You’d never know unless you try! Honestly, you’re the only one who could tell whether or not you’re ready - no matter where you think you are with your talent and/or skills.
I’m not really an expert on this topic, seeing as I’m just starting out myself. But from what I’ve gathered during my short journey with all this jazz, here’s a couple of things I’ve learned:
1. Sell the best version of yourself and your works.
Never settle for mediocracy. What you put out there is how others will perceive you. So always be the best you can be while just being yourself.
2. Starting out is tough - as it is with just about anything.
But don’t give up and always believe in yourself that you can do it. You’ll always feel pressured, no matter how big or small the project is.
3. Communicate openly with your clients.
Ask what their thoughts and opinions are regarding the commission. You should always be willing to work around things - if something doesn’t go how you envisioned it, find a way to make it work.
4. Know your worth.
Don’t underestimate your value. It’s the most important part in all of this.
5. Determine how much you should price your work.
It’s best to start at an average price, but not too low (refer to #4). Some people charge by the hour (gauging how many hours s/he will work on a certain piece) and some - like me - charge at a fixed rate (like for example charging a certain illustration by its size; but keep in mind that you should include the cost of materials as well).
6. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short.
It happens and it’s always a good learning experience. If you’re doing this by your own without any help from the outside (like school, etc.) then chances are you’ll be making a lot of mistakes (God knows I’ve done some huge ones - it was honestly humiliating but I’m glad it happened, otherwise I’d still be clueless on some things.)
There will be times that you’ll deal with clients who know this stuff way better than you, and if that happens it’s good to listen to what they have to say - that is, if they give you any advice. I’ve had my share of this experience and it was a huge eye-opener for me - one that I’ll never forget.
7. Learn to say no.
Seriously. There’s always a chance when your workload is way too heavy yet it’s still freaking tempting to jump at the chance of that commission being offered to you. But you have to listen to yourself - both physically and mentally.
Don’t over stress yourself because chances are, it’ll be a lot harder for you to get into the swing of things. Remember to take a breather every once in a while and just have fun.
8. Know your limits and your work style.
If you know your work style and you’ve set a career goal in mind, then you know what kind of projects to accept and to turn down.
When you know that you can’t do a certain work that is being asked of you - no matter how big the project is - say no. If you know in your heart that you can’t do it, then don’t force yourself. Know your limits. Sure you can improve yourself, and maybe a few months or years down the line you could see yourself breaking out of those limits. But at this moment, know what you can and can’t do. Never accept a project that you know is way out of your league. You have to be realistic. You have to know whether or not you could actually do it.
There will always be plenty of other opportunities out there waiting for you.
Until now, I’m still learning the ropes of all this. It’s a continuous learning process, but overtime you’ll get the hang of it.
I know that it’s scary to start something that you’re totally unfamiliar with. There will always be doubts in the back of your mind. But as the saying goes, "Feel the fear and do it anyway."
Just test the waters and see how it goes. You can always stop if you think that it’s not yet the right time for you. Hope this helps! Sorry, I rambled much longer than I expected. But anyway, cheers and good luck! Have a great Thursday! x