Professional Practice Seminar: Freelance Illustration

This weeks freelance seminar was based around freelance work; how to get it, how to respond to it and the importance of self publishing. Anna talked a lot about the fact that freelance illustration is not easy and is not something that can be relied on, at least not until you have built up your portfolio and established yourself. In order to get big projects that you want and to get to work on the things that you have a really big investment in, you have to find other avenues to support that and other ways to generate the money and/or notoriety that illustrators need to do these larger projects.
The things that Anna really emphasised were; always being ready to opportunities that might come your way, finding and constantly looking out for them and having a good website and a strong portfolio both online and in print. All of this advice is aimed at presenting yourself and your work in the best light possible, with the most professional and pro-active outlook, that will allow you to always be ready to respond to a brief or any opportunity that comes your way.
One of the most reassuring messages that Anna really brought home, was that it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself to jump straight into freelance work, as it often takes years to really build up and to get good at. You are unlikely to come straight out of your degree and hit the ground running in the realm of freelance illustration. If this is the route that I’d like to take after uni, I will have to find other things to support me during the build up and to play the long game in terms of career. While this does take off some of the pressure, it also made be more nervous at the same time….the post graduate world looks very scary right now.

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