I thought it would be awfully nice to introduce myself and let you know what I want you to get out of this blog. I’m a freelance scientific illustrator, animator, and writer who started my freelance business, Animedia Science, in 2010. I started out at ground zero and have grown a successful business where I often have to turn down work because I already have too much. Truly, this is one of the best problems for a freelancer to have!
Cheryl, photography flowers
One of my loves is native plants and I spend lots of time chatting with them and photographing them.
Who is this Cheryl anyway?
Well, I’m a lot of things really. My training is in science, biology and botany specifically. When I finished my doctoral degree, I began post-doctoral research and had my first child. I decided then that an academic life was not for me; the hours were far too long to be able to spend as much time as I wanted to with my wee baby. I knew I wanted a flexible job, but didn’t have a clue what that would be. I bounced around for a few years trying to find a freelance career that I was passionate about.
One day, I was reading a scientific article and thought to myself, ‘This information would make an amazing animation!’ and the light bulb went off. I wanted to be a scientific animator.
That decision changed my life. I embarked on a journey to retrain myself in a field I knew little about. I’ve had mentors along the way, made some stupid mistakes, meandered off course, and added other skills onto the original dream of being an animator.
Now, I animate, illustrate, write, and edit scientific material for scientific education and communication, and I produce educational video tutorials to help students with confusing scientific topics. I tend to be offered more work than I can actually do and just reached a huge milestone with my business this year – I now hire a contractor to help me with my overflow work!
Freelancing is really hard when you’re getting started.
You’re full of questions. Can I make my dream a reality? How do I find clients? What should my portfolio be like? Should I specialize in one area? Do I need a website? Do I need to be on ALL of the social media platforms?
It can be really overwhelming! I know, I’ve been there too. I’ve had questions and struggles and boy, have I made some dumb mistakes.
The process can be scary too. I was so worried about starting something new and unknown. Would I spread my wings only to crash and burn? And then I thought, ‘What is the worst thing that will happen? I will have wasted some time, and I’d probably feel a little embarrassed at failing.’ But I decided I could live with that. The risk was worth the potential reward!
My goal is to guide you from future freelance illustrator to wildly successful freelancer. Know that you will make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process of learning something new.
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So let’s get started!
The blog will focus on 4 big areas that are essential for a successful freelance illustration business:
- Creating and showing off your portfolio
- building your network
- building your reputation
- logistics of running a business
Want to help make this blog even better?
If you have suggestions or questions, please leave me a comment or drop me an email. I want you to be successful and that starts with knowing what you need!