Tips on freelancing for a visual artist

  • Business
  • Saturday, 03 Sep 2011

Title: Creative, Inc: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business

Authors: Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Although it calls itself the “ultimate guide” for freelancing, Creative, Inc is more of a guide for those with a penchant for visual arts. While it does provide information that potential freelancers in any field could utilise, much of its contents are specifically for illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, stylists and other similar visual arts fields.

Each chapter covers a specific aspect of freelancing interspersed with interviews with creative professionals from various related fields. These professionals are either people who have launched successful freelance careers or are corporate professionals in charge of hiring freelancers for their respective companies.

For those in the visual arts fields who are thinking about starting up their freelance careers, this book is useful as it covers a whole range of topics from how to “set up shop” to balancing business and personal lives. The interviews also provide insightful knowledge on things like how to promote one's business, obtain more clients and manage one's time.

Not being a visual artist, many parts in the book did not apply to me. There are definitely fundamental qualities that all successful freelancers must have such as the ability to manage money and clients but portions that were specific to designers and illustrators were not relevant.

Some of the things I found useful were their tips on how to start up a professional blog and personal branding. Ilasco and Cho also provided examples of estimate and invoice letters, as well as a breakdown on how to construct these, which I found extremely useful as well.

Since both writers are designers, it's no surprise that the book doesn't look like the run-of-the-mill guide book. With an eye-catching cover, rounded corners and interesting page layouts, this book was not as difficult to read as expected. Although the chapters were kept short, they were extremely informative.

While it may not be something that you constantly refer to, it's a good book to pick up if you're thinking about starting a full time, freelancing career.

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