top of page

5 Tips I would love to tell my younger self about becoming a freelance illustrator

Hello!!! I am from the future!!! I wanna tell you something!!

Next thing from "my scoop of palette" I would like to share are some tips.

After experiencing both the corporate world and the freelance world, these are the things Things I would love to tell my past self about becoming a freelance illustrator or to any budding illustrator out there :)

1. Routine is the key

Be ready to follow a routine, you are the boss now! because you don’t go to an office doesn’t mean you should not have a routine, if not precise at least define a rough broader structure of your day.

Things added in routine can be:

  • A dedicated learning time, learn about your tools or what all types of tools are in the trade, learn about mediums, do sketching, learn about coloring, shading or lighting there are tons of things to keep sharping your skills

  • Admin time, as a freelance illustrator one has to be more than an artist (details in next point)

  • Client's project time

  • Personal project time

2. You are going to become more than you think

As a freelance illustrator one has to be more than an artist, you are your boss, social media manager, content creator, thinker, planner, dreamer, chai wali or wala and whatnot

Each stream is a learning opportunity, So think of yourself as a student and these streams as separate periods of class (it will also give you more clarity on routine). Now, Tighten your seat belts and enjoy the ride :)

Don’t fall into "finding your style trap”

At least not initially! When you freshly start, you fall into the rabbit hole of finding an "illustration style" one day you love one style next day some other and you push and punch your self without direction.

When you push hard, you might feel stuck. Instead, if you will play with the tools and different mediums the chances of finding a style will be higher and more fun.

Having an illustration style is a process, not something you have lost which you want to find under the bed hidden somewhere.

It will come through practice... and more practice and some patience.

Show up for yourself, not for social media

Don't look for acceptance over the internet, likes on the post are not an evaluation of your art!

People will get to know about you eventually, follow the right people, people who inspire you and with whom you connect, talk, discuss "the like-minded people", real people, one who are artists like you.

Internet is full of beautiful humans, who over a period of time will become your friends, show up for them, support them, show up for yourself. It is a bit of time taking process but this my friends is called having "a community".

Don’t run looking for motivation

Motivation is something that will come and go, it is not something that will stay with you every day, this is the nature of motivation. And by the way, it's a good thing. Manier times our lows also define our highs.

Instead, having a routine and showing up for yourself will take you places.

Things that can be added for the right mindset

  • Books

  • Podcasts

  • Youtube ( it is also distracting though)

  • A community of people, who are there for you

  • Mentor(s)

  • Therapy

  • Taking relaxing breaks

  • Meditation

  • Journal

Smart financial steps

If you are someone like me, for whom money and finance are big words and they instantly remind you of how many maths tests you failed, well the good thing is you don't have to be an expert, small tiny steps will be helpful.

Things you can do:

  • Having fancy gadgets is NOT important to be an illustrator, in fact they are not essential. All you need to start are:- you, some paper and some pencils or colors. Basic is beautiful.

  • We loooove hoarding tools, colors, and stationaries ...list is endless. We love it!!! but we can minimize our temptation, save some money and waste too, like before buying a full box of new medium of colors you wanted to try, buy loose ones. Instead of buying a full new brush set you have been eyeing for, buy 1 or 2 use them, see how user-friendly they are for you :)

  • Dedicate a percentage of your earnings for your future fund, invest them or take expert's help in investment. Small savings matter.

  • Do your research before buying new machines. These are investments, so be them the best.



bottom of page