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Freelancing and Adapting Tutorial by CGCookie Freelancing and Adapting Tutorial by CGCookie

Watch the tutorial, download the .PSD, and HD Video HERE

Artist: Tim Von Rueden (vonn)

Are you a freelancer or are you looking to pick up some extra cash with a project or two on the side? It’s not easy living as a freelance artist as it forces you to adapt to new subject matters, themes, projects, and styles. One job may want a horror themed board game while the next is a bubbly and cute phone case. Freelancing jobs are always evolving from one to the next and you gotta stay on your toes to keep up with it.

In this tutorial I go over a recent job I was given with CG Cookie on creating a custom coffee bag cover illustration. I have never worked in this type of medium before or have ever done jobs with food packaging. This didn’t deter me from wanting to do the job but I have to go into it with a little more preparation and knowledge. So in this tutorial, I will cover those type of questions you should be asking, and what to prepare for as the artist.

You should also be aware of the amount of edits, re-dos, throwaways, additional work, and time that will have to be invested in a project like this and to be mentally prepared for changes. Never become too attached to your work when doing a freelance project. Let it be as fluid and versatile as possible so that way you end with the best results!

My goal is this:  I want you to recognize the difficulties and frustrations that can come with freelancing and knowing how to avoid them, as well as how to present yourself in person and create a powerful online presence. Persistence and Tenacity are key when on the hunt to land a job in this industry, whether you are an in-house concept artist or a traveling freelancer.

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cedarlili Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
It's very cool to see your process, but now I want to buy this coffee! 
shellz-art Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2017  Professional General Artist
chclaudino Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Dude I work in some areas of print I do graphic projects for books, magazines, newspapers, advertising posters, packages, labels and many outhers things in this area see my galleries… . My problem is, how I do to receive for my job, on many cases I do the work on the dead line but the client evanish. My question is: How to solve it?
aszantu Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Professional General Artist
Hi there,
check out "magic email" good luck out there, good work from what I've seen of you
IrishComicfanatic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Hi Claudino, the thing that works best for me personally, is to ask for confirmation - that they write "I agree to": the project, price and everything (just an email will often do) - before I even start sketching. That way, I have the basis proof for suing them if needed. (It has only been needed once). I have used this method with both translating, copywriting and childrens book illustration jobs :)

When people know that they have committed in writing to a project, by phrasing it a certain way or signing a contract, they are often less prone to running away :)

Kind regards
chclaudino Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you so much Christina for the tip, I whant to start work with comissions but I don´t have certain if is a good idea, becouse peoples of many places of the wolrd whant a comission and wich place have your laws, for it I have a some fear of don't receive.
Have you already done works for other countries, if yes did you has problem to receive?
Sorry for the questions because the global works is a new thing for me, and I'm very curious about it.
IrishComicfanatic Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Hi :) Yeah, I am from Denmark, but have worked for both Danish, Spanish, German and American clients.

In general, the overall rules are the same - an agreement in writing is legally binding in most Western countries. As long as price, time, product, the names of the people involved etc. are included, it is often sufficient. 

If you do a really big project, I'd advise you to work in smaller segment - so for example, you agree on payment milestones along the way - a payment when sketches are done, a payment when lineart is done and final payment when the picture is done + payment for extra revisions. 

Like Cookie writes, it is VERY important to agree on how much the client can ask for revisions after the work is done. (for example, maybe changing a colour or minor detail is included in the price, while bigger things require extra payment). 
(I have had clients, who asked for 15+ revisions - and I didnt make an agreement about it beforehand. it was craaaazy So I learned the hard way xD)

I never had problems regarding working for people in other countries :) I just always makes sure to have ALL the information I need from the client and a written agreement beforehand. To be honest, the only ones I have ever had trouble with, are people from my own country O.O
chclaudino Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Student Traditional Artist
Hi Christina, amazing explanation, is the first time I found a person who divide your know-how about the topic, thank you so much.
Your explanation are very important to me and clarefied my doubts.
In my country (Brazil) is not different about problems with payment, some peoples they ask works, but in time of pay is a big headache.

Again thank you so much for the great support!

IrishComicfanatic Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
You are very welcome :) I wish you all the best with your art career^^

*hugs* from Christina
Drangelu Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for sharing!
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Submitted on
January 10
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