Starting a career after school can be overwhelming, especially in a creative profession, where the professional road is not always paved.
I remember that the thing I was missing the most straight out of school was guidance and a reliable source that could explain what was I supposed to do now. So, I will do my best to share with you some of what I learned. I hope it will be of use to you. I do not take responsibility if it fails or credit if it does work - It's all on you.
1. Everything you learned - forget it.
Oh, how I wish to go back in time to the row of creativity and curiosity I had before art school. I had excellent teachers but also terrible ones. The kind that crashes your confidence and uniqueness. Maybe you met them? Their voice or yours that stuck in your head, criticizing you - shut it up. Instead, highlight the good and move forward with it. You do you - you are the best at that.
2. Freelance is also being one man (/woman) show. You are the artist but also the manager of your little studio - take care of accounting, and keep your papers and files in order. Use backup! Work with a proper contract, get an advance payment - KNOW YOUR WORTH.
3. Self-Marketing is a must. If you don't have an agent you have to become one.
First, let everyone around you know that you are open for business. Yep, that ear-to-mouth old-school method is the best. Keep spreading the word, and something will come up - Once it does, you can start building a great portfolio.
4. How to build a great portfolio? Well, you can use your favorite school projects, but if you want a strong portfolio that will land you the kind of work you want to do - Start with making up assignments for yourself. For example - Do you want to work with musicians? Design a killer album cover for your favorite band. Add it to your portfolio (then send it to them). Into working with non-profit organizations? Design a strong message poster - Upload it to your portfolio and social media.
5. Social media - I know it's the devil, but also a great tool. Just jump in there, learn the rules, be patient, and kick ass. It doesn't define you. Please remember that being popular on social media doesn't mean you're good, and vice versa.
6. Believe in yourself because if you won't, then no one will.
Much love and good luck.
You got this.