Monday, May 23, 2005

Starting Your Career as A 3D Freelance Artist

As someone that does freelance work myself I can understand why you would want to work as a freelancer.  I took a look at your site/link and one of the things that first caught my eye was the picture of the design of a room's interior.  More and more there are artists that are working from home whether they use a spare room or a room specifically designated as a studio.  I don't know if you have a area that you specialize in or would like to specialize in but my thinking is maybe (at least to start) you would want to concentrate on one area of design.  Using the "interior" design that was on your page as an example the most logic possibilities that come to mind is you designing interiors.  I once made the suggestion that a 3D artist that liked to design scenery start a line of greeting cards that represented their local area - sort of like having a line of specialty greeting cards.  You could take that same approach and do the same thing with people's rooms.  A cute idea that just came into my mind is the talk of how messy a person's room is and you could do something with that - people sending you a picture of their rooms and you designing a 3D version of it.

Another thing that I advise to people is that the best way to start making money more faster is to find a need and fill it.  Depending on what kind of area that you live in you could start doing yard work or running errands.  These kind of services are always in demand and it allows you to build up and income while you pursue your artistic career.  But another reason for doing this is that when you deal with them as customers you could design a copy of their yard or whatever and include that with their receipt and when you solicit their business on a regular basis.

While this may be something that you may not like you have to remember that earning an income will be a primary concern for you and doing something that you can freelance at allows you greater control over your time (and your spare time).  You have to start building up your reputation as a 3D artist.  While you already have a webpage you also have to have offline literature as well.  Remember you want to start a business and you're going to have to treat it as a business.  You have to have a business plan because while doing the "creative" stuff is fine you will also have to deal with the "business" side of running your business.  You have to establish a business identity so you're more readily recognized, you are going to have to determine fees, decide how contractual your work will be, what will be in your contract, how much you will charge, deposits....You should also treat it as a business and start determining expenses and supplies and you will have to deal with taxes too.

I know that right now one of your primary concerns is getting freelance jobs but you have to take steps to get there - in the meantime there are bills that have to be paid. 

In addition to be able to earn an income while you are pursuing your art career you should also look into grants, competitions, contests and the like.  There are a lot of funding resources for visual artists.  I even posted here before about a grant that's available for comic strip artists on an annual basis and there are more for visual artists.  Remember the designs for the remaking of the twin towers?  There are cajillions of historical sites in the US and you could use your 3D art skills here as well.

I have to emphasize doing something that fills a need (like the examples I mentioned above) because it allows you an income to start your artistic career.  One of the best resources one has is their own local newspaper!  Get to know your area and what's happening in your area and find ways to link your skills to fill a need in that area.  As you do this word (and your reputation) will spread and you will be able to branch out! (to include more clients and more work)

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