I think most, if not all, online freelance sites are a dead end. Full of people wanting to pay £10 for three months of work and/or the website owners wanting to take 98% for encouraging low commission prices.
Best thing to do with freelance, in my opinion, with limited insight into the whole business, is contact art directors, actual studios and places with a quick showreel and/or portfolio. Contact many, many, many of these directors and eventually one will be looking for your style and hire you. Eventually word will get round, especially if you do well, or even bad, I suppose, and it'll be easier/harder to find clients.
Truth be told...talented artists come a "dime a dozen". Many artist (of all mediums) complain that they can not find work OR they are underpaid for the work they generate. Ask yourself this: I live in America and ask for $25/hour for my services at my skill set. Now, what makes me think that there is no one in this world with the same skill set as mine asking for $5/hour, say in a country like India or the Philippines. How can I compete?
ANSWER: You can not compete with those prices. That is unless you start your own business(like Sideshow Collectibles) where your talents are an integral part of the business. But artwork like drawing ("service") and sculpting("service") is only a means to an end...selling a "product" is the ends.
You have many options to this dilemna. One not too favorable option is to enter into a different line of work. A line of work where there is not so much competition. Let's face it. There is a lot of competition in the art world.
To end your woes, this is what you should do. Apply for every available project and/or position you can physically/mentally withstand, regardless of the pay. Many artist think that the budgets for their services is unlimited. Why do think that? Most of these "companies" are pretty small and their budget is even smaller, especially for artwork for game boxes. Take the small jobs, do one heck of a job, and hopefully as the company gets larger - you can ride to the top with them. After all, they know your work and you know them. As their sales increases, so does their budgets. They are now in a position to pay you more. No, one company will not make you wealthy. But, dozens of companies together will earn you a nice living over time.
With this being said, and it's only my opinion on the subject. Here is some work for anyone interested:
Thanks for your time. Hope to see you soon. It is a paying gig, by the way.