How Side Gigs Can Work for Artists

Being an artist is often stereotyped as a struggle between earning a living and staying true to your dreams. It’s easy to become discouraged and find yourself on paths that diverge from your artistry. However, side gigs can offer a perfect balance between profit and artistry.

Working from Home

Home can be a sanctuary from the outside world. For an artist, it can be the ideal environment to spark creativity and imagination, plus it can boost productivity. Of course, home can also be full of distractions, whether that’s interruptions or television. Given that, it’s a good idea to set up a home office. Choose a location away from noisy areas and distractions that has enough space for a desk and equipment like a printer and computer. Depending on your particular focus, you will also need a dedicated table. Be sure to minimize clutter by using a filing cabinet, as well as storage for all of your physical art supplies.

Have a Plan

Side gigs have plenty of advantages. They’re flexible and can be adjusted to your particular requirements. Whether you decide to branch out your creativity and set up an Etsy store or sell art via Zazzle, there are numerous options. While you can stick to artistic endeavors, it’s also possible to pick up an unrelated side gig. You could try freelance writing or working as a virtual assistant. It’s important to have a well-defined plan to provide focus. Having realistic goals can ensure you keep moving forward. What sort of clients and commissions do you want to secure? Will you have a set revenue target? Do you want your side gig to grow into something bigger? These will all be questions that you have to answer to develop a plan. Motivation is important for a freelancer, and it can keep you going through both ups and downs.

Promote Yourself

Freelance work relies on promotion. Your online presence will be a big factor in securing clients. Create a web portfolio that documents your best work and details your skills and interests. A blog can be a valuable complement to a portfolio, as it can offer clients insights into your creative processes and generate broader interest in your work. Consider taking proactive measures by sending out promotional samples to design firms and publishers. There are a number of searchable online databases that can streamline the process of finding opportunities such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. Above all, maintain a regularly updated presence on social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, featuring your projects and creations.

Be Adaptable

One of the essential attributes for a freelancer is adaptability. There may be reverses, and business may be slow at first. Being adaptable will mean learning from mistakes and finding inspiration from others. Seek out fellow creators for guidance and direction. Their approach may be beneficial, as well as adaptable to your own goals. Take into consideration how they use social media, respond to praise and criticism, advertise, and present their portfolio and work. You may have a well-defined style, but if there are other niches that indicate demand, you could add it to your own repertoire. When there is criticism, adapt it to your advantage. Don’t hesitate to ask what they found fault with and what they think could have been done differently. You may find that it’s something you can take positively and apply to future work. Creativity is about passion, and sometimes, passion can come from reversals.

There are many opportunities for an artist in the world of freelancing. It may only start off as a side gig, but it can easily grow and flourish into something more substantial. Freelancing can offer a platform that allows you to support yourself while giving you the flexibility to recharge and devote your time to creative impulses. This is a career path that will take time and effort, but the rewards can be both fulfilling and profitable. 

Are you a producer or DJ and want to expand into a related field? If you have experience mixing your own audio then you should consider audio post-production. Read this article from our friends at Joey Sturgis Tones for a look into how to get started.


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October 16, 2018

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