Starting out as a freelance artist requires dedication and the experience to do work toward a specific goal. There is also the need to produce pieces and then let to go to the client without becoming overly attached. So if you have high speed Internet, email that can send and receive large files and the computer programmes essential to the digital world, you have a start. But how and where do you promote your work?
The first stage is to compile a portfolio of your work. Make sure everything in it is aimed at a specific goal, not just a random selection of pieces and that they are finished pieces which show your talent to the maximum. Websites are another option which can be cost effective and a centre point of your campaign where you can refer potential clients to.
Then start getting your portfolio out there. Talk to agencies about what they are looking for at any given time but be careful not to do work for free just to get your work seen. Promotional campaigns can work featuring mail-outs, emails and portfolio.
Websites such as saatchionline.com profile an emerging artist each week giving you a chance to show off your talent. And with websites such as this having mailing lists, you are reaching people even if they are not visiting the site.
Social media is, of course, endlessly popular and free gallery sites such as DeviantArt and MySpace can be way of networking with other artists and get tips on what works. Getting published anywhere, even a printed magazine or book show, starts to show your credibility. It shows you can meet deadlines, work to a plan and follow the instructions given to you.
A more traditional method of promotion are business cards. There are countless online ways of getting business cards or they can even be printed from a home computer. As an artist, design should not be a problem but make sure they are clear and informative in a small space.
Consider taking courses for the more mundane parts of the job – professional conduct, self-promotion and even how to fill out a tax return when the money does start coming in. Record keeping may not be the most fun activity but helps you track your performance and have the information needed for the tax man at the end of the year.