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So you has drawing talents?
Don't be scared to post work on deviantart and other websites such as or cghub
Post as much art as possible. Draw 10 hours everyday.
Post an artwork daily or once per week minimum if the art is really detailed.
Forget all other jobs if you want to freelance. It takes incredible amounts of time, dedication and a massive portfolio to be a freelancer.
You will need at least 1-2 years for just drawing and posting. Nothing but drawing. I don't care how, but it must be done. Draw and post work.... everyday... for a few years to get your work known!

Stuck in an art block? Don't know what to draw?
Want to get really motivated by your own watchers from DA?
Start a livestream session and have fun drawing whatever silliness your friends ask of you! It's great practice!
Get some energetic music to go with it!

Want to promote your work nicely on DA?
A collaboration is the best kind of feature on deviantart and they're not hard to get unlike daily deviations!
Ask well known deviants if they would like to collaborate with you!
Their features will give you hundreds to thousands of new watchers, depending on how famous a deviant-artist is.
If they feature your painting, it will get 10'000-100'000 views! That's better than any art gallery in the real world!
For example - want to collaborate with me? Send me a note!

Also, submit your work to groups. Groups is a great way to get watchers.

Once you start charging 20 dollars for an artwork you will be in a spiral to client hell, where clients give a pittance and expect a masterpiece and then direct similar ass-hat clients your way that propagate the same horribleness that makes value of your art worth very little, providing nothing but shame.
Instead of wasting time arguing with clients/working for a pittance do collaborations with other artists and expand your portfolio as much as possible!
Don't waste time on "ART PROGRAMS in universities". Very often, they will teach you almost nothing and put you in hideous debts, especially if there are a lot of "liberal studies" involved in the course.
Look into colleges or private lessons instead, of you have money to spend and need motivation.
Instead of wasting $50'000+ dollars on a degree, live with your parents and draw non stop everyday, trying new styles, creating new paintings, collaborating with new artists. Make friends on da- as many friends as possible. Learn techniques from experienced deviants!


Here's an archive page for association of illustrators:

Generally you should charge around $250 to $10'000 dollars per artwork. If you're charging less, you're severely undervaluing yourself and bringing down the art market.
The lower range of $250 should be charged for small, easy commissions like personal portraits, simple interior illustrations.
The higher range should be charged for big companies that plan to do something with the work - print/distribute it worldwide, or want to get full exclusive rights for the work, or want "work for hire" (basically they won't credit you), etc. If a corporation makes money off your drawing skills, charge them well for it! Corporations can afford to pay lots, if you know how much your work is REALLY worth to them.

I state this again- it is better to draw personal paintings or collabs than to work for a pittance for companies!

You can sell personal or collab paintings as prints FOREVER and no client will ever tell you what you can/cannot with your OWN work.
A nice personal painting can make you $10'000 dollars in your lifetime if you sell prints of it successfully online!

Found this tutorial of interest useful or enjoyable?
+fav it to spread the word!

Add a Comment:
MsRandom1401 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
MouHitoriNoBoku Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thank yoiu very much for this~ i hope it'll help me :')
CaliforniaClipper Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the helpful advice. =)
aboveClouds Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2012   Digital Artist
Wow, this is really helpful! Thank you for making it.

Do you have any tips on how I could improve my artwork and maybe sell it in the future? I've tried selling stuff through DA, but I don't think I have the following for it quite yet. :s I also live in an area that doesn't really have enough money to support artists (most of the jobs here are crappy minimum wage jobs at restaurants) so I can't sell anything IRL.

Would it be a good idea to move away from drawing animals and start drawing more humans? My only concern is that my humans are really unpopular, so I might just chase away the followers that I DO have.
fayt-e Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
I know you posted this a while ago, but I'd suggest practicing drawing humans just to have some diversity! Of course, don't neglect to put up your normal stuff because it would simply give you a "break" from practice. But don't be afraid of broadening your horizon. Being an artist is all about learning. Never be afraid to jump outside of your comfort zone. (:
aboveClouds Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2013   Digital Artist
Oh yeah, I'm all about jumping out of my comfort zone. I actually tried combining the two recently (humans and animals) and it worked out pretty well. See? [link]

I just get frustrated sometimes 'cause straight up humans don't go over so well (at least when compared to wolves or dragons). Ah, well.
fayt-e Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013
You can tell that you're doing very well! While they may not be as good as your wolves or dragons (as you say), you can tell that you've made leaps and bounds in terms of progress. Humans and animals are very similar - you just have to look for the differences and similarities in anatomical structure. (:
Sounds weird, I guess.. but there are definitely similarities!
imFragrance Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2012   General Artist
Forget all other jobs if you want to freelance. It takes incredible amounts of time, dedication and a massive portfolio to be a freelancer. ......

i will continue to be hopeful ... i will have a 9-6 job and i do not quit following my dreams and drawing..
mumakote Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2012
Thank you very much for advice! :iconiloveyouplz:
Rosemariea Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012
wolfwoot Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2012  Student Interface Designer
This is extremely useful information to hear alexiuss, thank you for telling us about this
Ranshiinsitha Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2012  Student Digital Artist
This is excellent and i agree on the pricing part except that NO ONE buys my art and the max i ask for a full picture with all the details is 35 dollars.
It was cheaper and no one was buying so i felt i was neglecting myself and made the prices higher.
Im not as good to charge 250 dollars for a painting but i need to eat yeah, bu i cant live of this yet.
Im trying to sort things up irl because i really wanna do this, but im unknown at the moment, and sometimes i think that's not gonna change ever xD
GSnail Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nobody will pay that much for artwork. That's like, I'll design all the characters for your comic series type of money. That's like, sold 100 copies of a portfolio type of money.
laracoa Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Student General Artist
If nobody does not pay that much, nobody should not get any artwork from anyone. Behind art is hard work, and it should be payed like this!
GSnail Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure it's hard work, but it is also important to take into consideration the value. A single piece, whether it's by van gogh or a 13 year old on DA, provides only viewing pleasure, which depreciates over time. I cant see paying more than $100 for a single piece.
And I would like to sell art one day, on the side, but I couldn't bring myself to rip people off just because some highway robbers are upset about having to compete in the market.
Turtrox Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Can we do a collab?
loralye Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
Thank you sexy radioactive Jesus.
JuliaBullet Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2012
thank u for cool tutorial)
mesononso Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2012
Fantastic tutorial! :D

Growing up my parents discouraged me from painting because they said that the path of an artist will only lead to poverty but this tutorial really encourages me to follow my dreams and fulfill my goals to become a freelance artist!

"It is better to draw personal paintings/collabs than to work for a pittance for companies" - that sounds perfect! However, would you agree that if a freelance artist does not take up some commission works from companies that they will fail financially at some point? If I ever do become a freelance artist one of the things I dread is having to waste days painting sports cars for clients... I find my most passionate moments are when I'm painting all of my personal ideas so it would be ideal to be able to live off my own prints rather than enduring a client's demand. :( Is it possible to do that?

Thanks for taking the time to encourage us aspiring artists! :)
Neoconvoy Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Student General Artist
TheComicGenius Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Student General Artist
This is very helpful. I'm only 15 but I am already trying to plan for what I want to do with my future. I'm hoping to take online college classes and get a degree in video editing or in marketing, and then trying to find a job as a concept artist. I would love to be able to get a job developing ideas/stories/characters for comics/movie/games. And then on the side sell commissions.
mariusbudu Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
YES! Teach the childerns!!! LEARN CHILDRENS! LEARN!!!

Seriously though... the man speaks the truth.
mariusbudu Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
ESPECIALLY the part about underselling your work! You're not just hurting yourself and future career prospects, but you're hurting the entire industry and lowering the value of our collective work.
animething7 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
so you really charge 250- 10,000? O.O teach me your ways yoda!! D:
mariusbudu Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2012  Professional Photographer
I make a very good living from my creativity and yes, I have had projects that paid much more than that. The main thing is perseverance and hard work. No artist gets to the top without being hungry for it and passionately doing what they do. Work hard, constantly network and get people excited about your work and even though once in a while you will have to sacrifice payment for publicity or connections, don't undervalue your work.

Of course it is extremely important to bring your work to a level where it is commercially feasible since the art market is incredibly competitive at the professional level.
insane-albatross Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2012  Student General Artist
Useful advice presented in a thoroughly humorous format. Awesome.
MisterTurtle Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2012
Could I go cheaper for DA stuff? I mean, someone pays me to draw a character, I know I'd feel pretty miffed if I was shelling out hundreds for it.
alexiuss Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012
personal painting has different rates than a commission by a company that plans to re-sell the work
MisterTurtle Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2012
I see.
desi-re Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012
yes yes YES
ShiRaMK Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You sure need a lot of confidence to work for someone. I cannot take comissions. They usually ask something that I cannot make. When I see a drawing of one or two months old I feel shame. And that's how I deleted my first DA account, but then I lost a lot of artists I like to follow and created this one. Only as an espectator.
Tinavy Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012
This is so helpful and informative! It's so so nice when professional artists take the time to teach us youngins a thing or two about the field. I'm so glad you mentioned that "art programs in uni" are a waste of time/money; I was in a 'fine arts' program for 8months and I just felt restricted and bored, not to mention I wasted $10000. I started paying $10 for life drawing sessions and not only was my art improving I was also having a ball!

By interest when you said "forget all other jobs if you want to be a freelancer" are you referring to when you are a freelancer or developing a portfolio to be one? I use to work full-time as an aide in a hospital and I probably had 3 hrs of free time after work to draw, needless to say I was too wiped out to hone my skills. How did you find the time to hone your skills before you became a freelance artist?

Thanks again for this! It gets me fired up already! :D
evenstar785 Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012
Just about every worthwhile thing I learned at my fancy art college could have been learned for free on the internet. About all you get (as an artist) from college is the branding and social standing that a degree gives you, and some potentially helpful networking connections. Thanks for this post.
I-Am-DeVan Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
"Generally you should charge around $250 to $10'000 dollars per artwork. If you're charging less, you're severely undervaluing yourself and bringing down the art market."
:o This is DA. Not Professionals R us.
Art Market
Nika-N Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012   General Artist
Faving for future reference! I mostly abandoned the idea of becoming an illustrator, but this is really helpful and motivating non the less.
Cosmic-Octopus Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you. My boyfriend showed me this, and it's really inspiring.

Artists don't have to sell out and draw sparkly animu to be well known and respected.
Mr-Joseph-No-One Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
Thanks for the up, but not all famous artists are as nice as you and wiling to do collabs with the pariah artists like us. And sometimes it's realy hard to break the wall that separates the people and convince them that you can get better with their help. One artist can spend a lifetime just trying and won't make any friend here, because of that.

Anyway, keep up the awesome work with your comic!
Lythya Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
Do you think this also goes for writing?
SarahSoak Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Does someone want to make a collab? :)
Seven-of-Jacks Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Don't forget to punch a guy. That's EXTREMELY important.
Omanoct Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
This sir is brilliant. Very informative and eye-opening. Well done
ridla86 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Professional General Artist
WOW thanks really put me to shame lol but really appreciate it.
TheGhost2 Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Student General Artist
Wow. I've literally never heard anyone tell me NOT to go to college before.
Tohfu-Chan Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
Thank you so much for this. Before I was like 'NOOOOOO, people only wanna see digital art so I aint gonna post shuff' But really, I am now motivated to post ervything. From my doodles to my actual pieces.
Sofia-san Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really don`t think that digital art is the only art people is interested of!
If it was so , why would this art be so popular?:)[link] [link]
Tohfu-Chan Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
Then let me retract my previous statement.

Thanks :) Traditional art can be amazing
Sofia-san Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ofcourse it is!, i love it:heart:
NoriMori Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
The "draw and post every day" part is basically what my plan is for eventually creating art that I actually like, once I have the time to actually draw anything. XD This is cool and funny! Thanks!
Superfreexa Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012
TigerSlinx Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I think I'll just read this anytime I need motivation.
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