Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Everything old is new again

Many years ago when I stopped doing hand drawn comps and switched to the computer, I said good bye to pen, pencil, markers and drawing paper.

But I recently thought... there still must be a market for some hand drawn art.. like for story boards.

Now let's think about this for a moment... if there's still a small market for hand drawn art, and if you can grab a piece of that market, you can make more money!

That's what being a successful freelance artist is all about... opening up different areas to make money. If all I did was design logos, I wouldn't be doing as well as I am by doing all manner of print and web including Flash animations and banners.

Now, I will be the first to admit that after over 10 years of not drawing by hand, I've gotten a bit rusty... so every night now, I pick up my pencil and I start drawing. It might take me a year to get up to the level of art that my prospective clients will want... but it's worth the time.

I've done work for Coca-Cola, RC Cola and Pepsi Cola... and what I've learned is that some areas of the soft drink market are small niche markets... but if you can capture a big percentage of the small market... you can make a lot of money. 

It's the same thing about drawing by hand... it's a small market, but if I can grab a big percentage of the tiny market, I can earn more money.

Look at calligraphers, when the computer came along, their business died. But for some clients, the computer wouldn't do... they want real hand lettering. The market for their business shrunk, but the top calligraphers are still making money because there's still a demand for their services on the high end. And because they are so good, that there aren't that many professionals around and because they are in demand, they can charge more! 

Bottom line: Be flexible... offer a wide range of services (as long as you can do them at a top level) and you too can be a successful freelancer.

No comments: