Freelance illustrator blog commissioning illustration Adrian Cartwright

blog 009 / Adrian Cartwright

Freelance illustrator Adrian Cartwright's company blog 009 / Adrian Cartwright October 27th 2014

Freelance illustrator Adrian Cartwright
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illustration work is coming in, but slow progress..!

27th October 2014

My view on current freelance illustration commissioning.
After one of the quietest summers in the 24 years I’ve been a freelance illustrator, it’s starting to get busy again!
Why is this happening now? It would be easy to say it’s all the hard work I’ve put into promoting my website in the last 12 months.
Or perhaps relocating to a well known creative centre where lots of professionals reside. But business has come from old client referrals and people finding me on yell.com, or should I say Hibu,
an area of advertising I’ve little return on over the last two years.

Another client from another country simply found me on google in fact two have one from New York. So perhaps the SEO has done a little towards it. But there’s no real clear leader on the upturn of commission enquiries. Ultimately it simply could be the market is starting to move.

That said I’ve noticed and a few others in the creative industry have said the same… that there’s quite a bit of speculative commissioning, in other words. Client starting a commission then response to comments and approvals has been slow.

Even now with the 4-5 commissions I’m currently involved with, nearly all of them have been ongoing for weeks and some months in the mill. Something that’s unusual for me. A typical commission used to be about 2 weeks.

I’m not complaining, after all it’s been a very hard year for me… due mostly to a lack of marketing, and sitting back relying on existing clients, but the people you work with move on, and are replace with others who want to do it differently to their predecessor and make their own mark.

After 6 years I find myself cold calling again, for future commissions, I’ve lots of work on, but know the common problem with freelancing, feast followed by famine. So I’m finding time to do that… nothing has come of it yet, but it’s early days.

All I can say to others in similar situations, is hold on. Plan for the future if you can afford it and invest your down time with your business, as I think finally and after a hard few years, the work is coming in.

Author: Adrian Cartwright
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