How freelancer illustrators can make money online

I speak through the Art:

Art is the gateway to my emotions through which I communicate with the world. I can safely assume that art is my lifeline. As a toddler, I would see my sister making drawings. It would be such a mesmerizing thing for me. I couldn’t fathom how can some lines and colors give birth to a beautiful picture.

That awe and amazement forced me to pick the colors. And till today, I and art are inseparable. My love for drawing defined my future. I am lucky to turn my passion into a full-blown business. That’s why I want to help you achieve your dream.

I won’t be talking about different types of art and how can you turn your love into money.

What can you sell as a freelancing illustrator?

  • Character designs
  • Logo designs
  • Mascots
  • Icon packs
  • Photos
  • Web templates
  • Vectors,
  • 3D models
  • Fonts
  • Add-ons

I am focusing on, ‘how can you earn extra with illustration freelance jobs. Artists have to face tough competition on any online platform. It is a tiresome process to make a name for yourself. That is very true for the illustrators because the only talent doesn’t make money. You need a blend of talent and business strategies to make yourself a household name.

Do you have what it needs to become a freelance illustrator?

Freelancing market is a booming industry and many of us have made loads with it. And if you are here, it means you want to fish in these waters too. Believe me, you are on the right track then.

The trouble is that you are new in the market and have no idea what to do or how to do it. Then loosen up. I am more than willing to take your hand and show you how illustration freelance works.

  1. Learn the basics of the business:

Before you throw your art in a market only to return home disappointed. Please learn the basics of home marketing. Many illustrators fail to master the skill of making money online. Because they spend endless nights on honing their artistic skills. That’s one side of a picture. You need to work on the other side too. And it is learning about what it takes to make money as a freelancer.

You don’t need to get a degree in business management or whatever. You can register yourself with any site that gives lectures on business classes for free

  • CodeAcademy
  • HubSpot Academy
  • Moz
  • LearnVest
  • Niche consultant courses
  • edX
  • Khan Academy
  • MIT Open Courseware
  1. Run a google search on gigs:

I started by making an account at sites who offer illustration freelance jobs. This is a very good way to start. I have been using multiple sites over a year. It’s a trick to scoring multiple customers from different areas. And here’s the spilled beans:

  • Behance Jobs
  • Smashing Jobs
  • Dribbble Jobs
  • 99Designs
  • Indeed
  • Simply Hired
  • Hire an Illustrator
  1. Stop thinking like an illustrator:

What I mean by this is that you shouldn’t be relying on your skills as an artist alone. Skills are important but you need more than this if you want to be a freelance illustrator.

We are in the era of social media. So, it is easier than ever to go out and show your work. But we live in an over-competitive virtual world. And it’s easy to get lost in the ground.

At the start, it was the same for me and it will be the same for you. Know this fact but don’t let it bring you down. Many of the illustrators gave up at this point. You need to overcome this obstacle, only then you can earn through your work.

  1. Don’t lock your masterpiece in a hard disk:

Always use your work to promote yourself. The clients won’t come to you. You need to scream at the top of your lungs that you are an illustrator for hire.

Do a thorough homework and use the right strategies of self-promotion to get discovered by the potential clients. This way you can sell your artwork and earn at the same time.

  1. Self-promote by using social media:

Again, I am emphasizing that it will take some time to build your career when you first take an illustration freelance job. Wait for your time when you will be able to earn a steady income. Every day, the customers are bombarded with tons of recommendations.  That’s why you need to advertise yourself. And that you can do by

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube channel
  • Blog
  • Website
  • Apps
  • Postcards
  • Vouchers
  • Business cards
  1. Do specialization in your niche’

Let your passion guide you in developing your unique style. In the freelancing world, illustrators need quantity and quality both

But we put all our eggs in getting the quantity and sidle line the quality. Never forget the quality of your work. Even if it takes time to develop your style. Invest in it! why?

  • less competition
  • More customer demands
  • You can increase the rate
  • Possibility of earning more than your fellow illustrators
  • More clients will be attracted to your art piece
  1. Sell what people might buy soon in the near future

For this, you need to develop dormant skills. That is the ability to read future trends in the market. When you can do the prediction, you can have a head start than others. More customers will come to you and many more will come because of your experience in the field.

It is difficult to develop but it will be beneficial in the long-term.

How Apple, Tesla, and Huawei can maintain its monopoly in the business world. They spend their time investigating the people’s demands and requirements way before the time.

It shows we can do the same to maintain the influx of customers and make dollars.

  1. Earn through commissions:

While you are waiting for the clients to come. You can use this method to learn about the current trends. There are few sites solemnly for art commissions but you cannot expect to sell all your illustrations with them. The point is to find a profitable niche

  • Creative Market
  • IdeelArt
  • GraphicRiver
  • ArtPal
  • Envato Elements
  • Artist stop bein poor CLUB
  1. Start an online workshop or be a virtual teacher:

Teaching is a very effective tool to earn money. And you will be amazed by how many people will be willing to pay for your classes. So, they can just learn to use a few features of Adobe.

And you can influence your students to attend your workshop. Your students will become your business cards. They will help to increase your ratings. And who knows, your student might be your next client. That’s why I say to my fellow illustrators. Never underestimate the power of teaching.

  1. Contact your local printing shop:

You will be amazed by the fact that your neighborhood shop can be a source of extra revenue for you. You can ask them if they need you to illustrate a book cover or a poster designing maybe. And there is a huge chance that you will find work there.

You can also request them to recommend you to their customers of they are looking for the illustrators.

  1. Design and sell articles online:

Selling the articles? Won’t I be needing a manufacturer, factory or a warehouse? Nope, you won’t be needing them.

You can upload your work and use them to design articles like

  • T-shirts
  • Mugs
  • Water bottles
  • Book cover
  • Phone and laptop cases
  • socks

The best part you don’t need to be physically present. These sites only require your design and will give you the percentage of profits made on selling the article you designed.

  • Printful
  • RedBubble
  • Design By Humans
  • CustomInk
  • Vacord Screen Printing
  • UltraPress
  • Blank
  • Bonfire
  • Vistaprint

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