[Guide] How to become a successful freelance artist in 2021

Do you know the average freelance artist in the US makes more than $50,000 per year or $25 per hour?

And Beginner-level freelancers make around $15 per hour while experienced freelancers make more than $90k per annual.

So there is a lot of scope in freelancing. So many artists are doing freelancing along with their job.

Freelancing gives a lot of scope to the new artist. And mainly you can earn some money with your skill to invest in your art supplies.

So If you are doing side hustle or want to become a freelance artist then this article is for you.

What are the types of freelancing?

There are two types of freelancing Offline freelancing and online freelancing.

How to become an offline freelancer?

Offline freelancing means basically finding your clients offline.

Whether they are your friend, relatives, or any company.

Freelancing means working for clients on a project-based. If you are working for any company for a particular project then it is also a type of freelancing,

Actually finding clients offline is not easy but you can always start with somebody you already knows or peoples who are appreciating your skill.

    Important tip –

    If you are just started freelancing on freelancing sites then you have to find your first client offline.

    Because in online freelancing, freelancing sites have an algorithm to promote the gig which has more reviews or ratings.

    The highest rating gig has more chance to get more clients.

    So if you are just entered online freelancing then Ask your offline client to pay on the freelancing site and give you a review.

    Or you can ask your friends to purchase your work online and give a review! Then you can give them a treat!

    That’s how you can get the starting push to your journey to become a freelance artist.

How to become an online freelancer?

Online freelancing is basically finding your clients on the internet.

There are so many platforms on the internet where you can find your clients like,

Upwork

Upwork is a very popular platform in freelancing. on this platform, you have to send proposals to get the job.

Many private companies or clients from the US, UK, UAE, are posts there works on Upwork and Pay good money for this.

There are a few basic steps to set up your Upwork account :

First, you have to put your personal details like name, address, bank details, etc.

Then you have to add your qualifications or skills.

Upwork, give you 20 connects initially which are basically used to bid the job.

Fiver

Fiver is as popular as Upwork. Both have nearly the same commission rates that are 20%.

In Fiver, we have to make our gig as an artist it is like a portfolio. And then clients search for our gig or Fiver recommend them a better gig.

As a new freelancer, it is very difficult to earn on fiver.

Facebook

Facebook is a very good platform for new freelancers. There are so many freelancing groups where you can find clients to sell your artwork.

Just those all of the groups related to art and freelancing. Sometimes clients post their works on it then you have to approach this client via email or message. Send your sample work to the client then they will decide to hire you.

This process is mainly followed by comic book artists, storybook artists, or any artists who work commercially.

Along with it, you have to post your new works regularly on these groups and on your Facebook page. This will give a lot of exposure to your artworks and then so many clients can find you via your artwork.

How do I start my journey to become a freelance artist?

Someone said that “The secret of getting ahead is getting started”. In every journey, the starting is always difficult.

So how do I start my freelance artist journey?

Here are a few steps which can help you to start your journey to become a freelance artist.

① Decide your niche in freelancing –

Deciding your niche is very important in freelancing. Because people don’t want a jack of all trades!

People want experts to work on their projects.

That’s why you have to decide your niche or specialty in your particular field like animation, digital art, traditional art, 3d modeling.

② Work on your skill

After deciding your niche you have to master your skill to become a successful freelancer.

Because there are so many artists out there then why people would select you?

You have to work on your skills until you are 1% better than other beginners.

For that practice, art daily and learn basic anatomy and color theories.

③ Make a portfolio

If you are a professional artist then you need a Studio to show your paintings.

To become a freelance artist you also need a digital studio.

It can be anything like your portfolio website or your social media account.

Always put your best works in your portfolio, don’t upload practice works on there.

This will create a good impression on your client.

④Buisness plan –

In the Freelancing business, there is a lot of money and scope, but you can’t work for others for a lifetime this is not a good business plan.

After reaching a certain level in freelancing you build a name in this field.

Then by using this name, you get a ton of works, and then you can hire new freelancers to work under you to do other jobs.

Of course, you have to guide them to do the job because you can’t compromise with the quality of work.

This plan will only work when your job is not dependent on your own skills like Painting!

If you are a digital artist and people know you for your unique art style then Along with freelancing you have to post your works on social media like youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

This will create your own community and the people who are like your work will automatically be joined together.

Then you can sell prints, or teach them by creating an online course, there are a lot of business opportunities after you create your own community.

How to find the first client?

Finding the first client is always difficult for beginners because people don’t trust easily on beginners.

You have to build trust among people.

You can do that by sharing your knowledge and working in online groups on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

Or you can do work for your friends, relatives, or people who are known to you. Then you can ask them for reviews on freelancing sites and once you got 10-15 reviews then you are ready to go. You are not a beginner anymore!

How to communicate with clients as freelance artists?

Communication is always important in life whether it was in freelancing or any job.

Most of the time you have to communicate in English in an online business, so you need to learn at least Basic English.

If you are approaching the client you have to explain what can you do for them by attaching your work or by showing them your portfolio website.

If they liked your work they can give you multiple projects.

There are so many frauds that are also happening in online freelancing so you have to build trust with your client.

Sometimes you find clients who don’t want to pay. They ask for free work or they can offer you exposure on social media, etc. Don’t work with them!

You have to also manage your time because if you are working on so many projects at a time you will be ending with only frustration.

So you need to prioritize your works and ask clients for the required time to complete your project.

How to deliver your artwork?

You can deliver your artwork online or offline. It depends on what type of artwork you make.

If you make fine arts then you have to deliver it offline by sending it to the client’s postal address. For that, you can take delivery charges from clients.

If you are creating online artwork then you can send it via email by creating the document.

Payment methods for freelance artists –

If you are doing freelancing on freelancing sites, then they have their own payment method systems.

A client can directly pay you on-site and then the site cut their commission rate which is usually 5-20% and you got the 80-95% commission.

If you are doing freelancing from any social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. then you can receive payments in many ways.

1] PayPal –

PayPal is a very trusted and globally accepted payment application.

You can receive your art commissions via PayPal Invoices.

If you want to know about ‘How to set up your PayPal for an art commission? then read this article.

2] Stripe –

Stripe is the most trusted payment method after Paypal.

 but it doesn’t support every country.

 Make sure you and your customers are in a country where Stripe is supported. And You both have accounts on stripe.

Other than that it works like PayPal. you can also send invoices through this.

3] Ko-fi –

The customer requires either a debit/credit card or Paypal account to use ko-fi

To receive money through ko-fi you can link your Paypal or stripe business accounts to it.

ko-fi also allows you to follow monthly payments. where customers can activate it and able to pay you monthly.                       

FAQ

How much does a freelance artist make a year?

According to research, the average freelance artist in the US makes more than $50,000 per year or $25 per hour?

And Beginner-level freelancers make around $15 per hour while experienced freelancers make more than $90k per annual.

What are the qualifications are required to be a freelance artist?

You need to master any one particular field. It can be anything like drawing, video editing, content writing, etc.

If you are consistent with your work you can achieve anything with it.

How hard is it to be a freelance artist?

If you have a skill then it is not that hard to become a freelancer. because freelancing means doing people’s work and getting paid for that.

If you are skilled, people themself can approach you to do their work. And for that, you have to stay connected with people via social media.

If you are really a beginner it may be hard but not impossible. You can practice art daily, learn basic proportions, color theories, anatomy, etc. then your art can say it all. and people can give you work.

How do I become a freelance artist with no experience?

For getting the experience you can start with your own friends or family members. See how much can they pay you for your artwork. And learn from them what they expect from artwork and what can you improve.

And also join as much as Facebook groups where you can post your work or see how experienced people post their works online. That’s how you can gain experience and become a freelance artist successfully.

Thanks for reading,
Artist Rohan.

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