Is Being a Freelance Artist Worth It – Pros and Cons

Whether you’ve been freelancing for a long time or not, you might have already wondered, “is being a freelance artist worth it?”. Usually, this happens before you take the plunge or when you have already dipped your toe and find yourself lost as you can’t seem to book gigs or get clients. If this is happening to you, hang in there, but also you might need to change up the way you work, your rates or pricing, etc.

However, if you want an in-depth answer to the question, is being a freelance artist worth it? Hang tight as below you can read the pros and cons of being a freelance artist.

Pros and Cons of Being a Freelance Artist

There are many factors to consider to be able to answer, is being a freelance artist worth it. You can’t really have a direct answer because it will all depend on these factors. It’s important to note that there are some things that may be more important to you than other freelancers. But the point is, in the end, you will be the one weighing the scale to find out if it is worth being a freelancer.

1. Time

Artist drawing on table with lamp overhead to brighten dark room

One of the best things about being a freelancer is time is pretty much in your hands. You don’t have a desk where you need to be chained for 9 hours. No boss will be tracking your productivity and you won’t have co-workers bothering you either. Now, this can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on you.

Pro: If you are an artist who does not want to be bound by time and extreme deadlines, then it’s definitely worth it to be a freelancer. You can pretty much set your own deadlines as long as you properly discuss them with your clients. Just imagine, if you aren’t feeling inspired or creative for the day, it’s your choice to just slack off or rest. You don’t have to force yourself to spew out creativity when you aren’t really feeling it.

Con: Now, if you are more of the type of worker who has trouble keeping up with schedules, the early stages of freelancing will be tough. You have no one but yourself to rely on. There’s no HR who will tell you, you’re late. Instead, you’ll have a client who can easily walk out on you and leave you a bad review. Don’t worry though as freelance time tracking can actually be learned.

2. Clients

You may not have a boss but you’ll definitely be working with clients. It’s impossible to be a freelancer and not have a client, so this is a major factor that can either be a pro or con, depending on you.

Pro: One of the best things about being a freelancer is you can actually pick out your clients. It’s not like a company where your boss will assign a client to you. As a freelancer, you have the power to say yes or no to a project. On this alone, the question, “is being a freelancer worth it?” can be an absolute yes already for those who have trouble with authority figures aka bosses.

Con: If you have trouble talking to clients, this will be tough for you. Also, you have to keep in mind that not all clients are the same. There may come a time when you have 10 potential clients but only one of them will pay you well or will be easy to work with.

3. Niche

Laptop with a drawing on the screen, surrounded by artist's tools, paper with drawing, color swatches

When you think of a freelance artist, it’s definitely kind of broad. Just like any other industry, there are niches that freelancers must get into. You need to know your specialization, and once you pinpoint it, you’ll be able to answer the question, is being a freelance artist worth it?

Pro: If you are an artist who specializes in web design or graphic design, it might definitely be worth it to be a freelancer. According to research, web designers and graphic designers are the highest-paid freelancers in 2022.

Con: You have a higher chance of becoming a successful freelance artist if you have a niche. If you have not figured it out yet or you’d rather take on random artist jobs, then you might have a harder time in the freelancing world.

4. Earnings

One of the best ways to determine if being a freelance artist is worth it is based on the money that you make. However, some freelancers forget to also take into account the expenses. What you are really looking for here is the profit that you make.

Pro: As a freelancer, there’s the possibility to earn more than your usual salary. It all depends on your rates, your schedule, and how much work you can take on. That’s the beauty of freelancing, the sky is the limit when it comes to earnings.

Con: Freelancing does not offer steady earnings. One month can go by and you only have a couple of projects or just one client. If you are looking for stability, it is unlikely you will get it right away. It is possible, but you need to really learn how to maximize your time, especially when it comes to project acquisitions or nailing down high-paying or regular clients.

5. Future Goals

Artist in a makeshift studio, sitting on a table drawing, surrounded by art books, art tools.

Is being a freelance artist worth it can be answered by figuring out what your goal is. Are you simply an artist who doesn’t want to be confined in an office or have to work for somebody else? Or maybe, you are an artist with a bigger plan? Freelancing can be very well worth it if you are working towards a goal that can only be achieved if you don’t have a full-time job eating up your schedule and your energy.

Pro: Just imagine, you are a freelance artist and your goal is to open up your very own stationery shop. it can even be smaller, maybe you just want your own stationery line. You get to create whimsical characters and make up wonderful designs. And you can do all of these things by being a freelance artist. Freelancing gives you a lot of space and energy to focus on your goals.

Con: If you don’t really have a goal in mind, it might not be worth it to do freelancing. You need goals as this can also help you measure your success. It doesn’t have to be big, you can have simple goals for the week or month, such as breaking even with your earnings and expenditures. It is also a goal to maintain your freelancer lifestyle. However, if you are wandering through freelancing aimlessly, it’ll be hard to assess if it is actually worth it to be a freelancer artist.

6. Passion

For some artists, it’s all about passion. Is being a freelance artist worth it?—the instant answer is yes, as long as they get to do what they love to do. It may be a cliche but there is truth to the “starving artist” because really, some people are fine as long as their passions stay alive. And nothing kills passion like a 9-to-5 or having to wear corporate attire.

Pro: Freelance artists are pretty much free to do what they want to do. They can work on their art the way they want. If you have a controlling client, you can simply talk to them about not getting in the way of your creativity. Or you can simply not do the project if you aren’t compatible. Just imagine you can also do your passion project in between projects that pay.

Con: If art is not your passion, then it may not be worth it to do the freelancing route. Why even become an artist if you don’t like art, or rather making art? It is a must for artists to have inspiration and passion when creating. It’s what sets them apart from other artists, it’s what draws clients to hire them. So, if art is not your passion, maybe being a freelance artist or rather an artist is not the right path for you.

So, Is Being a Freelance Artist Worth It?

The honest answer to this question is, it depends on you. Even if you list down all of the pros and cons of being a freelancer artist, the only person who can answer this question is you. It depends on what matters to you the most. For example, if you are getting paid really well for creating social media images but your heart is set on drawing animation, do you think it’s worth it?

The good thing about the question, “is being a freelance artist worth it?” is the answer can change based on what you do. So, if you are unhappy with what you are earning in a month, it may not seem worth it to be a freelancer. But, if you change your rates and get better clients so that you can earn more, then your answer can then be, yes, it’s worth it to be a freelance artist.


Remember that every freelance artist is different. You may see some thriving while others are on the brink of giving up. The point here is, every artist and every freelancer is different. Is being a freelance artist worth it can have different answers depending on who you ask. But the most important thing here is your own answer and no one else’s.

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