Insurance for Freelance Illustrators is just the beginning...
If you are an independent artist, photographer or illustrator, things like health insurance and retirement plans can quickly become dreams as far flung as instant fame or fortune. Add an artist-spouse and/or kids to the mix and before long, the need for stability can overshadow lifelong hopes of making a living as a creative professional.
I was delighted this week to discover Freelancers Union--a national non-profit geared towards addressing the growing group of independent contractors requiring exactly this kind of practical support. Based on the ideals of cooperation, advocacy and collaboration, Freelancers Union offers several health insurance plans, advocacy and resources that just might provide what the self-employed artist needs to keep going.
Other issues for freelance artists include long hours in the studio without the day-to-day stimulation that other work environments often provide. More and more illustrators are using blogs as a tool not only to get their work out there, but also to invite regular readers into their daily lives. In case the world of illustrator blogs is brand new to you, here are five blogging artists you won't want to miss:
Linda Davick takes a look at her relationship to direction and maps in this delightfully illustrated post entitled Maps and Me.
Zina Saunders will change your mind about cowboys in this post about illustrating Dwight Yoakam for the Wall Street Journal.
M. Patrizio has an illustrator's blogroll to keep you busy for hours. If that won't do it, check out her painting blog.
Mischief Mari is one of those artists that can do it all . Don't miss her interview link here.
Secret Agent Josephine writes this week about the shock of discovering one of her illustrations had been stolen and repurposed without her permission. Stop Thief! is a cautionary tale for artists everywhere with concerns about safeguarding work online.
For people just diving into the world of professional illustration, check out theispot.com, a stock illustration site geared towards helping illustrators publicize portfolios. Buyers can contact the illustrator regarding a particular piece which the artist licenses according to her own terms. Just twelve pieces will get you in the game; one purchase lets you add a client to your profile.
And if illustration is your form of play more than profession, don't miss this week's theme at Illustration Friday: extremes--a come one, come all illustration prompt provided each week just for you. Co-founder Penelope Dullaghan just might be the queen bee of all things illustrated on the web--one more reason to make the visit.
You can read my personal blog about art, writing and the creative process at jenlemen.com.