How to start a Freelance Illustration Business

by ryan

How to start a Freelance Illustration Business from Scratch!


Familiarize yourself with the industry. Going to school for your selected field is an excellent start. However, if you have no background training, you can still run a very successful freelance business. Just take some time to educate yourself through books.

It’s important to know how the freelance business works and what type of rates you should be charging to your clients. For information on rates for design and illustration, I highly recommend the GAG Handbook (read more about the book here).

Have an online portfolio that includes your latest work (at least 10-15 pieces), your contact information and your biography.

Start building a list of potential clients. If you are looking to get into editorial illustration, look for art directors, editors, designers, art buyer and sometimes editor. You can build your list by searching the web or you can purchase a list. (Read more about purchasing lists here).
Network with potential clients through social media; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+.

I recommend “10 Steps to Powerful Online Self Promotion for Creatives” by Alex Mathers.

Connect and introduce yourself to your clients through email, phone, mail or through social media sites

Get your work out in the web! There are a lot of online sites like Illustration Mundo and the LCS illustration news port that promote illustrators for free. Get your work up there and start spreading your artwork like wild fire!

Be consistent and make a work schedule for yourself.

Be patient. Starting a freelance business from scratch is tough. You won’t get a flow of incoming work right away. It will definitely take some time, sometimes up to 1 year, but be optimistic and keep at it!

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