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Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer: Revised Edition [Kindle Edition]

Michael Fleishman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Technology has sent shockwaves of change through the world of commercial art. Digital illustration and design, online portfolio sites, and the proliferation of stock art have radically changed the way that illustrators and graphic designers work. What has not changed, however, is the wealth of illustrators and graphic designers hoping to turn their talent into freelance success. More than ever, artists face questions such as how to get started, how to sell their work, how to promote themselves, and what to do once they are working. For those embarking on freelance careers in illustration or graphic design, the answers have arrived. A twenty-five year veteran in the field, Michael Fleishman, has detailed every business aspect of commercial art in Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer.

Editorial Reviews


“A great deal of information obtained only by the ‘live and learn’ method is packed into the book’s chapters.” -- The Artist’s Magazine

“Quick and easy to read, full of examples of humorous illustrations.” -- How Magazine

From the Publisher

Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer shows readers how to find jobs and analyze what markets are right for them. Entire chapters are devoted to explaining the nuances of selling one's work to magazines, newspapers, ad agencies, book publishers, greeting card companies, small businesses, Web sites, and more. Freelance illustrators and graphic designers will find the author's Ten Commandments of Freelancing as well professional viewpoints from dozens of industry veterans.

This indispensable guide also details: •preparing a portfolio •making initial contacts •developing a financial plan •acquiring supplies and equipment •pricing one's work •marketing and self-promotion •Internet tools for illustrators and graphic designers

Product Details

  • File Size: 2824 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Allworth Press; 1 edition (January 13, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006Z8RODM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,410 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I really liked this book a lot. It was a very good first-hand book written by a small business owner about his experiences starting, managing, and prospering as a freelance illustrator and/or graphic designer. His writing style was not exactly stellar. But it certainly was clear. The 20 chapters included in the book fell into the following 4 topics:


>>Where Do You Start?

>>Off on the Right Foot

>>Creating a Plan for Your Business

>>Developing Your Financial Plans

>>Forms, Charts & Templates

>>Pricing Your Work and Getting Paid


>>Why Should You Freelance?

>>Setting Up Shop

>>Managing Your New Studio


>>Bring in Clients

>>How to Get Noticed

>>What Goes in the Portfolio

>>Marketing on the Web


>>The Magazine Market

>>Selling to the Newspapers

>>Working with Advertising Agencies

>>Selling to Book Publishers

>>The Greeting Card Market

>>Working with Art and Design Studios

>>Selling to Small Business

Since I am not an illustrator or a graphic designer I did not have much use for the fourth topic. But it was interesting to read about. I regularly counsel wanta-be entrepreneurs about how to start a small business; I'm a volunteer SCORE counselor. And the material covered in the first three topics above are exactly what I talk about with my SCORE clients. I highly recommend this book to anybody wanting to start their own small consulting practice. It does a wonderful job discussing the topics.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inspiration November 28, 2003
If you get overwhelmed by the image you may have of what the life of a freelance illustrator is like, read this book. It is encouraging, while also being very practical. It tells you that you can start a career as a freelancer, but with a few practical IFs attached. Follow his advice and answer his questions honestly. Then ,if practical, take a deep breath, jump in and have a blast at FINALLY doing something with your life that you LOVE.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars filling a vacuum very well February 4, 2004
By itsjoev
This book is really a must-read for anyone at any age thinking about pursuing illustration as a living. It's a very competitive field, and you'll need more than a cute apartment and winning smile to make it. If you read it and decide not to become an illustrator, it's the best $15 you ever spent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just great! March 9, 2006
Well, if you're looking for a book which explains with simple words the world of freelance illustrators, with tricks and tips, examples, wisdom and a bit of jokes, you've found it!

And it's fine also for other similar careers.

I definitely can suggest it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book On Freelancing I've Ever Read June 27, 2007
This is simply one of the best books for starting a freelance art career that I've ever read. This book gives you very practical information about almost every detail of freelance illustration and graphic design. You'll find information on creating business and financial plans, setting up and managing a studio, billing procedures, creating a portfolio and marketing yourself to potential clients. I find a lot of books of this nature don't talk about the raw mechanics of business so much as they offer token inspiration and motivation. If you're interested in a book that will actually give you useful information about the business side of freelancing this is the one to buy.

The only areas where it seemed to be a little on the thin side were dealing with taxes and the legal issues concerned with working for youself. Other than that it was wonderful.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!! March 8, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For someone planning to start their own business this will give you insight to all the little and big details to that you should prepare yourself for before diving in head first.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My interests are much more in illustration rather than graphic design, so I frequently had to scan past a lot of the material that a graphic designer could use. There is a lot of great information here on the real nuts and bolts of running a home business - especially an artistic one - but I think anyone who wants to run thier own business could use a lot of the information and tools in this book to manage their time, money, and goals in an effective way. I have benefitted greatly from the use of this book and would happily recommend it to others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book November 10, 2006
By anneh
At first, I had heard that this author talks "down" to the illustrator when he is explaining things, but this book I actually found very helpful, true to life and there weren't any sugar coatings. I enjoyed how he wrote and he put things into perspective, he didn't talk down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Well written, organized and clear. A great resource to starting a freelance career in art.
I am very happy with this purchase.
Published 10 months ago by Michael Z
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but old
This book gives great advices to start your work as freelancer. However, It is old little bit, so there is no information about how to market yourself in social media network.
Published 11 months ago by Brainstorm
2.0 out of 5 stars it was a bit deterrant
at one point i wanted to become a freelance artist,but after reading parts of this book, i wonder if the author is either
writing any thing to make some side money , or is... Read more
Published 18 months ago by phil
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I'm a recent graphic design graduate and this book really helped me with my first part-time job. It gave me a great check list and way to record my time. Read more
Published on July 20, 2012 by aboeck07
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Service
The seller was very responsible and courteous. I was notified that my book would be delayed because of the volcanic eruption (something that didn't cross my mind and I'll probably... Read more
Published on May 16, 2010 by thisisalyssalee
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best book I've read, but there is some useful information
Some useful information but a bit dated today. I expect an author about graphic design and illustration to have a better looking website and book cover, but hey that's just me. Read more
Published on November 13, 2009 by Design Dude
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Reference, specific chapters applicable
I bought the book primarily for chapter 12, "What Goes in a Portfolio", because I am preparing to graduate. It is helpful and would benefit any graphic designer's library.
Published on October 23, 2008 by K. Lane
4.0 out of 5 stars essential
so you want to go freelance... you really, REALLY want to go freelance? Tired of working for a boss? Want your own hours? Sleep late? Get this book, read it and then decide. Read more
Published on August 14, 2007 by Jeff White
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book!
I love this book! It's great for those just starting up and has covered each aspect of becoming a freelancer. Read more
Published on May 27, 2007 by N. LaBranche
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