Illustrating is one of the most in demand jobs today. If this is your career path then you have a lot of options–you can illustrate comic books, book covers, advertising campaigns, marketing collaterals like brochures, flyers, and leaflets, restaurant menus, product packaging, magazine articles and news stories and even medical journals. These are just examples as there are still so many industries and businesses right now that need the expertise of an illustrator for so many things.
Nowadays, more and more skilled people including illustrators are no longer sitting through an 8-hour job and are going freelance. As a freelance illustrator, you get a lot of advantages. First, you get to own your time. For creative people, the freedom to manage time and not be constricted by hectic office schedule is very important. Second, the flexibility to do your work at your preferred place. As a freelance you can work at home in your pajamas or in coffee shops or in the company of likeminded individuals. Third, you can choose the kind of work you want to do. Since most jobs are per project basis, you can select what kind of project to work on.
Most employers and clients also prefers hiring freelance illustrators. Some illustrating jobs don’t require most businesses to hire a regular employee, it can save them money to hire only when the need arises.
Are you ready to go freelance?
So right now maybe you are a full-time illustrator or a new freelance illustrator who want to join the freelance bandwagon, here are some considerations worth looking into as you kick start into this new job adventure.
1. Assess yourself. Ask yourself if you are ready in this career shift. Do an honest evaluation of yourself and your work ethics. It may sound easy peasy but being a freelance worker will still mean a lot of hard work. Being on your own, you will have to directly in contact with demanding and meticulous clients. You need to know that shifting into this new career path will mean a lot of stress and facing competition and rejection.
2. Business acumen. Going freelance will be like having your own business; you will need a lot of discipline and drive to turn your skills into success and to generate more income on your own. How much you make will be directly proportional to how much work you do. You will be your own boss and your own marketing person. You will have to promote your own skills and talent and build a name for yourself.
3. Know your worth. As a freelancer, you know that majority of work is found online. Most freelance illustrators will use the internet to find jobs. Most probably they will turn to websites like oDesk.com, artjob.org and freelancer.com where most jobs are auctioned. A job is awarded to the lowest bidder so chances are you will underbid to get the job and build your reputation. While the intention is good, in the end you know you are shortchanging yourself. Know ahead of time how much your work is worth and work towards making this career profitable for you.