Okay so I just started as a freelance illustrator about 3 months ago. Since then I have illustrated a sticker set, a children's book, two book covers, t-shirts, and I am currently pencilling/inking a comic book. Now that sounds like a lot of work but because I am new I do not charge very much. So here is my question; "What is the best way to make money as a freelance illustrator?" Should I get representation and if so who? I am looking for professional opinions on getting inside the industry and not starving to death.
ok, everyone, i apologize in advance for my own newbie, uninformed comments! so please, do forgive my ignorance!
ive done a lot of stuff too, evilee, sometimes at less-than-acceptable prices. here's the deal the way i see it: unless you're one of the successful freelancers who have the necessary skill set to manage their own company and wear all the hats you're required to wear (manager, negotiator, artist..) i wouldn't recommend trying to be your own boss. if you're a freelancer more for lack of full-time options as opposed to choice, i would bite the bullet and stay out of the job market for a while in order to sit down and strictly work on amazing portfolio pieces that WILL land you that full-time gig. afterall, you don't get the kind of quality pieces with freelance jobs that you do with pieces made by yourself, for yourself, when you're worried about meeting client deadlines and, especially as in the case of long, drawn-out, sequential projects such as the children's book and comic book (gotta love those..), a demand for quantity, which often hurts quality, leaving you with a truckload of art you wouldn't set into your portfolio, especially considering the portfolio is a place for the few and best.
i would especially advise against the long-commitment, sequential projects like the comic book. penciling and inking? OUCH. for the love of all that is good, i hope you're getting paid well enough for that. my hand's hurting already. continuing to accept many assignment for low pay will result in creative burnout.
so the question remains... must you work freelance? it can be difficult to find freelance work with big companies (=big pay) because big companies tend to hire full-time. so my professional opinion on getting inside the industry, as professional as it can be for me, is to gradually slip out of freelance mode (damn comic book...) and into your quality zone. once you have a portfolio of astonishing beauty, start applying to full-time jobs. if you really want it, go for snail mail and mail CDs. getting an e-mail isn't quite like getting a CD in the mail. e-mails are a dime a dozen. you never know, you just might get lucky. if you're good enough. if not, you know how to get better. quality pieces going straight to portfolio. you're only as good as your portfolio. now go out there and sell yourself!!
no one else was helping him, so once again, do forgive my uninformed excuse for advice v.v