Mar022015: Getting into Freelance

“Hi! I love your posts on making comics, I’m currently working on my own. However, I’d also like to do freelance illustration like you do, and I’m sure you get this a lot, but is there any advice you can give for getting jobs, noticed, etc? Or is it mostly just push out your own content until people notice?”

Asked by bignerdinasmallworld

Hi! Sorry for the late reply! I had to move all the way to Australia from Malaysia to settle down in my uni 30 minutes from my new home just to get a working free wifi.

I think it’s hard to give very specific advice about being successful at freelance, just ‘cos each of us gets our foot through the door in different ways. But generally to start (and you’ll start off well like this), continue making the work you like to do, whether it’s fanart or original. People will hire you for many reasons, mostly because of what YOU can offer them regardless of the content of your work. So just keep doing what you do, and maybe if you want to change it up, do so. Be strong and confident in what you create. And sometimes if your art suddenly gets notes, even tho it’s not something you would expect, just relish in the exposure.

But sitting around churning out stuff is a pretty slow way to get noticed, so if you want a bit of a boost I suggest getting out and about in the community. Go to conventions and talk to artists (or even non-artists) you genuinely like about their work, make friends with them. You don’t even have to be physically present to make these connections; there’s Twitter and Tumblr, where the art community is pretty strong and always interactive and close-knit (so don’t be rude, word gets around real fast). Always be open, always be kind and always be inspired.

Anyway, these are the two most important things I guess: work on your own stuff and interact. Good luck working with your comic! And also for the rest of your artsy endeavours! We’re all in this together!

Note from 2023: It’s interesting to see how my answer to this type of question barely changed.

Reimena Yee is a graphic novelist, artist and flamingo enthusiast.

She writes and illustrates quite a few webcomics and graphic novels. When not making books, she lulls away her time with essays on craft, life and experiences in the publishing industry. Some of her thoughts of art and life are rather unstructured and will evolve over time as this blog matures, as they should be.

Currently committed to being Alexander the Great's death doula. Is a nerd for all things spooky and historical.

Melbourne / Kuala Lumpur

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