5 Ways to Find Gigs as a Freelance Artist
Although you would think that most artists work as freelancers, that’s not entirely true. Many are employed by major corporations around the world to work in departments such as Research & Development and Marketing, to name just a couple. Corporate artists use a wide range of talents and skills to illustrate new product lines and product manuals. They also draw to-scale prototypes being developed using both CAD and freehand sketching. However, that’s the corporate world. As a freelance artist, it may be a little more difficult to find gigs, especially if this is your only source of income. You might want to consider one or more of the following five ways to find gigs as a freelance artist.
1. Book a Booth at a Local Fair
Sometimes one of the easiest ways to find clients for your art would be at local fairs. Throughout the summer months, there are a number of community, church and street fairs throughout the UK. If you work quickly with charcoals, for example, you might want to set up a portrait booth at as many local fairs as you can possibly attend. Not only will people pay nice sums to have their portrait drawn at fairs, but you may also be able to line up several freelance gigs to be completed after the fair at private homes and businesses. Just remember to have business cards and pamphlets ready to hand out to interested parties.
2. Start a YouTube Channel to Promote Your Work
You would be surprised to learn just how many artists and graphic designers around the world found freelance gigs by posting videos on YouTube. As an artist, you might want to post an educational piece on how to use light, for example. However, the one thing you will want to have is a laptop or desktop with a gaming CPU and graphics card. Why gaming? Actually, these are designed for superior streaming transmissions. If you want to understand more about speed, RAM and other features that make uploading streaming media effortlessly, check out the line of Nvidia Laptops designed with the features you will require.
3. Volunteer to Teach a Class at a Local Community Centre
When you volunteer to teach an art class at a community centre, there is just something so rewarding about giving of your time to enrich the lives of others. Often senior centres or programmes for underprivileged youth offer various classes conducted by local professionals. This is one way to introduce your particular skills as an artist, but it also makes for wonderful community relations. You never know when your name might be mentioned in a local news column by a reporter who got hold of the work you volunteer. Although you aren’t volunteering solely for promotional purposes, a little positive press never hurts!
4. Network with Galleries
You may not be able to find art galleries willing to showcase your work, but it doesn’t hurt to network with as many as possible. Sometimes their patrons come in looking for an artist to do a portrait of a family member or, believe it or not, a beloved Yorkie! It’s amazing just how much money some people will spend on their pets and having a pet ‘sit’ for a portrait in oils is more common than you might think. In this case, the setting is usually done from a photo, but the end result is the same, minus the artist’s frustrations chasing the dog down to sit again. There may come a time when a local gallery remembers talking to you about your skill as a portrait artist and that might be the impetus to lining up clients one after the other.
5. Build a Strong Social Media Presence
Social media is an amazingly effective way of promoting your personal brand of art. With that said, it should also be noted that you limit the social accounts you create. The whole idea of using social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is to build a strong following. This means that you need to post regularly and remember to reply to posts or comments on your social pages. It’s all about building social relationships and a strong following, so that means you need to keep the lines of communication open. You never know when just one of your followers will unwittingly become a strong brand ambassador.
Sometimes it is possible to work solely as a freelance artist but like starting any other type of business, it will require substantial amounts of time and often financial resources to get a start. Even if you need to work a part-time job while lining up gigs, don’t get discouraged. It may take time and patience but at some point, you’ll have enough art out there that your work will actually become your strongest publicist.