鈥淕oing freelance is like diving into the ocean…but you know you can swim, so just get out there!鈥滭/em>
Joshua Viers is a successful concept artist who has produced work for Steven Spielberg 聽and Jon Favreau films, as well as designing products for Hasbro, Adidas, and Samsung. But recently, he decided to quit his regular job and go freelance.
What made him finally take the plunge? And how did he get clients?
If you鈥檝e ever thought about going freelance, read on.
Because everything you need to know about going it alone is in this week鈥檚 podcast鈥?/p>
The idea of going freelance first came to Joshua Viers about two years ago, when he went out for lunch with two fellow artists from the Bay Area.
They鈥檇 already gone freelance, and were talking about all the exciting projects they鈥檇 been working on. It got Josh thinking, but he still wasn鈥檛 sure if he was ready鈥?/p>
He says: 鈥淚t鈥檚 hard to leave that 9-5 gig where you get your regular money every few weeks. For me, making that leap was pretty scary!鈥滭/p>
And so Josh waited until the time was right; until he鈥檇 saved up enough money and built up enough clients to keep him going through the first few uncertain months.
That right time was seven months ago, and Josh hasn鈥檛 looked back since. However, he admits he had some doubts at first鈥?/p>
He says: 鈥淲hen you鈥檙e with a company, you鈥檙e kind of insulated from the outside world. But, when you go it alone, you don鈥檛 have that insulation.
“That鈥檚 when you start asking yourself: 鈥楢m I really good enough?鈥 However, it鈥檚 a bit like jumping into the ocean…you know you can swim, so just get out there!鈥滭/p>
How Joshua Viers Prepared to go Freelance
Before he handed in his notice at his full-time job, Josh made sure he鈥檇 got a few things in place.
He made sure he had a few clients to keep him going at first, and that had between 12 and 18 months of savings to fall back on if he needed to.
With regards to his work and getting clients, these were his first steps:
- Personal work. Josh鈥檚 advice to anyone thinking of going freelance is to work on your personal projects so that you鈥檝e got about six finished examples of your art to show people. He says: 鈥淵ou need to be telling people: 鈥楾his is what I鈥檓 capable of right now.鈥 If you鈥檙e still in your full-time job, be prepared to put in that extra time and get your personal work done.鈥滭/li>
- Get your website up and running and showcase this new personal work. 鈥淗aving my website ready to go made a huge difference,鈥 Josh says.
- As well as featuring six, focused personal pieces on your site, choose at least 10 images from other projects that you鈥檙e really proud of.
Joshua Viers on Developing Your Own Style
Josh admits he used to worry about developing his own style, but he now has this advice for any aspiring artists: 鈥淒on鈥檛 worry about it. Your style will come to you, and it鈥檒l come to you when you least expect it!
鈥淛ust keep working and keep being inspired. Relax and let your style come on its own. In fact, you may not even realize you have a particular style until somebody else tells you!鈥滭/p>
How to get聽new Clients as a Freelance Artist
But what about all the other stuff you need to set up your own freelance business? Don鈥檛 you need a cool logo and business cards?
鈥淒on鈥檛 worry about having a logo unless you鈥檙e a graphic designer鈥 says Josh, 鈥渁nd don鈥檛 worry about getting business cards printed, either. Save your money. Instead, start cold-calling people and letting them know about your work.鈥滭/p>
But isn鈥檛 cold-calling people really scary at first?
Josh laughs and explains: 鈥淚t鈥檚 scary at first, but you鈥檝e got to be willing to take that risk. After all, the worst they can do is say no! Most people are approachable, but try calling someone you鈥檙e not intimidated by at first.
鈥淭he most important thing is this: If you want to stand out to people, you have to call them – 聽not email them. Perhaps even offer to visit them in person!鈥滭/p>
Final Advice on Going Freelance from Joshua Viers
Ready to take the plunge and dive into a freelance career? Here鈥檚 some final advice from Josh to help you make the decision鈥?/p>
He says: 鈥淛ust hit the phones, keep making the work, and set yourself a deadline that you have to stick to. For example, you could say to yourself: 鈥業 plan to leave my full-time job in exactly six months from now, so I need to get these things done first.
鈥淕ive yourself a finite goal. It鈥檒l make it much more immediate, and it鈥檒l help push you out of your comfort zone.鈥滭/p>
Listen to this week鈥檚 show and learn:
- How to聽prepare for a freelance art career
- Why聽you don’t need to worry about developing your own style
- How to approach the right people and find freelance gigs
- Why going freelance isn’t as scary as you might think
People on this Episode:
Mentioned in the episode:
Thanks for listening to our show! We鈥檒l be back next Wednesday morning 8AM EST.