Becoming a Freelance Artist

by guest author Jackie Masloff

Becoming a freelance artist takes serious commitment as well as talent. You need to spend a great deal of time building a reputation so that your clients trust you and your abilities. You need to think and act like a business person and not like an artist.

Painter Jackson Pollock Working in His Long Island Studio Adjacent to His Home
Painter Jackson Pollock Working in His Long Island Studio Adjacent to His Home

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Because of the Internet, there are a great many opportunities for freelance artists. Commerce, computers, publishing, electronics and online services have great opportunities for freelance artists. Freelance artists are hired because of their creativity and sensitivity and can provide specialized work.

Becoming a freelance artist enables you to select the jobs or products that conform to your abilities. Do not select work just because that is what other freelancers are doing. You must set your objectives. Know your purpose and from that develop your strategies. Freelancing enables you to generate income because you can do jobs on your own with no one to oversee your work, set deadlines and reduce your income. All you have to do is to understand exactly what the client wants and needs and provide any customized service possible. This latter kind of service is available only in freelancing.

On the road to becoming a freelance artist, one of the first activities you need to undertake is to advertise. Unless you advertise, people will not know who you are and what you are selling. Read and absorb as much as possible about selling and marketing yourself to the public. Build a portfolio of your work, with favorable client testimonials, and showcase your talents to the public. Remember that you are selling yourself and your capabilities.

Other activities in which you should get involved include joining clubs and organizations and networking by attending functions, luncheons, fairs and whatever else fits your place in the market. Get business cards for yourself and pass them around to people you meet anywhere, even in casual conversations. Develop good working relationships with people so that they will refer not only your work but you, yourself, to others.

Becoming a freelance artist always requires you to be a professional. You should copyright all your work and maintain knowledge of the legal aspects of your business. Customers will try to get everything they can for nothing so be firm with what you think your products are worth, document everything and believe in yourself. Only let those who might hire you control your business.

Finally, and this almost goes without saying, make a quality product. Word travels fast if you are good and have products that people like. Good products make for repeat customers and good business.

Jackie Masloff is a freelance writer who specializes in writing original articles, web content and editing. When she is not writing, she teaches computer technology courses at several colleges in the Boston area. She previously was a public school teacher, teaching computer technology to middle and high school students. She holds degrees in architecture, computer science and instructional technology.

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