How to find work as an artist.

If art is your dream career, then do it. It’s pretty common that most people aren’t aware that your art hobby can be turned into a career. You may need to do multiple things to make a living but that’s ok. Freelancing gives you flexibility of working where and when you want. Here are a few freelancing ideas to help you follow your dream.

First find your niche.

What you do can affect where you can find work. These suggestions are made mostly for 2D artists such as illustrators or graphic designers. If you make anything 3D such as clay sculptures I recommend scrolling down to the “sell original work/art prints” section.

It’s easier to sell yourself as a freelance illustrator if you have a particular style. Digital illustration and vector art is commonly sought out online but you can still make a career making traditional art.

There are many freelance websites out there, here’s a few that many people have been successful finding work at:

Freelancer

Upwork

99designs

Guru

Fiverr

For these websites, you will need to usually set up your profile and go and apply for work, unless you’re very popular with great reviews, the jobs will not be coming to you.

Fiverr is more of selling a service than any of the other freelancing websites. With Fiverr you will set up a service like “I will draw you in my style for $5” with add-ons for more money.

Sell your art on products/art prints (just upload and done):

On these sites, you download your art (with a transparent background preferred) and sell your work on various types of products. Those products may include: T-shirts, notebooks, coffee mugs, leggings, etc.

Be careful uploading fan art, these websites have strict copyright policies and your art may be taken down if you’re using a copyrighted character or including copyrighted material in the title, description, or tags.

Redbubble
Redbubble is my personal favorite, the only website I could get some sales on. They used to ne lenient on fan art but now they crack down on it HARD. So beware.

Society6
Society6 is more of the hipster deer antlers, galaxy print, and arrows kind of place. So if that’s your thing you’ll probably be pretty popular here.

Teespring
This site is just another site to sell your art on products.

Sell original work/art prints:

This is a great option for people who make more than just drawings or painting, though this is a great option for those people too. Be mindful that putting your items for sale does not automatically mean they will. You will need to market your items on social media, spread the word. It’s important for when you do get sells to have a good relationship with the customer, you want to have great reviews that will attract more customers. There’s also options in Etsy to set up a campaign to buy ads on the Etsy website and well as Google.

Etsy
Etsy is mostly more hand-made crafts, jewelry, hand-knitted scarves and sweaters. But, there are people who make a successful business selling their work. Downloads are popular as well, like coloring pages or wedding invitations.

Ebay
Ebay is often used to sell paintings, particularly large paintings meant to be decorations for the home or office.

Craigslist
It’s harder to sell art on this site but people have been able to do it, mostly paintings.

Market yourself on social media:

Marketing yourself on social media is incredibly important, in fact you can sometimes make an entire living just marketing yourself on social media. It’s important to stay active and limit yourself to a few or maybe even one social media. You want put out high quality content, but you also want to post frequently (perhaps once a day) to make sure you’re getting your name out there.

It’s also very important to tag your posts well. Tags are how people will find you. Make sure you’re using a healthy mix of popular tags as well as some tags with less competition.

You’re using social media to build your brand as an artist, and as a way for people to get to know you as a person. You can also use social media to notify your followers that you have commissions available. Or, you can link your website where you sell products and original work. As an artist, I would only use social media that focuses on visual content like pictures. Here are the social media I highly recommend focusing on as an artist:

Instagram
My personal favorite social media, have everything you need: pictures, GIFS, video, live streaming, and stories. It does it all really. The App is for Android and iOS.

Tumblr
Another nice, visually focused website. You can a blog or portfolio page and use tags to get it seen faster than hosting your own.

Facebook
Connect with professionals as well as using your personal contact to get your name out there. You can also connect with other artists and keep your fans up to date with what you’re up to.

DeviantArt
This website is better for connecting than other artist than finding work but sometimes you can find fellow artists willing to commission you or want to buy your art in print form.

Talk to art directors directly

In magazines, you can find the art director in the list of credits. Contact with a link to your portfolio and/or social media that has a lot of your best work.

You can also get in touch with art directors at galleries.

There’s art directors for a lot of things so make sure you’re keeping a look out, and make sure you’re a good fit for the company you’re applying to. Don’t try to talk to an art director for an oil painting magazine with your manga-filled portfolio.

Comic/anime conventions

If you have your own products, comic, or art prints to sell try going to a comic convention to sell them. There is a fee to sell but there’s usually a lot of foot traffic in these kinds of places, if you have merchandise they want to buy, they will. And this is a great way to get your name out there, so have business card ready.

If you have any recommendations or questions, please let us know in the comments! Like and share if you enjoyed this article.

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