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Freelance Work

How to find work

  • Network with people in professional organizations.
  • Advertise your services in the newspaper, magazines, trade journals


Always use a contract for all jobs being performed (both commission and non-commission).  The law can only provide a safeguard to an artist if a contract has been put into place and broken.  Many times parties may have different interpretations of what an agreement really means so put it in writing and have both parties sign to make the deal into a contract.  Even if the duties performed do not include payment have a contract signed to make sure you receive name credit and copyright notice.  Things to include in the contract:

  • Date of the Agreement
  • Contract Deadline
  • Name of all parties involved
  • Description and specifications of the project
  • Amount client will be charged
  • Payment due date

If you sell work to a purchaser use a simple bill to show the price, terms of payment, name and address of purchaser, and note reproduction rights at the bottom to protect you from the unforeseen.

Pricing your Work

Setting a price can be hard work so do your research and look closely at the following factors to help you determine a fair price for your work and creativity:

  • Estimate how much time it may take you to complete the project, include materials, travel time and expense, number of working hours, and any other additional expenses.
  • Research positions to identify how much the hourly rate may be for a full-time hire in the area that the project is being completed in.  Take this rate and times it by the number of hours it may take to complete the project.  (Don’t forget to add an additional 30% to that number to cover the cost of benefits that a full-time hire may receive since you will not be receiving benefits as a contractor).
  • Include any overhead or sales commissions you may be paying to a dealer or outside companies.
  • Research what your competitors are charging.  Talk to faculty, other students and alumni to get their feedback and advice on pricing.  Consider your own experience and professional persona when developing a market value.
  • Avoid overpricing your work.  It is better to start moderate and to build your reputation and clientele – Everyone must pay their dues to gain reputation.
  • Do not allow the client to set the price.

After setting your market value, present it to the client and negotiate to get what you want.