Top 10 places on the web to find clients for an illustrator


Every product has its client somewhere on the Internet. The question is where to go to find that client.

For us, artists, the hardest part starts even before that journey in search for the client. It’s hard vene to give ourselves permission to aknowledge our Art is good enough to offer it as a product.

If you are at that point of your art journey where you have been creating for years but still don’t feel good enough to start converting your skills into cash, allow yourself a try. Put your offer out there and let the market verify it. The worst thing that can happen is that you will, as Eddison said, find one more way it does not work.

It might be that clients are waiting exactly for that kind of product you have to offer. Allow them to find you and your art.

But where should you go to connect with them?

1. Behance

The first online space which comes to mind when you think of portfolios is Behance. This is number one platform for all kinds of visual artists to share their portfolios and connect with other artists. It only takes several minutes to create your profile and add your work. And it’s free.

As the most popular platform of its kind, Behance is crowded by both clients and artists. Therefore, it won’t make wonders to your clients’ base as a standalone promotioanl challenge. However, it should definitely be one of the places where you have account as a creative. Nowadays, you do not existit as an artist if you aren’t on Behance.

2. Upwork

Upwork is number one online job platform which connects businesses with freelancers of all fields. It is not exclusively for IT. Design and illustration, as well as many other firlds of commercial art, are represented here.

With the World trends of digital nomading and work-from-home, Upwork is continuously growing year by year.

It is free to create your account with portfolio and apply to certain amount of jobs per month. Upword charges commision only when you receive payment for the work you found via platform. You can also upgrade you profile to paid version to get some premium features, if you want.

3. Youtube channel

Youtube is one of the platforms which caused current Illustration Renaissance.

Many of currently trending illustrators were famous youtubers on illustration topic before they were famous illustrators.

Your own channel on illustration is great place to connect with your “tribe” which allows finding clients for your prints, originals and marchandise with illustration.

4. 99designs

99 design is a great place to start for artists unsure of their market value. The platform’s free account allows you to bid for the projects with designs you create specifically for these competitions. The price you can get is fixed upfront. All you need is to deliver your proposal of design/illustration before deadline. Clients then can pick one design out of all the bids.

The platform is controversial in the art community as it assumes designers work and time are worth money only if the outcome fits into the client’s subjective taste.

From the beginner’s perspective, it is a good place to get first practical experience with clients and real projects to fill your portfolio if you don’t have one. You probably won’t want to stay here for longer though.

5. Facebook fanpage

Everybody is on Facebook, including your fellow artists and potential clients. Unlike portals of Behance and Dribble’ kind, Facebook is familiar to all the businesses which might need an illustrator, but have no knowledge of how to get one. You can levarage through world of mouse and your own network of accoinstances here. The posts with your illustrations, once liked or commented by your friends, will be visible to their friends too, which will expand your reach.

6. Dribble

Dribble is another portal similar to Behance and probably its largest competitor. The special thing about it is that Dribble is a kind of a privileged community. You can create your account and follow artists for free, but in order to showcase your own portfolio, you need to get invitation from someone who is already a Driibble’ member, ot buy a premium account for 5 USD per month.

7. Illustration Friday

This is probably the most famous illustration flashmob on the web. Not only is IF a great place to get exposure for illustrators, it also regularly delivers original ideas for your projects and makes you challenge yourself by illustrating topics you would never have thought of yourself.

8. Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the most influential social medias for visual artists. It is handy for aspiring illustrators in several ways. You may create your own boards with your projects to promote your art You also may collect your own visual library of inspiring illustrations and references. Pinterest is a helpful tool on the way to discovering your style and preferences in art.

9. Your own portfolio website

If you decide to be a freelance illustrator, you need your online home. No accounts on facebook, behance or dribble will replace your own website.

Treat it as Rome to which all roads lead. All other accounts and posts, as well as your business cards and merchandise should refer to your own website. Profiles on social networks and art communities exist to generate visitors to your website.

Website is the only place in the web where you have full ownership and control of what and how you do. You are a king, with your imagination being the only limit to what you can make out of it. Personal website lets you add blog or online shop with branded merchandise to your portfolio, embed videos and various payment methods.

You can gather subsribtion lists which you will own and get the most detailes stats which will let you analyse your clients behaviour on the website.

10. Instagram profile

Another visual empire next to Pinterest. Another couse of Illustration Renaissance next to Youtube. As a platform for visuals, instagram is a great tool to target potential clients via followers of accounts with similar styles. It also allows to connect with other great artists, enrich you visual library and get new ideas.

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