Today’s Freelance Friday follows on from last week’s general tips for snuffling out good jobs online, as I thought it might be useful to share both a few different kinds of sites to look on, and a few links, relating to comics and illustration work. Onwards!
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with any of the third-party sites linked from this post, which you visit and make use of entirely at your own risk.)
Job boards or forum sections are an obvious place to start one’s hunt, but also a big time sink, as there’s a lot of irrelevent or low-or-no-pay stuff to wade through, since anyone can post. Your time is precious, so it’s worth paying attention to which ones are coming up with relevent posts, and just use those as your regularly-checked boards, just stopping by others now and then.
A few that I check:
Digital Webbing paid jobs forum: Mainstream-leaning. Not all decently paid, but sometimes there are jobs with reasonable budgets, and being a paid forum no unpaid collabs. Love that it previews posts when hovering, so you can see what might be relevent without clicking through to everything. Jobs fill fast, so worth scrolling to see if there’s a “position filled” second post before reading through details in the first. No job results for me personally from this one.
Penciljack forums Bulletin Board section: Not one I check a lot, as “looking for work” posts far outweigh “looking to hire” – but it has the virtue of job posts being labelled with a nice green “[Wanted ($)]”. Many of these are low rates though. No work through here personally.
Deviantart jobs board: This one is probably a surprising recommendation, given the vast amounts of “draw my character for $10” posts on here. Only recommended if you’re good at skimming quickly; disregard most posts, keep professional, contact prospects via notes rather than responding on public thread (<personal opinion). However, possibly because businesses needing art hear somewhere that “Deviantart is a site with a lot of artists on it”, there can be some real wheat among the chaff here. I’ve had a couple of good clients found here.
Following relevent people and simply keeping an eye open for “X is looking for freelance illustrators, paid gig” posts as and when they come up is one of the most efficient ways of catching wind of things, since you’re not having to hunt for those. That said, searches can be useful to.
Twitter: Twitter in particular has been good to me. I had a span of a few months where four jobs in a row all came via Twitter. I have some searches I run now and then, from just general things like “comic artist” to more on-the-nose phrasing like “illustrator paid”! (General terms are also nice for just keeping up with industry news, etc.) A great virtue is that you can shoot of a quick response with your site, and people can contact you if they’re interested, which saves everyone time!
Plain old search engines can be worth checking, though the amount of different phrases you could try are endless, so be wary of getting sucked into a hole. Maybe give yourself a time limit, like a half-hour with a cup of tea to spend on this every now and then.
Project Bidding Sites
Sites like oDesk, Elance, etc, are an area I haven’t ventured into thus far. Having artists bidding their quotes for a project seems to create a race-to-the-bottom atmosphere, in a world where artists are already constantly pushed to undervalue themselves. If you do try these sites out, make sure you have your minimum rates firmly set, and don’t let yourself be swayed.
A couple I haven’t tried but do find interesting are:
Freelanced.com I’ve seen some very reasonably-payed jobs listed here. It seems active, you can arrange results by pay, and browse pretty specific categories. Unlike other listing sites, doesn’t involve itself in the work and payment process, purely a finding venue.
Dreamup A relatively new Deviantart venture (separate from Devart); interesting as terms and processes seem reasonable and artist-friendly. By application (not sure to what extent curated).
What about you? What hunting avenues have proved fruitful to you? Please do comment with your own experiences if you have ’em! 🙂
*Edit: see Comments for some great further thoughts from Vicki Paull !