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The Freedom to Freelance

March 12, 2010

     What a wonderful world we live in, where a pivotal source of income can be obtain without ever leaving the comfort of your own home computer. The world of freelancing is as vast as it is diverse, so why not take your share of its bounty? It can be quite rewarding and not to mention fun! The trick to being successful in this market is time management. Poor planning can break you, and if you think getting an “F” on a missed deadline at school is tough, try missing a deadline for a paying client. It could ruin your reputation, before you ever have one.

     So how can you get a leg up and be prepared for freelancing? Well, by practicing of course! If you’re a junior or a senior you will probably have an idea of your abilities and understand what you can produce in a set time frame. However I highly recommend you test yourself with several projects before taking on actual clients. You’ll thank me later.

     Spend a little time researching some freelance sites like Elance.com, ifreelance.com, freelancer.com, etc. and look up jobs that interest you. As tempting as it may be, resist the urge to bid. You’re not ready for that yet. Bidding involves informative proposals and competitive pricing, two subjects that I will have to cover in another blog. Once you’ve found a job that peaks your interests, do the job and keep track of everything. And I mean everything.

     Clock in and out, just like you would at a regular job. Keep track of the techniques you experiment with and those you use on a regular basis. It may take more time in the beginning, but later you can use these notes to target weak areas in your process and eliminate them, thus making you a more efficient freelance artist. After several test jobs, you will have a greater understanding of your own process. You will understand your speed and efficiency allowing you to better gauge the production schedule of potential jobs. Doing this is also going to help lay the foundation for future projects to come. Pace yourself and understand your speed and workflow.

     It is a wonderful world we live in where we, as artists, can do what we love and be paid for it. With careful planning and patience you can become a successful freelance artist and obtain extra income from home, but please understand that I am in no way saying you can become wealthy or even sustain a modest existence with freelance work alone. This is merely a method you can use to obtain extra cash on the side. Are there wicked successful artists who only derive income from freelance work? Sure, and if you become fortunate enough to be counted among them, that’s great! That type of success takes years of hard work and dedication, so for now understand your workflow, practice, and there’s no telling what you can accomplish. I hope this helps. Have fun, and keep creating.

~Emmett AN

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