Creative Solutions: Finding Remote Work as an Artist
For those working in the arts, the pandemic caused major upheaval, and some changes forced upon us are here to stay. When venues closed, spending slowed and funding was cut, which necessitated creative workers to call upon their creativity to find new streams of revenue. Fortunately, the digital space has offered some consolation. If you’re looking to supplement your income, Cultured Focus Magazine outlines some ideas to consider.
When you’re struggling to find clients or customers who will buy your art, consider instead teaching it. The popularization of video conferencing applications has meant that online skill-sharing is a viable means to earn and there are plenty of eager students looking for their next lesson. All you need to get started is a reliable internet connection and a certified knowledge of your chosen field.
If you’re wondering where to find students, there are plenty of online communities where you can advertise your services on Facebook, Instagram, and others. Freelancer FAQs notes that you could also try one of the freelancing directories where you’ll be listed publicly and you can provide details about your experience, personality, and services. Failing these options, it can be worth reaching out directly to subscription-based, premium learning channels such as skillshare with samples of your work, to see if they’ll take you on as a signed tutor.
Whatever your art form, there is always a way to commodify. According to Insider Intelligence, this year it’s expected that worldwide ecommerce sales will reach $5 trillion as footfall drops and consumers flock to online stores. If you’re an illustrator or designer, you can capitalize on this trend by converting your art into customized items and merchandise to be sold on sites such as Etsy. This is an especially viable option if you already have a social media presence, as you can guide followers towards your e-store. You can get a good idea on how much to charge by researching the cost to hire an illustrator.
If you’re a musician, it’s still possible to commodify - many other artists are seeking samples to have featured on their own tracks. You can accommodate this by providing short segments of audio and selling these as products. Whether it’s beats, vocals, or instrumentals, high-quality samples can provide huge value for both seller and customer. If you’re a traditional musician and unacquainted with recording software, now’s a great time to learn as quality mics are relatively cheap and many programs are free and easy to use.
Many artists are focused on a particular craft or style but diversifying can often help build the bridge towards a sustainable income. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on your genre or main focus, but if you can segment yourself into two styles, you’ll often find that one can supplement the other. For example, many Youtube channels need graphic art for their thumbnails, or online blogs and magazines are frequently seeking abstract cartoon imagery. If you can train yourself in the ‘hot’ style, you’ll often find it gives you the resources to fund your real passion.
This can apply to any creative field - actors, for example, often take roles in advertisements or event work so they can continue to apply for dramatic parts. This tradeoff is one that many accept as a necessary evil to get to an ideal destination.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to convert your creative passions into earnings, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel completely. Many artists enable their craft with income from another source - part-time work opportunities are abundant in the age of remote working and you can often find roles as a virtual assistant or in-person helping with cleaning or pet care. Remember to stay open-minded and opt-in for flexible options when they present themselves.
The pandemic has wreaked havoc for many creative people, but this shouldn’t mean the end for your wider ambitions. If you can strategize to keep yourself afloat, there’s no reason why you can’t emerge with a flourish.
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