Remote Illustrator Jobs: How to Build a Successful Freelance Career

RemoteHub Team
March 21, 2024
5 min read
Remote Illustrator Jobs: How to Build a Successful Freelance Career

Do you dream of being your own boss? Of working when you want, from wherever you want? If you're an illustrator, that dream could become reality through freelancing. With remote work on the rise, more and more companies need talented illustrators. But building a thriving freelance career takes effort. This guide shares tips to help you succeed as a remote freelance illustrator.

What is a Freelance Illustrator?

A freelance illustrator is someone who creates artwork for hire. Unlike illustrators employed by one company, freelancers work for multiple clients. Projects could include book covers, product designs, graphic illustrator jobs remote for websites or marketing materials, and more. As a freelancer, you're self-employed and responsible for finding your own work.

Freelance illustrators get hired to create all sorts of artwork - drawings, graphics, designs, you name it. Book cover illustrations, packaging visuals for product illustrator jobs, website graphics, marketing materials, comic art, technical diagrams - the possibilities are endless. As a freelancer, you choose which clients and projects to take on. No boss is dictating a schedule or rates. Freelancers set their own deadlines, pricing, and work hours. Of course, that freedom comes with the need for self-motivation and continually hunting for new work. But for illustrators who crave autonomy and variety in their workday, freelancing offers a gratifying career path.

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The Benefits of Going Remote

More and more freelance illustrators are waving goodbye to office life. They're discovering the benefits of trading in a corporate desk for working remotely from wherever they choose. What's so great about being in graphic illustrator jobs remote?

No commutes to beat the morning rush hour. Home offices mean rolling out of bed and getting straight to the digital canvas. For creative types, that flexibility to work whenever inspiration strikes is hugely appealing - not just during traditional 9-to-5 hours.

Location is no longer a limiting factor either. When you're not tied to an office, clients can live across the state, country or even across the globe. The world is an illustrator's oyster for finding new opportunities.

Better work-life balance is another big perk. No time stuck in traffic or rebel bosses scrutinizing every break. Remote workers can squeeze in yoga classes, spend time with family, or run personal errands between project milestones.

And let's not forget the cost savings. Bye bye expensive metro passes, long daily commutes guzzling gas, and tempting coffee shop stops. Just another way remote work puts more money back in an illustrator's pocket.

Increased productivity in product illustrator jobs tends to go hand-in-hand with remote work too. Quiet home offices mean fewer distractions and ability to find an ideal workflow groove. It's no wonder studies keep finding remote employees outperform their office counterparts.

The Challenges

Of course, freelancing also poses challenges in product illustrator jobs. There's no steady pay check - your income depends on the work you can find. You're also responsible for marketing yourself, managing finances/taxes, and juggling multiple client projects. Procrastination and lack of motivation are freelancer pitfalls too. But with discipline and organization, you can overcome these obstacles.

Getting Started

Hitting the ground running as a freelance remote illustrator takes planning and preparation. Follow these key steps when first getting started to set yourself up for success.

• Specialize to Stand Out- When starting out, identify a niche you want to specialize in. Do you excel at character design? Vector illustrations? Scientific diagrams? Having a defined specialty helps you market yourself more effectively.

• Build an Online Portfolio- Having an impressive online portfolio is make-or-break for freelance illustrators. It's the first thing potential clients look at to judge talent and fit. An illustrator's website or profile on platforms like Behance and Dribbble needs to showcase their absolute best work.

• Market Yourself- Once that online portfolio is polished, it's time to start promoting those illustration services. In the beginning, job boards, social media, and freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr are good options.

• Set Competitive Rates- Research rates for illustrator jobs remote in your niche and location. Set rates that are competitive but also value your skills and experience appropriately. As a beginner, you may need to charge slightly lower rates until you build a portfolio.

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Meeting Client Expectations

Landing clients as a freelance illustrator is one hurdle. Keeping them happy is another. These strategies will help remote illustrators consistently meet or exceed client expectations.

Communication is Key- Clear communication prevents misunderstandings with clients. Ask questions to understand exactly what they want. Send updates throughout each project. Use tools like Zoom or email to keep in touch seamlessly while remote.

Establish Processes - Develop set processes for working with new clients. Have a standard contract covering deliverables, timelines, payment, and other terms. Create design briefs to detail each project's scope and requirements.  

Meet Deadlines- Missed deadlines are one of the fastest ways to lose clients. Use calendars and to-do lists to track all your milestones. Under-promise and over-deliver whenever possible on timing.

Deliver Quality Work- Take pride in your craft. Do your best work for each client in your remote illustration jobs. Quality illustrations that meet the client's vision are what earn you positive reviews and repeat business.

Work-Life Balance

One freelancing pitfall is burnout from overworking or inability to separate work/life. Be intentional about setting boundaries:

• Take real breaks away from your desk  

• Set work hours and stick to them in remote illustration jobs

• Schedule vacations and truly disconnect

• Outsource tasks if you become overwhelmed

• Don't undervalue work-life balance in pursuit of money

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Resources for Remote Illustrators

There's a wealth of resources to help illustrator jobs remote start and grow their careers:

• Online portfolios: Behance, Dribbble, Adobe Portfolio, Crevado

• Remote illustration jobs boards: Dribbble, AIGA, RemoteOK, FlexJobs

• Freelance marketplaces: Upwork, Fiverr,

• Blogs: I Love Freelancing, Creative Bloq, Paid Hourly

• Courses: Skillshare, Udemy, CreativeLive

• Books: The Freelance Revolution, The Freelance Introvert

• Communities: Reddit /r/freelance, Facebook freelance groups


Building a successful remote illustration career takes dedication and finding the right clients. RemoteHub aims to simplify this process by directly connecting talented freelancers to companies open to remote work. Their job board displays current positions perfect for illustrator jobs remote. Apply knowing the roles are genuinely suited to virtual arrangements. Beyond graphic illustrator jobs remote, RemoteHub's community fosters valuable connections.

Connect with fellow remote professionals in the same boat. Gain referrals, advice from experienced illustrators, and encouragement as you grow. Employers rely on RemoteHub to reach top talent anywhere. With RemoteHub's marketplace and network, opportunities you may have otherwise missed come into view. Developing your profile exposes you to an active community of remote-friendly companies.

RemoteHub Team
March 21, 2024
5 min read
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