Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick & Easy Guide
4.5 (35 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,704 students enrolled

Freelance Success For Artists: A Quick & Easy Guide

Learn the most essential freelancing tips you need to know in just 1 hour.
4.5 (35 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,704 students enrolled
Created by Kristen Palana
Last updated 5/2020
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $58.99 Original price: $84.99 Discount: 31% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 7 articles
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Discover and develop the most useful personality traits shared by the most successful freelance artists and designers.
  • Unlock the mystery of communicating and understanding the client so your work is loved and raved about, gaining you even more clients down the road.
  • Respect and protect yourself as a freelancer. Protect your time, money, reputation, and sanity with best business practices and never be taken advantage of again.
  • Know once and for all what to charge and how to carry out a successful gig from beginning, middle, to end so both you and the client are happy.
  • Get tips for starting out and finding your first (repeat) clients.
  • Please come with an open mind and your own talent and ambition to succeed.

Are you a designer, filmmaker, illustrator, or multimedia artist looking for simple yet effective ways to earn money and build your reputation doing what you love?

"Very nice thoughtful course especially for anyone considering freelancing. Kristen covers many aspects of doing business online relevant to current practices. She talks from experiences about her successes and what she learned from her mistakes. If you’re thinking about freelancing many of Kristen’s suggestions are vital to protecting yourself from bad or downright awful experiences."
-Jerry Montgomery


I'll show you tried and true best practices for finding and keeping happy, repeat clients, and how you can best build your portfolio, reputation, experience, and income the quick and easy way.

This course will help you create a successful and sustainable freelance business built on a simple but powerful mantra, "Respect Yourself. Respect Your Client." STOP being exploited and start earning money doing what you love. Build your confidence and be on the right path as a freelancer in just ONE hour. 

By the end of this course you'll confidently be able to:

  • Know and develop the characteristics and personality traits that all successful freelancers share.
  • Hone in on exactly which services you should offer and which you should NOT.
  • Set your prices and know once and for all what to charge.
  • Protect yourself by using easy-to-manage yet professional contracts and invoices.
  • Protect your business by painlessly planning for the tax man.
  • Become a client-whisperer who listens to and communicates well to deliver the projects clients want, need, and love.
  • Know the most effective ways to find new clients and turn them into happy repeat customers.

I'm a practicing award-winning multimedia artist and a former tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome (2006-2016). I'm currently an Associate Professor of Digital Media at American University of Myanmar in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma). 

Since 2000 I've been teaching students all over the world using my tried and true custom approach (turning complex information into something simple, memorable, easy-to-understand in as short amount of time as possible) to ensure that you get the most important, relevant, and useful information that can be applied immediately.

New bonus lectures and resources will continue to be added and timely advice will be provided in the discussion forum. I love to help and always respond to inquiries and discussions ASAP.

Please Note: All students who enroll in this course also will receive periodic free and discounted access to my other top-rated current and upcoming courses.

You have a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee with no questions asked so you have nothing to lose. I make myself available so you will have access to me if you have questions or need specific feedback along the way.

Empower yourself now by enrolling in this freelance masterclass for artists, filmmakers, animators, and designers and join our growing learning community!

Click the "Take This Course" button in the upper right corner and let's get started building your powerful new freelancing skills today.

Who this course is for:
  • This course is best suited for complete beginners, students wanting to break into freelancing, and novices.
  • Experienced freelancers looking for better and more efficient ways of dealing with clients and completing successful projects will also find value in this course.
  • This is NOT a course that focuses solely on getting the most clients by any means possible. This is a course about having a successful and sustainable freelancing business that builds (together with your own talents and time) your reputation, income, and business confidence.
Course content
Expand all 29 lectures 02:40:51
+ Introduction
3 lectures 05:09

Welcome to the course. I'll give you a rundown on what we'll cover, who it's for, and how I can best help you get up and running ASAP as a freelance artist. I've distilled years of freelancing experience and my best advice into this short course so you get the most relevant information that you can put into practice immediately. Ready to get started? Let's go!

Preview 01:36

In this lesson I'll talk about why I love freelancing and how I have made freelancing a big part of my work life. I've found the right balance after many years of personal experience as well as advising students and my goal is to help you do the same. 

Preview 02:02

In this lecture we'll go over what you REALLY need to be a successful freelance artist or designer to both make your clients happy while not losing your soul, dignity, or temper in the process.

Activity: Do You Have the Right Personality to Survive & Thrive as a Freelancer?
+ Preparations (Respecting Yourself)
4 lectures 15:32

The world is your oyster so which services should you offer? In my humble opinion it should not necessarily be everything you CAN do, but rather only the things you most ENJOY doing. Here are my thoughts about choosing which services to offer and how those choices may change over time.

Preview 03:49

This is the question I am asked most often by my university and online students. Here I will show you how to come up with your own formula for what to charge your clients based on six important key factors to consider. Cha-ching! 

How Much Should I Charge?

A lot of artists, especially students and beginners are asked to do work for free. Here I'll give you my best advice for when you might consider doing something for free and when to run the other way screaming.

Should I Ever Work for Free?

There are many reasons why you may decide to take a job. As long as your reasons are in harmony with "Respect the Client. Respect Yourself," you will be in good shape. This checklist will help you decide which jobs to take and which to run away screaming from.

Activity: Should I Take This Job? A Checklist
+ Where to Find Your First Clients
3 lectures 10:11

This lesson will help you get up and running fast by learning how to best find and attract your first clients. We'll talk about getting your name out there, setting up an online portfolio, and how to get the ball rolling by finding your first clients.

Getting Your First Clients -The Best Ways to Spread the Word

This is a short list of websites you can check out where you can find new clients as a freelance artist or designer. If you have others you'd like to share here, please let me know in a new discussion or message. Thanks for helping me build this resource.

Resources: Places to Start When Looking For Your First (Repeat) Clients

Fiverr is a popular website that many people use to find freelance work. Here I'll show you the best way to use Fiverr and sites like it so you don't waste your time working for peanuts. Learn how to use Fiverr and sites like it to YOUR advantage.

Preview 04:43
+ Ready, Set, Go! (Protecting Yourself)
5 lectures 17:26

Contracts are for boring stiffs right? Wrong! Contracts are for anyone who values their time, talents, money, and sanity. Here I'll show you a free and easy way to set up a legal document that will help both you and your client be on the same page regarding your upcoming project.

Got a Client? Great. Now Get a Contract ASAP! (Resources)

Some artists insist on being paid upfront. This can work great when you are established and already have a solid reputation and client pool. For absolute beginners you will often have to do the work first and get paid later. Here I'll explain my favorite compromise: getting paid half upfront.

Get Paid Upfront or After the Job is Done? My Solution and Suggestions

These tools can help simplify your life by being the platform where you manage both your contracts and payments with many options you can customize based on your specific needs.

Two Places to Create Contracts, Invoices, Proposals, Time Tracking and More

Taxes are boring. Taxes are no fun. OK. Maybe. But they are something we freelancers need to think about and prepare for. Here I'll give you my best tips for painlessly preparing for the tax man or woman and how you can actually come out on top.

Use This Simple Trick to Painlessly Prepare For Taxes as a Freelancer

This lesson will show you an easy invoicing system (free trial and paid versions available), how to set it up, and how easy it is to use and keep track of your clients, projects, and payments. Look and BE professional by properly sending invoices to clients and keeping reliable records.

Easy Invoices You Can Start Using Today (Resources)
+ The Client Whisperer (Respecting the Client While Still Respecting Yourself)
5 lectures 20:07

This lesson will give you tips and tricks for communicating perfectly with your client so you can get a good start on your gig and ensure you and the client are both on the same page.

How To Get Inside Your Client’s Head So That You Start Off Well.

Here is my top list of questions you can use with your own clients to ensure you are communicating effectively.

Sample Questionnaire For the Client You Can Use (Resource)

In this lesson I'll show you an easy but often underused trick for making better work and happier clients.

Use This Trick to Make Better Work and Get Happier Clients

One tactic I use successfully with clients is showing them a preview of what I'm making for them. This then allows me to get a sense of whether or not I am on track to make all their design wishes and dreams come true. This can be a bit risky however when you have a client who wants to micromanage your every move or who changes their mind and asks for something entirely different than what you first agreed upon. Luckily you followed my advice about getting a contract right? So use work in progress to make better work and happier clients. I'll show you my best tips in this lesson.

The Joys and Sorrows of Presenting Work in Progress.

In this case study lesson I'll show you a final version of a project, how it changed from previous versions, and what else I did to ensure the client would be happy with the final result.

Presenting the "Final" Work, Making Final Tweaks, and Finding the Right Balance
+ That's a Wrap (Getting Paid and Enjoying the Fruit of Your Labor)
2 lectures 06:29

Here's a rundown on how to best wrap things up with your client, deliver the final work, and make sure everyone is happy so you get paid ASAP.

Finish Up Your Project With a Positive Bang. Tips and Tricks.

This lesson will show you two more important things you should do after finishing up a project that will help you attract even more future clients.

Don't Forget to Do This For Attracting Even More Clients
+ Extra: More Ways to Find New Clients and Promote Your Work Online
2 lectures 13:19

In this lesson I'll show you a popular website where you can upload your artwork to help find art-lovers and interested buyers as well as potential new clients, followers, and fans who may also want to hire you to make custom work. Use these kinds of gallery websites to drive traffic to your website and social media pages as well as to earn extra passive income on existing artwork. Win-win!

Check out the resources for a great blog article on which sites to use and where to find them.

Start Your Own Online Art Store to Drive Traffic to Your Website & Find Clients

Here we will talk about ways to link your online store with your website and social media pages and how this helps generate traffic and create the best conditions for fans, followers, and future clients to best find discover you and your work.

How to Best Link Your Online Store to Your Website and Social Media Pages
+ Conclusion and Goodies
5 lectures 01:12:35

Here are some of my top free tools you can use to help you get started making professional-looking graphics, illustrations, animations, websites and more for yourself or for clients. It's easier than you think. Be up and running in under 10 minutes. [This lecture comes from my full course, Skyrocket Your Creativity: 7 Easy Ways.]

Extra: 5 Easy & Free Tools That Will Have You Freelancing In No Time

Here is my big list from my website of 75+ Resources to Get FREE Images, Music, and Videos For Your Projects.

The images, music, and videos on this list are from the Public Domain or have Creative Commons licenses. Make sure to double check the terms on each site and for each image to ensure you are using them correctly. In some cases you may need to provide attribution (credit) to the creator (for many Creative Commons licenses), though for Public Domain works, no attribution is needed.

Happy Designing!

75+ Places to Find FREE Images, Music, and Videos For Your Project

This is a recording of a LIVE 1 hour interview about freelancing for artists and creatives I did on September 12, 2017 with Essitino Artists.

In today’s Creative Success Story, we are talking to Kristen Palana, a
practicing award winning multimedia artist, world educator and author.

Treat this like your freelancing 101 for artists class - if you’re
interested in earning money and building your reputation doing what you
love, this live interview with Kristen will help you have a better
understanding of what it takes to start and work as a freelance artist
or creative.

Some of the things covered in this video: what do you need to start
freelancing, how to find freelance clients, build an effective
portfolio, how to price your services, what are some things to avoid,
how do you create a repeat client list, produce income and build your
reputation as a freelance creative, etc.

Since 2000 Kristen has taught university students in North America,
Europe, Africa, and Asia. She is currently teaching at American
University of Myanmar and is a former Associate Professor of Digital
Media (2006-2016) at The American University of Rome where she
co-founded and directed its Film & Digital Media Program.

Since 2014 Kristen also teaches over 35K online students in over 165
countries. Her artwork is exhibited internationally and has received a
number of awards. In her courses and books, Kristen aims to empower
ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Extra: Freelancing 101 For Artists LIVE Interview

Thanks so much for taking this course. Please let me know if I can help you with anything or answer any questions. Please also consider leaving a rating or review. Your feedback helps others know if this might be a good course for them. 

Thank You For Taking This Course! Please Review and Stay In Touch.

In this lesson you can find more of my courses (free samples and discounts) as well as my books on Amazon, and how to stay in touch via social media.

Bonus Lecture: Free and Discounted Courses, Books, and More