Have you been thinking about becoming self-employed as a freelance artist? Do you have certain in-demand skills and wish to work independently? Then becoming a freelance artist might just be the right fit for you. Before walking up the steps to becoming one, let’s start by answering some questions. Who’s a freelance artist? What does he do? How to find jobs and where? Becoming a freelance artist in the United States. Its advantages and challenges etc.
Who is a freelance artist?
Any artist who works independently without any commitment to a particular employer is a freelance artist. He works for himself by creating art for clients and charging a fee in return. Such an artist is free to take on as many clients as he can and independently plan work hours. Thanks to advanced telecommunications systems, and the internet, anyone, especially freelance professionals can work remotely. This means that from the client acquisition process to getting paid, everything can be done from the comfort of your home. The best part is, unlike working full-time, freelance artists can get paid anytime in the month. In summary, being a freelance artist is all about being an entrepreneur and running your own business with your skills and talent.
Why become a freelance artist?
Freelancing is common among people who work in the creative space like artists, writers, designers, and so on. Most artists go freelance because of the independence they experience with their time, control, and energy. The freedom to choose what projects to work on and what projects to decline is exhilarating. As a freelance artist, you are in total control of your time. You decide when to take some time off from work as long as you are comfortable not working at the moment.
Challenges of a freelance artist
Being a freelance artist isn’t all roses and chocolates. There’s a great deal involved; from client management to time management and even financial management. Learning how to deal with clients and manage people is an essential skill in freelancing. Self-discipline and motivation are essential for freelancing since you have no boss to answer to. You are always going to self-organize and self-optimize to meet up your client’s deadline.
In addition, there’s always a fluctuation in cash flow since no two projects have the same charges. Some clients may delay payments and there’s no specific time to expect payment. Sometimes, payment is made according to milestones completed which makes cash flow more irregular. At other times, you might not have ongoing projects and the clientele might experience a dip. This is a great time to self-invest, acquire more skills and optimize your workspace. If you have an online space, it would also be a great time to network to meet new clients or collaborate with other freelancers to move your business forward.
5 Critical steps to become a freelance artist in the United States
With the internet creating an increased need for visual content, art skills continue to be in high demand. Whether you want to work full-time or part-time as a freelance artist, here are some critical steps you need to follow:
1. Think it through and have a plan
Being a freelance artist is one part, creating art is another. And then, there is running a business. A huge chunk of your energy will essentially be channeled towards running and growing your business/clientele. You have to make decisions on how you’re going to make money as an artist. Brainstorming ideas, and looking at what other artists in the freelance space are doing is a great way to start. You’ll have to figure out what type of skill to offer. You could decide to be a graphic artist, cartoonist, illustrator, fine artist, etc. This is known as niching down. Having one to three niches is an excellent way to plan your business. It will also help you make more money by creating more job opportunities for you.
2. Get your first Clients
Now that you’ve gotten a plan, the next step is to get your first set of clients. Being a freelance artist is quite different from being an in-house artist. You don’t work for a company in an office or studio and wait for clients or jobs to come to you. As a freelance artist, you need to take the initiative to go after clients. If the thought of initiating conversations or sending proposals bothers you, then freelancing isn’t for you.
A good way to begin your search for clients will be to start from your local network; friends, family, fellow freelancers, and so on. You also have to be willing to receive tons of rejection as most clients may not be responsive. But it gets better over time. You could also utilize freelance job sites but this depends on the kind of art you want to market. In the United States, about 30% of workers engage in freelancing part-time. While about 35% of the working population are full-time freelancers. The remaining 35% take on traditional jobs.
3. Work on building a portfolio
A client doesn’t want someone who says they can do the job but one who has a proven record to have done it before. While an effective portfolio is simple, it’s how you show a client your words are more than just that. You have to display previous jobs including all pro bono work as samples for clients. You need not spend much energy on making your samples too sophisticated. Part of being a freelance artist is earning the trust of potential clients which lies in your ability to communicate.
4. Deliver quality work on time
Every job comes with a deadline and this is where you prove yourself. Your ability to create and deliver quality work within the deadline improves your reputation as a freelance artist. The goal is to keep your clients satisfied.
5. Find more clients
Building clientele as a freelance artist is cyclic. Sustaining your business heavily depends on gaining more clients. Therefore, you must be willing to do the chase. Most freelancers in the United States sign up on freelance sites to increase clientele. Some of these are Upwork, Fiverr, flex jobs, glassdoor, and Linkedin jobs.
Tools you need as a freelance artist?
As you work and earn, you’ll notice that earnings are quite random. There is no organized pattern for your earning. It’s up to you to organize your finances to stay on top of expenses. Some of the tools you need are paystubs generator and most importantly an invoice generator. These are tools to help you track your finances, clientele, and government documentation. Paystubsnow helps you create both with time to spare. Don’t think you need to provide clients invoices as a freelance artist, here are 5 reasons why you should. Other things you can do with paystubsnow is create W-2 and 1099.
FAQS: What degree do I need as a freelance artist?
What degree do I need as a freelance artist?
There’s no specific degree for a freelance artist. All that is necessary is a reasonable qualification in the aspect of art you have acquired training. Many freelance artists have degrees in art and design from reputable institutions. Some work with a high school diploma while others move on to acquire a master’s degree.
How does a freelance artist find work?
Through social media, signing up on freelance sites, and networking. Some find work by working for fellow freelancers who have a lot on their plate. This helps create little communities for freelancers to help themselves through a self-sustaining network.
What are the necessary skills for a freelance artist?
Essentially, a freelance artist must firstly possess artistic talent, creativity and must be self-promoting. It would help to develop perseverance and learn how to handle rejection because. Time and financial management are also as important as willing to continue learning new skills to stay on top of one’s game.