If you would have told me 10 years ago that I’d be making a living as a full time freelance artist, I wouldn’t have believed you! But when the economy tanked and I was laid off from part time jobs that were not high paying nor fulfilling my dreams of being an artist (what I went to college for and have aspired to doing as a career since 7th grade!), I realized it was time to go for it! And now, with so many free and inexpensive options to find freelance work online, it’s easier than ever to be your own boss and either make a full time career out of being a freelancer or earn extra income aside from your “regular job”. Artists and designers make for perfect freelancing opportunities as we can work with clients from around the world without leaving home as long as we have good internet and cell phone plans, photo editing programs, scanners, cameras and other related art making materials. Interactions and artwork can all be done via email and phone so no need for either artist or client to leave the comfort of their homes to get and receive work. For me, I’m a member of many free online job sites and I apply for work daily. Here’s a link to one of my online job portfolios to give you an idea of how they work: http://www.peopleperhour.com/freelancer/lauren/freelance-artist-illustrator-graphi/70136 I also make full use of social networking, emailing my own newsletters, word of mouth and attending and participating in arts events. But it’s not just artists that can make their own careers…there are some really clever opportunities out there for everyone! Certain job sites post requests for people to do household chores, repair work, courier service and other physical labor jobs. One very creative way to earn a living is by simply driving! You’ve probably heard of UBER by now. It’s an app that allows you to locate a ride from just about anywhere. It finds a driver near by to take you to your destination for a lot less money than a taxi. I tried it for the 1st time in NYC a few weeks ago and it worked very well! Drivers use their own vehicles and work their own schedules, so if you have a car, enjoy driving and need extra income, this could be perfect for you! Here’s a link with some testimonials and more info. so you can DriveWithUber if you’re interested in using or offering this service. There are so many creative ways to find self employment…and offering house calls is another option that provides convenience, especially for those that don’t drive or are unable to! I know people that offer in-house visits to cut hair, do accounting and book-keeping, take care of pets, help plan parties and more! All you need is a specialized skill, a valid driver’s license & car (of course) & some business cards and website and you’re on your way! And now there are so many free, great websites that allow you to build your own pages through relatively easy to use templates so you can get started ASAP! I use a few of these but my favorite is Weebly. For an example, here’s the link to my own Weebly Fine Art Site: http://laurencurtisart.weebly.com So, start thinking about how you could earn income (legally 😉 ) and get a business plan together! I hope this blog has sparked some ideas for you and please share information with us by leaving comments about your own freelance projects and keep the trend going!