Keep The Creative Juices Flowing – Tips For The Freelance Artist

As a freelance artist, I recently started blogging, I am amazed at the amount of people who have come forward through social networking sites. The exchange of services for a freelancer is absolutely an awesome beginning. I have sent out a few pieces of art to those that have helped me, and I have had wonderful emails back how they love what I have sent them.

If it’s something you love, sometimes give it away, the rewards can be astounding and can eventually lead to great business.

Here are some tips that can help get your creative juices flowing:

Differentiate Yourself, Your Business

Writing to capture a particular audience in today’s marketplace can be a struggle, depending on your area of expertise. With the booming internet and social networking at the forefront, this is a hot topic and get’s picked up often, but it’s also flooded. It’s tough to get noticed when there are so many other larger dogs on the porch.

I can only repeat what many have said, turn it, and spin it into a niche market. Offer up something different within your niche, no matter what it is, there is someone that will search for it.

Everyone…

…has a talent, an expertise or something to say, utilize it and put it online for…

Exposure

When getting started, exposure is necessary. It is also often times miss-understood to some that are not aware of social networking. I am talking in terms of blogging and exposing your product or yourself as a freelancer. I have had people run the other way in the corporate world when I mention blogging or attaching themselves to a blog. Oh the horror! Come on, who are the up and coming decision makers? That’s an entire other article to be written, trials and tribulations of selling the social network aspect!

Blogging is a way to expose your service, your words or your product. Even if it’s only a small little blurb every now and then.

Be Dedicated

With any job, craft or hobby, you have to be loyal. When I sit down with a blank piece of paper, I try and give it a deadline. Often times as a freelancer it’s hard to stick to a dedicated goal; there may be a beer in the fridge that needs attention, a garden that needs weeding, or just a sit in the sunshine that has been neglected. If you stick with it within reason, it can be accomplished.

Leave the project in front of you. As an artist; I tend to tube the one’s that are not really catching my fancy. I’ve thrown so many into tubes that are incomplete, and I know they could be great. I recently brought one out, flattened the sucker and it turned into a beautiful piece. I left it sit though, for a day, and stared at it each and every time I walked into the studio. I realized I couldn’t just leave it incomplete. If you have projects that are back burner projects, keep them out in front of you, and be dedicated to look at them a few times a day. You will eventually find the inspiration and finish them.

You Have The Ability

Face it, if you didn’t have the ability you wouldn’t be in the line of work you are. There are days when I have done a sketch about 6 or 7 times over from the beginning, because I didn’t like it. Knowing the ability is there to create what was asked, but not being able to do so. I know the right one’s within reach, it is at this point in a project, you must walk away. Your ability is being blocked; it’s not a huge issue, unless you’re my husband who has to hear it. It will come.

Make It Your Outlet

I said a few paragraphs back, if you can niche-a-size your market, your ability or your talent, that’s going to bring in some success. It may not be a huge cash cow, but if you have the talent and the ability, you can make it your outlet. Even if that niche falls into an over flooded market, it’s always worth giving it a different spin. Personalize it, humorize it. It helps your creative juices flowing for other projects.

Constructive Criticism

Take it constructively; don’t go off the deep end. I suggest even asking for it. It can only benefit you and help you grow as a freelance worker. When you find a weakness, human nature is to defend it, don’t. I’ve done that, let it come and learn from it. If you ask your spouses for criticism, be prepared, they will freely give it. Than ask a friend, or fellow freelancer, take the two and come up with a balance point.

Enjoy

Enjoy not only your successes, but your failures as well. Those are what we learn from most. I strongly believe the space that we create in, has to be enjoyable. I have converted my office/studio into anything that is pleasant to me, I have a few of my favorite original pieces and two walls decked out in Chicago Bear Blue and Orange and all my memorabilia. I have to say, it makes me happy, it’s simple, but there is not one thing unpleasant in this little corner of my house. It helps… and it’s enjoyable…

What about you?

Susie

******

About the Author: Susie Kleiner started learning SEO and Internet Marketing a year and half ago for an Exhibit House – www.catalystexhibit.com and part of that job involved selling the importance of SEO and Social Networking, a concept that is way out of the box to those that have never heard of it. I started my own Art Blog – which has been quite rewarding since drawing is my biggest passion. In my opinion, we must not be afraid to try new things.

Comments

  1. Chris Hoffler says

    “When I sit down with a blank piece of paper, I try and give it a deadline. ” – that works very well, I always give myself deadlines, even for personal projects. I find it more difficult to do that with my personal projects than client’s projects, but still it works very good.

    Thx for the great article!

  2. says

    @ Jenny – thank you for stopping in, I find when I spin things, I enjoy it more and that way, like being a child and spinning in circles, I can giggle at myself, and not take things so seriously.

    @ Chris, thank you for your feedback, I know in the deadline driven world sometimes we can’t stick by them, but if they are laid out in front of us, they are easier to meet.

  3. says

    You could not have said it any better. One of my biggest struggles is disciplining myself to get things done- when I am the boss.

    For myself I have always found that the more I have to do the more I get done. But If I only have this one thing that needs accomplished I will put it off until tomorrow. I really have to stay on myself. And of course I tend to work on the fun projects first.

    Anyway…well said. This is some great advice that I can apply to my own habits.
    Thank you
    Pam

  4. says

    Great article, I think I needed this. But my problem is motivation at the beginning, to find a topic that I think others will enjoy. It is not so much as the motivation once you get going I find, for me it is the initial idea, and going from there. But thanks for the words of encouragement all the same!

  5. says

    I think people get into things with the wrong intentions (read: money). If you’re doing what you love, then the rest will come easy. Guess what I’m saying is if you’re not doing the last aspect “Enjoy,” you can’t possibly do the first few.

  6. says

    Suzy you’re the bomb! I am the groupy for this wonderful and talented sketch artist and blogger. The art work is just over the top and relative to what we all love, MUSIC!

    :)

  7. says

    Excellent article! Super informative and very well written. I especially liked the part about the constructive criticism. That can be hard to take, but it’s inevitable if your work is seen by the masses. Like they say you can’t please everyone all the time. Kudos, and keep up the great work (I’ll be looking for more)!

  8. says

    Hi Susie,

    Great tips – particularly on the ‘make it your outlet’ part – I’ve designed and blogged as outlets. You are right – they are not my cash cows, but they can help me to pump my creative juice out and earning good reputation – which, eventually, lead me to the cash cows biz.

    Cheers!

  9. says

    “Enjoy not only your successes, but your failures as well. Those are what we learn from most.” Very well said Susie! If I had given up after after my infinite number of failures I wouldn’t be where I am at the moment. Failure certainly is the key to learning. It helps to flow you creative juices as well since it gives you an idea that something didn’t work in the past so you need to take a new route.

    Ok…ok…. I will stop blabbing ;-) . All in all excellent article. Looking forward to more posts from you on Freelance Folder.

  10. says

    “It’s tough to get noticed when there are so many other larger dogs on the porch.”

    And so many smaller ones too. Think about how many do NOT have a blog. Even by just having one that you post to every now and then you are a step ahead of the rest. I think at my uni in my design course, there would be only a handful that do blog, and the rest are missing out!

  11. says

    @ Pam, I hear you on that, it seems if there is a pile of stuff to do, my motivation rises, one or two little things..haha.. It is than deck time!

    @Homejob, I get the same way, I’ve had no professional writing training, and only by default have started pursuing it, often times I feel that I don’t have the skills to, but if I don’t try, I won’t know.

    @Stan, you are completely correct, money, or as Gene Simmons said, the lack of money is the root of all evil. That unfortunately drives people in the wrong direction – IMHO

    @blogzilla, your dedication to my work is always appreciated!

    @Ty, criticism is tough to take, and often times harder to swallow, but if we take a step back, there really are lessons.

    @Noob, thats how I feel about the creativity, we gotta continue to feed it!

    @Ritu, The one piece of art that I struggled and struggled with, I thought was going to be a failure, no kidding, I started it up at least 7 times, and pitched everyone of them, it wasnt until then that I had to ask for a different picture of the subjects, low and behold..the detail was missing in the one they had sent, but I just couldn’t imagine how to make that one work. The second one came, and, truly shed “light” on the people. So, on one hand a failure, cuz I couldn’t do it, but on the other, I realized what was needed.

    @Jacob, yes you are correct, so many new one’s and so many that do not have one. I read it will be expected of companies at some point and time for them to have a blog, just as it is now for them to have a website. This is a concept, that I can not drive home currently and struggle daily with the higher ups to convince them. I guess time will tell.. since one of my articles on the blog has brought in a potentially large client, I am sitting and hopeful this will turn into a project, and I will have my proof positive!

    Thanks all for your kind words!

  12. says

    @Jacob, it honestly has been my biggest struggle to convince the power of blogging to those that are terrified of it. Its a great venue though, and IMHO they should look at it as pretty cheap advertising!

  13. says

    ił na skrzydła
    niebogi. Odsunęła się. – Jestem maszyną – http://www.atmospheres53.
    org/forum/profile.php?mode=viewprofile&u=19762 szepnęła, spoglądając na Wagnera, -
    Nie mam wstydu.
    - Jesteś. – relacjonował jest dozwolone Frodo, bacząc,
    jej prosto w oczy. – Jesteś…
    Nasycał na kolana.
    - Kim ty, wywłoka, jesteś? – spytał leniwie, – Duch?
    Czemu.
    - Po co żyję? – Poderwała się. – Dosłyszałeś, jestem maszyną.
    .. Wydawało mu
    się, że w jej osądzie.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Keeping the Creative Juices Flowing – Following the links through out Freelance Folder, I ran into the Heavy Act that the founder -  Jon Phillips plays guitar for.  I am not real versed in Heavy Metal Rock, but this is a band to be on the look out for if you are. [...]

  2. [...] The next website I looked at was nice in that it was the more motivational aspect of freelancing. It had ways to manage continued creativity as an artist, which I think would be helpful if there was ever downtime where you needed to create work for you portfolio. However, the website seems a bit dated with suggestions to maintain a blog as a main way of keeping up with social media, which is not really considered the best way to make yourself visible in the social media sphere. However some of the advice is definitely still sound and can be used with an awareness that technology moves incredibly fast and what was hot in 2008 may not be so much in 2013. [...]

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