Finding Work Under 18

  • Hello! 🙂

    Alright, so I've looked around at a few freelance sites and most of them explicitly state that one must be over 18 to use their services and find work.

    I'm under 18, and I'm looking to get started on possibly getting some work in. I took a sequential art class at my local college over the summer and my teacher really urged me to find some jobs. I'm just not sure how to go about doing this right.

    Things worth noting:

    • I've been doing commissions through tumblr for the past few years, I'm pretty good at working with people.

    • I don't mind low pay, I understand that's something that comes with being inexperienced.

    • I study from home, so I have a lot of time to work on art. I can work more and finish jobs faster than someone going to school/working a full time job.

    A few questions:
    Can I apply to jobs on the freelance sites saying I'm over 18 and get away with it? (Or should I even do that?)
    If I want to do freelance, what kind of jobs would you recommend for a beginner?
    And any advice/tips in general on this entire thing.

    I did make a portfolio here, if that helps any!

    Any advice on this is greatly appreciated!! I'm relatively new to the possibility of working freelance, and I apologize for being clueless. Thank you for your patience!

  • Hello. I don't know how much help I'll be but here are a few thoughts. I would advise against saying you are over 18 in order to get work. I think you always want to present yourself honestly - shows good business integrity. If someone else disagrees with that they may. Second, if your teacher recommended you go out and get work, maybe contact that teacher and ask them for suggestions. Unfortunately I have no advice on were to get work when you aren't 18, hopefully someone else can help with that. Good luck!

  • Pro SVS OG

    Hi! First of all congratulations on your art! It is extremely good for your age, and on a start like this you have a brilliant career ahead of you!
    I have hired a 17-year old of my team (we do design, illustration and all sorts of video stuff) as a student intern for six months. He was awesome and we both gained a lot from the collaboration. This is a possibility to look for if there is something in your area and you can physically be in a studio. Many studios hire students for some period of time, and have arrangements for that. While you may end up cooking coffee, you may be lucky and have a chance to do some kind of creative work. Look for studios doing video production, animation and games - there is always some need for illustration work of one type or other - it may not be what you love, but it an be very interesting nonetheless.
    The said 17-year-old was also a comic artist and was working on a crowd-funded comic as colorist. This is something you could look into - there is a big freelance market for flatters and colorists as these jobs are typically outsourced and do not require a lot of experience. There is a site specifically for that: It is a forum-based structure and you hire the artist directly (not like Upwork and co), so there is no age restriction as far as I know.
    Also, I would suggest you read "Unnatural Talent" by Jason Brubaker. It is a very insightful book about publishing web-comics. Your comic work is so good that you may well be in the position to publish your own thing and gain money that way.
    Hope this helps!

  • @smceccarelli

    Thank you so much!! I'll definitely read the book, and I'd never heard of gutterzomibe before- it looks like a great starting place. Thank you again for your help, this is exactly the kind of thing I was looking to find!

  • @Rebecca-Hirsch

    Thank you!

  • SVS OG

    @Madeline-Ireland Hi there - I do not have any suggestions on where you can find work. I just wanted to tell you that the work you shared on Behance is great and like @smceccarelli has already said, you are certainly going to have a brilliant career if this is the kind of work you are already creating at 17!

  • @Rich-Green Thank you, I appreciate your encouragement!! 🙂

  • See, I knew there'd be people who knew more then me. 🙂 Great advice everyone!

  • Great start to a portfolio! One of the best things you can do to get work is be consistent and purposeful in your social media. You have a sphere of influence and when those people know people looking for an artist, they'll mention whomever is at the top of their mind. If you've been posting consistently good work. Also, don't discount personal contact. Talk to local businesses hiring illustrators and your chamber of commerce. Also, are there products you could sell now? Stickers and ashcan comics are inexpensive to produce and many farmer's markets are fairly inexpensive and full of people looking to support local growers and artisans.

    You can do it! Your work is great.

  • @Madeline-Ireland I pretty positive that you can get contract work by having a parent/guardian sign for you. It probably isn't "common" but it isn't rare either.

    Just the other day I heard a podcast where the host talked about getting a syndicated writing gig when he was like 16-17. The employer had contacted him because they liked his work and they were surprised when they found out how young he was but that just meant his parents had to sign the contract.

  • @corykerr

    Thank you for the help and suggestions! I appreciate it! 🙂

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