How to Make it in the Art Industry as a Freelance Artist
Getting established as a freelance artist takes time, dedication, and above all...consistency. When I was a teenager, I had no idea how the world worked or how difficult it can be to be successful and financially stable while practicing any art form for your full time job. Which is why many artists do freelance on the side when they first establish their business in addition to holding down a day job
"You can't just say you're going to be an artist, what's your plan?" my family asked.
"I'm going to be an artist, that is my plan," I would firmly say.
Little did my seventeen-year-old know how much I would learn over the next four years. I learned exactly how grueling and cutthroat the art world is, and the path of success in the industry is not a straight line by any means.
Getting established as a freelance artist takes time, dedication, and above all...consistency. When I was a teenager, I had no idea how the world worked or how difficult it can be to be successful and financially stable while practicing any art form for your full time job. Which is why many artists do freelance on the side when they first establish their business in addition to holding down a day job.
Maybe you decide that after ten years of working the same lifeless dead end job you've had, it's time for you to fulfill your dream of becoming an artist. So you quit your job in order to put all the effort and attention you need to give your art so you can be successful. You choose to put your work up on an online art store that's already well established, you spend months making sure your products and store are perfect. So when the time comes to see the sales rolling in you anxiously await the cash flow you've been anticipating... but then a week goes by and you still have no sales. No matter, it's probably because this Friday is pay day for everyone, then you'll sell out for certain. However Friday comes and goes without you making a single sale, and you begin the question if you made the right choice. Your savings are starting to run low, and you no longer have a steady flow of income from the nine to five you used to work. Of course the easiest solution here would be to probably give up, throw in the towel beg your boss to give you your old desk job back and take a pay cut in the process. Your dreams are shattered, and you think your art just wasn't good enough for you to be a successful artist.
Wrong. Your art was good enough. You just failed to realize that success in the arts is not a straight line. Once you accept that you're miles above everyone else because you're doing the most important thing you can do to begin.
In order to make it as a freelance artist, you need to accept that it is not going to happen overnight. You may need to keep your day job until you have the security to make the transition from being employed to self employed. Once you have that in order, you need to establish consistency. If you only do art once a week or every other week it's going to be very difficult to climb the latter of success in freelance. Doing art everyday is the best policy to live by as an artist. Even if you don't have much time one day, just try sketching out a new idea that you can build off of later. Doing art everyday keeps you on track to your long term goals and allows you to keep the spark of passion you have for the arts alive.
It may take months, or even years to get to where you want to be with freelance art, and it likely won't be a straight path to the finish line. But you'll be putting yourself and your work out there for the world to see, which puts you miles above the rest.