Yesterday we had a talk from freelance Illustrator Cattell Ronca. She broke her presentation into sections, giving us advice on everything we need to know to become a successful freelance Illustrator. This advice can also be used for a freelance Graphic Designer as a lot of it was general.
1. DEFINE MARKET:
- editorial, design, greeting cards, advertising etc.
2. RESEARCH POTENTIAL CLIENTS:
- what kind of illustrations/designs are being used?
- look at publications.
3. ADDRESS THE RIGHT PERSON:
- record the names of art directors/editors (Get spelling right!).
- use directories - AOI directory, FileFX, Bikinilist. (Time saving but expensive)
4. SELF PROMOTION:
- your work must stand out, original, memorable (i.e handmade or limited edition), must have value.
- demonstrate your way of thinking and communicating an idea.
- good concept.
- how special are you?
- think outside the box.
5. SHOW YOUR PORTFOLIO:
- use names you collect to make appointments.
- your portfolio must be impeccable.
- include work only relevant for client.
- commissioned work goes in front.
- only include work you're most proud of.
- experimental work in back.
- max. size A3.
- no more than 20 pieces.
- no sketchbooks.
- always bring business card.
- ask AD who else they can recommend.
6. CREATE A WEBSITE:
- make it interesting.
- easy to navigate.
- must be available to everyone.
- with other illustrators.
- keep in touch with people you studied with.
- regular contact with clients - send postcards?
- organise exhibitions.
8. GET COMMISSIONED:
- confirm commission in writing.
- your name.
- do not give it away, offer a licence.
- read smallprint, especially where it says 'ALL RIGHTS'.
- what is illustration used for?
- how big is the client?
- how big is the budget?
- area and duration of the licence?
I found the talk to be very inspiring and helpful, and I will be looking back over my notes from the talk before I go into the big wide world! After the talk she showed us through some of her work which I found to be very good and interesting.