Hey everyone! Thanks so much for tuning back into The Freelance Diaries. For those of you who are brand new here, in this series, I share little tidbits of my experiences as a full time creative freelancer. This could be things that motivate me, ways I conduct business, or helpful tips on self promotion.
Today I want to share with you two things I absolutely cannot work without. I know that everyone works differently, but I strongly believe that if you're a working illustrator, letterer, calligrapher, designer, etc., you need these things too. It may seem like a no-brainer, but it's 110% a must in my book!
1. A Kick Ass Website
Yep. This is possibly the most important thing for a self employed creative. Having a kick ass website. There are many working illustrators out there who are a part of the previous generation who still think they don't need a solid online presence. Unless you're Brad Holland (who, by the way, has a website), you need a solid online portfolio. Period.
The new generation of Art Directors and Buyers working in the field are usually finding your artwork by way of the internet. This means, if they find an image of yours floating around the world wide web, and they can't pinpoint where it came from (a reliable portfolio page), they will move on and find someone else. It's just a fact of life (sorry guys!). If you are an illustrator that is part of an earlier generation without a great web presence, and you're reading this, I hope this message gives you a kick in the butt to take the leap. Updating your work and digital face could be the change you're looking for and could bring you new work.
Not a web designer? No problem. I highly recommend jumping on the Squarespace bandwagon. Full disclosure, the link I'm providing is my affiliate link. That being said, I would never promote anything here on my website if I didn't stand behind the product fully. Do you like my website? I use Squarespace. 'Nuff said. The templates are highly customizable so you can create something that will fully fit your style.
2. Reliable WiFi
Seems like another no-brainer, but it's important to mention because of (literally) how important it is. I always tell people that really I don't need a ton of stuff to run the creative side of my business. One thing that is a must is being able to connect with my clients. I need to be able to send sketches and final artwork via email and It needs to be done on time. Whether from a coffee shop or from a home studio, you need to be able to send emails and you need to have reliable WiFi to do that. Again, earlier generations needed to take like 10 more steps than we do and send final, original artwork directly to the agencies they were working with. Then, the directors on the job would have to document everything at their studio, and potentially send the original artwork back to the illustrator by snail mail. Times have changed, now you only need to upload your art into the computer and click send. If you screw up something that simple by not having access to email, just think back on all of the steps you would need to take as a 1980's Illustrator and you'll call up Comcast, stat.
Those are the two things I can't work without. How about you? Do you have a solid online portfolio up and running? Do you send your artwork to clients via email or are you still sending originals through snail mail? I want to hear what works best for you and if these bits of advice are helpful. Again, if you are an Illustrator that was working full time during the 80's and now business seems to be lagging - I highly recommend picking up one of these techniques. It could be exactly what your business needs!
All my best,