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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Death Of Freelance Illustration

Art by Noah Bradley
Totally right. I can confirm, based on my own experience, that back in 1996, I could easily be paid over 1200$ for a commissioned illustration. The same work in 2016 can't get paid over $300.

And over 20 years, studio prices went up, artist supplies went up, living costs went up... What options are left for the artist who wants to earn a living with freelance work?

The road I took personally is the comic books. As a publisher, I became my own freelance artist. I work on my own stuff that ends up published by my company, and the comics sales in conventions replaced the freelance revenues. Seems to work for me. For now.

Here's an interesting insight from professional artist Noah Bradley.
Watch the Chris Oatley podcast below.

"Why is freelance illustration so painful?
...because we’ve never had much of a choice.
...until now.

A few months ago, epic illustrator Noah Bradley and Chris Oatley teamed up for a live podcast + Q&A called “There Are Easier Ways To Become A Professional Artist” which, fortunately, inspired many artists to question the status quo in the professional fields of freelance illustration and concept art.

In their second rant-filled mash-up, the podcast share their thoughts on the death of freelance illustration (as we knew it), how personal projects and storytelling are essential to any current creative career, health insurance for artists, taxes, spec work and why artists quit their dream jobs.

So if you want to get revved-up, riled-up and ready to rock the world with your visual stories, click below and press play..." 

Read the blog post by Chris Oatley
Chris's podcast page


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I'm at 41:30 and so far it's the best infovid I have seen in years. Fortunately for us Quebequers, our 3 years in cegep (college) in graphic art, cost next to nothing compared to the Americans. ......Moving on to rest of the vid