The Best Ways to Find Freelance Art Jobs

artist in her studio

The old adage of “starving artists” rings true in some cases, but earning money with freelance art jobs has never been more plausible thanks to online resources.

Who Hires Freelance Artists?

Artists possess unique skills sought after by businesses that depend on engaging customers—which is just about every company. Here are a few examples:

  • TV Networks: TV networks rely on artists to create the look and feel of their brand, shows, print and web media. Disney’s ABC Television network, for example, hires freelance graphic designers with experience in Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Pro and Cinema 4D.
  • Publishers: Multimedia artists thrive in the publishing world. Designers skilled in document layout, including books, magazine spreads, brochures, posters, and infographics are essential to the process, and you’ll find plenty of media outlets who need your talent.   
  • Websites: It’s no secret that the internet fuels global commerce, and websites are constantly searching for artists to fulfill their creative needs. Make a list of sites you visit and check their careers page for open opportunities. For instance, the home décor site, Apartment Therapy, regularly posts freelance positions, some of which call for an artist.  

Once you've determined your niche and chosen mode of expression, it's time to begin searching for a paying outlet. Begin with these resources to help you find reputable clients for your creative talents.

Arts Thread (Production Art, Graphic Design)

Arts Thread is a network for creatives, providing inspiration, advice, networking events—and jobs. The Creative Jobs board allows you to filter by freelance positions, and employers are required to pay a fee of $295 per job posting, so you’re likely to find legitimate partnerships.

Indeed (Creative Arts)

There’s a reason why Indeed is among the leading job hunting sites. Their database allows you to search for freelance art jobs of every type, including temporary and seasonal work, and many also provide a salary range. For example, a recent posting calling for a summer teaching artist in Washington, D.C. lists the position for $6,000 a month.

Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market: 2018 (Illustration)

If your art is for the younger set, you’ll love "Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market," an annually released reference book that connects illustrators to publishers, literary agents, contests and magazines looking for children and young adult illustrations. The book is available online and in print, and a membership provides additional perks that can lead to paying work.

Freelancer’s Union Spark Community (Creative Arts)

Professional camaraderie and word-of-mouth recommendations are powerful. If you haven’t already, consider joining an artist networking group that focuses on improving your craft and landing new freelance jobs. Freelancer’s Union’s Spark community has local chapters all over the country that meet to discuss how to succeed as a creative pro.

Glassdoor (Creative Arts)

Glassdoor is the quintessential source for job-seekers. Here you’ll find direct insight from employees: everything from company reviews, salaries and interview tips. It’s also the perfect place to find freelance art jobs with well-established companies. Search for your specific niche to find available gigs with company reviews and salary estimates included. A search for “freelance photographer,” for instance, returned more than 200 listings with familiar names like Getty Images and Creative Circle.

Hubstaff Talent (Graphic Design, 3D Modeling, Illustration)

Hubstaff Talent connects small businesses and agencies to artistic freelancers. Join, upload your portfolio, set your desired rate and search for available positions, most of which are remote.

LinkedIn (Creative Arts)

LinkedIn has long been pegged as a simple social networking site, but it’s so much more than that. Their job search function is a great way to connect directly to companies and hiring managers who use the site, and finding freelance art jobs is no exception. For instance, a search for “freelance animator” revealed dozens of opportunities posted by companies and media outlets like The Wall Street Journal. A separate search for “freelance artist” under Content turned up dozens of managers in need of temporary employees, ASAP.

If you haven’t already, join LinkedIn and build your profile and portfolio to take advantage of easy networking.