Several years ago I made a common freelancing mistake that cost me a really big client. Here’s the story and what I learned from it.
I’ve just cooked up a piping hot batch of portfolio artwork for you to enjoy.
You can now download updated PDFs of my Illustration, Character Design, and Toy Design portfolios over on my Downloads Page. Save ’em, print ’em, or keep them on file.
As always, you can also download a free list of 100 sketchbook ideas. If you are in need of a mascot, there’s also a free character design questionnaire to help you think through what your needs are and how a mascot can help you promote your business or brand.
What are you waiting for? Head on over to my free download page before it gets cold.
Like a lot of other artists I’ve decided to jump on the Gumroad bandwagon. It’s a bit of an experiment for me. I already have my own website store and people seem to be happy with it, but I’m very impressed with Gumroad’s slick-and-simple website. Just create a Gumroad account and have easy, “forever” access to any files you purchase from various Gumroad sellers. Also, Gumroad only takes a small sliver of commission which makes them an attractive place to sell.
As an experiment I’ve put together a PDF sketchbook called “Sketchercise!” (45 pages with over 120 drawings) and I’m offering it as a “name-your-price” purchase. For the time being you can have it for whatever you think is a fair price, no questions asked and no strings attached. Other artists such as Will Terrell advocate this model for selling some of their content so I thought I’d try it and see what happens.
You can also get the Pose Drawing Sparkbook (both versions) and my drawing webinar on my Gumroad page, at full price.
My friend and animator Todd Hampson runs the animation studio Timbuktoons and has a website and blog designed to help artist thrive in their business. He just posted an interview with yours truly with questions about balancing work, business, and life as an artist.
Todd also recently published his first ebook, “Calling All Artists: Why There’s Never Been A Better Time To Be A Creative”. I’m in the middle of moving into our new house so I haven’t had much time to read it yet but what I have read so far I’ve really liked. Check it out.
I’ve been a member of the Graphic Artists Guild for a couple of years now. They frequently host webinars on various topics related to business and art. The webinars are open to everyone for a fee unless you’re a member. Then they’re free. That alone makes a membership worth the cost. To give you an idea, here’s a list of past webinars.
On July 30, 2014 the Guild will be hosting a webinar/workshop for illustrators called “The Pricing Game”. Four experienced illustrators will each share an example of a real-world project, give you a chance to quote your own price, and then tell you what they actually charged and discuss some of the how’s and why’s of pricing your work. Here’s the official description from the Graphic Artists Guild website:
Do you feel like you’re rolling the dice every time you bid on a new illustration project? This workshop is designed to help you learn what other working illustrators are charging, and how you can defend your pricing decisions. We will be presenting a project from each of four experienced illustrators, showing a range of project types. And we’re following up the Pricing Game with a discussion with our illustrators on how they estimate on new assignments, manage their client’s expectations, and follow through to successfully close a project.
Register or get more info here.
Every year at the CTN Animation Expo I give a workshop on the business side of freelancing for artists. I’ve finally recorded it as a 2-hour webinar, which launched today at TaughtByAPro.com: http://taughtbyapro.com/course/be-your-own-boss-freelancing-tips-tricks/
I did my best to share what I know about promoting yourself and pricing your work. Topics include:
- The Pro’s and Con’s of Freelancing
- How To Stand Out As A Freelancer
- Getting Started As A Freelancer
- Building A Marketing Machine
- Tips For Making Your Website Work For You
- Ways To Find Prospects and Leads
- Tips For Effective Cold Calling
- Ways To Promote Yourself Effectively
- How Much Should You Charge?
- Tips For Talking To Clients About Money
- Tips For Negotiating Effectively
- Spotting Bad Clients
- Professional Practices That Will Help You Stand Out
The 2-hour webinar is broken up into 7 mini-sessions to make the info easier to digest. Cost is only $10 for one month of on-demand access to the whole thing. There’s also a lot of other terrific courses being offered on the site. I’m honored to be in such esteemed company.