Those freelance job sites for illustrator - yeh or neh?

  • SVS OG

    Someone (non-artist) recommended I look into UpWork or Freelancer as a way to dip toe into water as a new illustrator - wondered what you folks thought? Anyone here ever used these sites? Or are they scammy?

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @missmushy I never used them for work, but from what I know they want your work for next to nothing. If you find success with it, please let me know.

  • @missmushy My personal feeling is to stay away. I did a couple of jobs a few years back before I knew better. These companies charge very little and the artist makes very little; they promote this as away for you to gain professional experience (aka almost work for exposure). I have no issue with low paying jobs or working for free if it is a legit good cause but not for a site that devalues the efforts of the artist. As well there are often many fake artists that use other artist's work are their own for there portfolio page. Will Terry often has his art passed off by others on these sites.

  • I have an upwork account since November of 2017. I haven't had a very good experience. Lately when I check for jobs there are rarely any for illustration. And of you do find one, it won't be for a fair price most likely. And it is competitive, you apply for a job but so do 15 other people who will do it for less money.
    Ideally you would a profile and wait for a client to contact you but that has never happened.

    And because I hadn't gotten a job in a few months, upwork hid my account from the search results and I would have to pay to get it seen again. And anothet point about the search results is that I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out their algorithm for search results, but to me it makes no sense. And I was always on like the 7th page which of course no one would see anyway.

    But yeah that was just my experience.

  • Pro SVS OG

    I use Upwork to hire people - and I would never go there to offer work. Upwork is dominated by freelancers who live in countries where 10 dollars a day is enough to live well. I only hire on Upwork if my budget is too small for a local provider - and so does everyone else, I’m afraid.

  • Ι'll have to agree with you all. I used Upwork a few times in the past and my experience is nothing but good. I took 1-2 jobs, nothing special but after that as I was looking for job, the prices where too small! Especially, for artists.

    But my struggle is... where can you find freelance job as an artist?

  • I say neh, I did a job on Freelancer once for the same reason, to "dip my toe in". Basically the person was looking for an illustration for a T-shirt it was pretty simple. Essentially it was an open competition and if they picked your art you would get paid. Most submissions were manipulated stock images, original illustrations that were submitted were then taken by others and manipulated and resubmitted for the same job. A manipulated stock image was eventually chosen. Other illustration jobs on the site were very cheap. You'd be better off spending time doing your own personal project.

  • SVS OG

    @christinakal have you tried the postcard route. Send a load out and see what happens.

  • @Jason-Bowen No, actually I haven't, because to do that I really need to have a solid portfolio to sent. This is my main focus right now. Studying here at SVS and build my portfolio. But, after that I think this is a good way to go!

    Most likely you send samples of your work to potential clients/ agencies?

  • SVS OG

    Thanks everyone for responding - I had a feeling that was the type of stuff it was -little pay or very bad experience. Good to know

  • SVS OG

    @christinakal yes that's right. I'm not sure if there is any resources, classes on here to show how to set up a good postcard to promote your business? @Lee-White @Will-Terry @Jake-Parker

  • @Jason-Bowen No, I haven't seen any, but the guys here on the forum are very very helpful when I need any help! 🙂

  • @jason-bowen one of the classes does talk about it and mailing lists I think it is the portfolio class or it may be a third Thursday video

  • I checked those website out but didn't accept any jobs as the pay was way too low. I think I once saw someone wanting to pay $100 for a 32 page children's book....

  • SVS OG

    I once had a fiverr and upwork account. Upwork shut down my account because i wasn’t getting any work because all of the job offers i was getting were very low budget and unrealistic so i declined them all. while fiverr’s rates of $5 per gig was just laughable. My simple illustration gigs take about a day to finish. How can i live off of 5 dollars per day? Sadly, i would not recommend it.

  • I joined Upwork (as Elance before) and Fiverr. I done 2 jobs from Upwork some years ago but after that I never take any jobs from there anymore. From my experience, most of the jobs there are low budget. Even for me who lived in Indonesia, is not possible to make living of it. But I think if you have a stable day job and illustrating only a side job (like I used to do), those websites are worth to try as a starting point. What you need to pay attention is some clients are scammer (my sister got some), see their reputation before taking any job.

  • Moderator

    @jason-bowen @christinakal I've been reading through the following link about illustrators and their postcards. Its very informative and it gives a lot of different perspectives from illustrators.
    Sub It Club Postcard Post

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