Congrats, grad! Art school honed your skills; now, it’s time to pursue your passion. We’re in an especially exciting time for graphic designers, illustrators, and visual artists because there are more ways than ever to earn a living doing what you love. Tap into a world of opportunity by taking these first steps for recent graphic arts graduates:
Establish Your Online Presence
Every creative should have a personal website—and, to some extent, a personal brand. Use the skillset and work samples you gained in school to craft an identity for your professional image. Being a “digital native” also gives you a leg up on building your own website with one of the many templates available on platforms like Squarespace and Wix. If you have the chops to develop a more advanced site, even better.
Don’t stop there; once your website is live, replicate it on other websites like Arts Thread. We love Arts Thread because they’re the launchpad for the next generation of creative talent, representing 300,000 students in more than 100 countries from over 780 design schools. Upload your portfolio, search for jobs, enter competitions, attend special events and more.
Envision Your Career Path
Achieving your goal starts with identifying it. Don’t feel confined to the conventional job hunt, either. You might decide that you want to freelance, or perhaps you’ll find a remote position that allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds. Take control of your career and pursue what excites you. Knowing what you want will also help you tailor your personal brand accordingly. For example, if your dream is to move to San Francisco and join a startup, you can convey that message in both the messaging and imagery on your website.
Grow Your Portfolio
Your portfolio is where your future lies; it’s the creative currency that gets you your next gig or job. As a recent grad, you’re in a great position to find and accept paid freelance projects while you’re searching for something more substantial. You may even discover that one of those projects leads to a bigger opportunity. And when you’re not busy with paid gigs, use the spare time to start your own personal projects that you can showcase to prospective clients or employers. Be sure to keep your portfolio up-to-date so everyone sees your latest and greatest work.
Consider Marketing & Advertising
Commercialization is a slippery slope for many artists. You might worry that once graphic art turns into a day job, you’ll lose that spark you once had for the craft. But understand that the demand for visual art is at an all-time high thanks to the emergence of digital marketing and its convergence with traditional advertising. You can make a lucrative income if you’re willing to entertain and embrace the “art” of brand strategy. That includes picking up new skills such as photography, social media, and animation. Have some fun with it and let your ideas into the wild.
Sell Your Artwork Online
You don’t necessarily have to go commercial to make a living as an artist. Whether as a fun offshoot to your full-time work or as the avenue you take full speed, Your Art Gallery makes it easy to set up your own online storefront. We handle all of the production, transactions, and fulfillment while giving you 90 percent of the royalties. What are you waiting for? Art enthusiasts and collectors are browsing our site every day to find and purchase new work from up-and-coming artists like you.
It’s your time to shine—and sell. Your Art Gallery and Arts Thread are teaming up to give emerging graphic designers and visual artists a truly global reach. Join Your Art Gallery for free as a Platinum member with your Arts Thread portfolio.
- Create your own page
- Set your own prices
- Add keywords, categories, and descriptions
- Promote your work as a featured artist
- Keep 90% of royalties
- + More
$9.98 / month
FREE for Arts Thread members