How to Get Your Work Noticed as an Artist

Today we’re discussing a topic vital to any freelancer's success: getting your work noticed.

The first step in becoming a successful artist of any kind is to simply to get noticed. No biggie, right?! Someone once told me, you can be the most amazing artist in the world, but if you don't know how to market yourself, you'll never make a living at it. It stuck with me, and definitely helped me appreciate my degree in business much more.

So, here are my top tips on getting your work noticed in the industry!

Share your work. When it comes time to show off your work, a surprising amount of emotions can arise. It can feel intimidating and scary, but it’s also common to feel like you need to ’sit’ on your best work. Because, what if someone copies you? Or what if a company won’t license your work because it’s already ‘out there’? 

I personally believe it’s better to take the risk in order to simply get it out there. If you share your work, no one will know it exists! You can easily copyright your work before sharing it, so if someone copies it, contact a lawyer. If a company won’t license the pattern that’s already been shown, you can make some more. The key is to start building your brand and your signature style

Focus on showing off your signature style. Being consistent in your work, the style of your work and the way you present your work goes a long way. You’ll have a much better chance at landing your dream job when they can see your style through everything you share. It builds trust and let’s them know what they can expect by bringing you on as a designer.

Build your brand and following. In a booming field of designers, having ‘the whole package’ is becoming increasingly important. Try to have some professional bio pictures taken, have a personable about page, work on sharing great content that engages your audience and your following will continue to grow, grow, grow

Launch yourself! Announce your mission and go after it. Contact blogs and magazines in hopes of a mention, enter contests and continue to make new work to share on a consistent basis.

Courage: The last thing you must have is courage. This is going to be scary, overwhelming, nerve wracking. But if you can just find a few seconds of courage to introduce yourself, dial a number or show someone your work, your life could be changed forever. Mine was!

Easier said than done, right? Don’t forget that this stuff takes time. A lot of time! It took me 2 years just to learn Illustrator and have enough work that I was proud enough to share. Just think - every single successful person out there started at zero. Zero skills, zero knowledge, zero followers. It takes time to grow and a lot of effort to put yourself out there BUT in the end it can be so (so!) worth it. 

Tell me: where are you feeling stuck?


Enrollment opens soon! Surface Pattern Design Immersion is an 8-week Online training program for creatives who want to learn Adobe Illustrator, surface design and the business of how to become a licensing artist. It’s a completely comprehensive course, designed to give you a unique and immersive experience into the world of Surface Pattern Design. Because we all know, the best way to accomplish your BIG goals is to immerse yourself in the learning, the industry and in the community.

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  • I purchased Affinity design program instead of Adobe because Adobe is such a huge investment. Do you know anyone who teaches classes on Affinity? I would love to take a class like yours, but I don’t know where to look for a teacher. Thank you, Robin Hull

    • Hi Robin I have Affinity Designer as well and am considering taking the course. I think once you’re comfortable with the software the techniques from examples shown in Illustrator are easily transferable. Lynda.com gas a great course on getting started with Affinity and in some places in the U.S. is free through your local library. The makers of Affinity Designer also have a Workbook they sell and free tutorials on their website

  • i’ve taken your courses on Creative Live and Skillshare. I’ve also taken all three modules in Rachel Taylor’s Make It In Design School. I work a full time job and make patterns as much as I can. I know I would learn more from the total immersion course but would like your opinion—get to work and get my work out there….or take another course?