Well starting out your own freelance business and kitting up your own home studio can be quite exciting ( well for me it is anyway) . When I was in university I wasn’t able to buy myself a really huge desk, spread out my drawing stuff everywhere , have a really nice flashy computer like I do now ( I know its not a mac and I shall not be converted! 🙂 but thats not to say I wasn’t content with rolling to the bottom of my bed everyday to draw.
I think putting together my tiny bit of a studio in the corner of my parents living room ( yes mum did attempt to put me in the attic though the desk wouldn’t fit so here I am) has made making my business feel much more real. If you yourself a thinking of starting up your own illustration or design business as a freelancer or creative of any sort, I’ve put together some tips and advice to help get you started.
Tip 1. Desk & Office furniture
You can never have to much desk space, if your setting up at home or in a studio your going to need a large enough desk area to complete all your work. Now before you jump into your car to jet off to the nearest IKEA, be realistic as to what value you can get for your budget.
I purchased my desk from an ebay shop for about £80 brand new but saying that there are plenty of people in your area who maybe selling their second hand office furniture and chairs on websites like Gumtree which can save you a chunk of money!
Tip 2. Computer equipment & Software
If you have a mac or desktop still to hand from your time at university then you may find you don’t necessarily need to purchase anything new to get rolling with your business. If your wanting to however invest in something new then it will be definetly worth making full use of your student discount whilst its still available to you.
Whether you’ve just left university or in your final year you are still allowed to purchase student discount adobe software packages at the student price until your student ID expires. You can also purchase desktops and computer equipment from online stores its just the case of spotting an offer when you can ( eye up this years christmas sale!).
Tip 3 . Materials
When it comes down to the materials you produce your work with its a case of being realistic with what you need . Go through your endless supply of pens, check the nibs, look at how much paper you have left or printing materials and be realistic as to how much you need.
There are some great websites like Cultpens.com, letraset and much more that sell reasonably price artist materials and pens so its definetly worth shopping around! I purchased about 13 uniball pens from cultpens and got about 4 free with their special offers, it definetly adds up and I saved around about £5+ on fineliners so they’re definetly worth checking out! ( they also offer some great free samples) .
Tip 4 : Other bits and bobs
I found there were numerous artsy or officey bits and bobs that I still needed to help make my work as easy and efficient as possible. Item’s such as my lamp and printer I picked up from amazon in the sale for about £30 altogether, my cork pin board was actually my dad’s old bulldog ribbon awards board which I’m sure he won’t mind me reusing.
Look at what you have and be really efficient on where you spend your money , if your studio is all self funded no doubt you’ll want to make your money stretch.
If you need a helping hand with finances then I definetly advise going back to your university and seeing if there are any grants or funding scheme available in your area to help you recieve the support you need along the way as setting up alone can be very daunting.
I hope this helps you enthusiastic creative entrepreneurs and all the best with your ventures as there’s exciting times ahead!