Taking the plunge into freelancing is scary stuff, especially when you have a family to support.  Moving away from that regular payslip into the unknown can make your knees quiver.  But it’s possible.  It’s hard work and you have to put in the hours, but in the end it’s so rewarding.

I’ve worked in some very high paying corporate positions with some very large companies and I was miserable.  Making lots of money this way, did not make me happy.   So I took the plunge into freelancing and contract work and I’ve never looked back.  I love it.  Doing what you love means you don’t need to find a way to motivate yourself, you are already motivated by the work you love doing.  You have the dedication needed to make it work.

I want to share with you some books that have helped me become a full-time Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer.  These books help me organise my time between the fun creative stuff and the boring admin stuff.  They have given me the courage to believe in myself and the skills to keep growing and learning to stay ahead.

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Your purchase helps support my work and allows me to share with you real information about quality products that help me as a Surface Pattern Designer.

1. Art Inc.

Wow!  How amazing is Lisa Congdon!  She really is an inspiration and if you are serious about becoming a full time artist or illustrator and you haven’t read her book, now is the time.  She really helped me to build the courage to step out.  I’m actually a really shy, introverted person that suffers from impostor syndrome, so sending my work out into the world used to fill me with complete fear.  But not anymore, thanks to Lisa and this book.  Go get it!!

2. Creative, Inc.

This book was the Bible of books for me when launching my freelance career.  The information about pricing and licensing was priceless and I loved all the real life stories of successful creative freelancers.  A must for your library!

3. Graphic Artists Guild: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

An absolute must to your creative library, this book has been so vital when it’s come to pricing and writing up contracts.  I seriously can not live without it.

4. Steal like an Artist

This best selling book is an absolute must in your library. Kleon urges you as a creative, to take a step towards your creative goal by just doing it. He explains that everyone is scared to start something and it is a natural sensation. Nobody knows how to do it. But the important thing here is that you have to do it. And to do it, we have to start.  Pretend to be something you’re not until you are — fake it until you’re successful, until everybody sees you the way you want them to.

5. Show your work

The followup to Steal like an Artist, the author Kleon has some fabulous suggestions on how to make your work ‘findable’, something I touch on in my latest Skillshare class.  It’s all about respect and encouragement in a community of artists but also about being brave, open and generous with your work and abilities.

6. The Picture Book: Contemporary Illustration

Another mini bible, but this time it’s more specific to illustrators.  It features lots of inspiration with profiles of inspiring artist’s stories alongside timely advice on how to feel inspired and how to turn ideas into work.

DISCLOSURE: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.  Your purchase helps support my work and allows me to share with you real information about quality products that help me as a Surface Pattern Designer.

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