where think people might want your skills. If you're into visualisations, hang around at trade shows and give people you're business card and website links. And be active in forums. Nearly all the contacts I have made that have led to paid jobs have been through networking.

oliversimonnet
09-10-2010, 12:45 PM
some good advice fellas :)

Eroneouse
09-10-2010, 01:11 PM
Not quite on topic but to maybe generate some small amount of income stream while looking for freelance work you could join sites like spinquad and put up 3D models for sale that you have built or sites like shapeways which offer a similar kind of service where people use your models to get actual objects created. Probably not what your looking for but I am of the opinion that every little helps. There are lots and lots of those kinds of sites so look around get the best deals you can, that is if you can spare the time to do it.

Also on the 3D printing side of things theres a low cost printer that creates actual objects from 3D models now available though its fairly new and on the cheap so I have no idea how reliable it is. Last I saw of the 3D printer was on some UK university site, unfortunately I can not recall which one at the moment.

Eroneouse
09-13-2010, 07:19 AM
Not quite on topic but to maybe generate some small amount of income stream while looking for freelance work you could join sites like spinquad and put up 3D models for sale that you have built or sites like shapeways which offer a similar kind of service where people use your models to get actual objects created.



Double post, appologys but I can not edit the above post now. Where I say spinquad I of course meant to say Turbosquid :)

Infinite
09-13-2010, 09:00 AM
"If you build it, they will come"

The old myth that you need a full blown show reel to get work or a full time job placement just doesn't hold up these days. If you can create something that stands out, whether that be a show reel, one image or a turntable. If the quality is high enough, you will get work from it.

Network and build good solid relationships with your clients. :thumbsup:

Etch
09-14-2010, 09:24 AM
Not quite on topic but to maybe generate some small amount of income stream while looking for freelance work you could join sites like spinquad and put up 3D models for sale that you have built or sites like shapeways which offer a similar kind of service where people use your models to get actual objects created. Probably not what your looking for but I am of the opinion that every little helps. There are lots and lots of those kinds of sites so look around get the best deals you can, that is if you can spare the time to do it.

Also on the 3D printing side of things theres a low cost printer that creates actual objects from 3D models now available though its fairly new and on the cheap so I have no idea how reliable it is. Last I saw of the 3D printer was on some UK university site, unfortunately I can not recall which one at the moment.

Yeah actually I was planning on that but I thought I heard that turbosquid was autodesk only nowadays. I suppose I will take another gander and check that out.

Thanks everyone for the advice. Sitting down now to flesh out my portfolio and finish up my website. :thumbsup:

Titus
09-14-2010, 03:02 PM
Network and build good solid relationships with your clients. :thumbsup:

Agreed, keeping clients coming back requires a lot of work.

GATOR
09-24-2010, 09:28 AM
As a full time freelancer for the past 14 years, my suggestion would be to have a solid online portfolio and to contact the people you want to work with directly. I've got about 40 clients that keep me busy, but started with a core group of about 4 and it grew from there. People move around a lot, so if you maintain a good working relationship, when art directors go from one place to another...they take you with them. Almost all my clients are in 3 cities, New York (by far), San Fran and Washington D.C. When I started, I tried to get as much face time with clients that I could. Everyone e-mails, if you make an appointment and get on a plane, it helps get your foot in the door. You can hit a few agencies/companies on the same trip. After that it's all about the portfolio and your personality. At least, that's what has worked for me. Oh, never miss a deadline.

hamite1212
09-24-2010, 07:53 PM
You can watch our Christian short film "Tiny Shoes" on youtube. Just type Tiny Shoes Trailer and you'll see what we're doing. We'll wrap it up by October 15, 2010. We are looking for a few freelancers and/or sub contractors for our new new project video or future videos.

Our first video "The Sissy" is a low quality film due to our first production but the story is great. Had free help to finish it and I thank those Lightwavers but now we're getting ready to raise monies to help finance the future videos.

Again, show me your work so I can take a lookl

Steve West
LittleShots Productions, LLC

email: [email protected]