That’s awesome! I’m sure you are happy that the long road in college is almost over and should be proud of that! Kudos!
This means that you should have an upper hand if you play your cards right! I didn’t go to college, so it was quite a struggle for people taking me ‘seriously’ when I applied for jobs even when I had an, hm, “ok” portfolio. What I did is pretty simple: I just picked a local convention, purchased half of a table, and just got out there and did it. Been doing it ever since.
The first time will probably suck (that sounded like something for a different topic…), so here are some things that you should do to help bring a bit of balance into that, as well as general freelance basics that have helped me:
- Be observant! You are there to promote your work, most importantly, but chances are you won’t “hit the nail on the head” on your first go. So take note of what other artists are doing at their table; the things they are drawing/offering, the types of work that seem to be getting attention, etcetera.
- Be social! We live in a social media world right now and that’s important; always having a few different avenues where people can see and follow your work online is very important to thrive as a freelance artist. But this applies in real world too. Talk with everyone who comes by your table! Talk to your table neighbors and ask them about tips they found beneficial to them if they are vets. This business all relies on how well you communicate with others, and it’s a big struggle the more you get into it and the busier you get, but it’s definitely necessary.
- It doesn’t end at college graduation! I’m sure you are well aware that art is a lifelong achievement. The thing you felt proud of achieving today can be a travesty a year from now. There’s always room for improvement, so always focus on improving! Even if things start out rocky because you may not have that “certain appeal” with whatever art you do, it’s not the end of the world. People who are consistent with their work and visible improvement eventually get work as a reward. As long as you try to move ahead, and reinvent yourself as an artist over and over, you will gain enough skill to be able to do any kind of art job. It all goes into your personal study and application.
- And lastly, stay positive. The life of an artist, as many who aren’t artists aren’t aware, can be very lonely, demanding, and depressing. Coupled with the final boss, Life, throwing you a punch every now and then, this can be a critical hit to your mental health. Don’t let it be. You will get rejected. People will be stuck-up and not as outgoing as you are. Some will try to slight you and step on you to better themselves out of jealousy. Don’t take it personal. You keep doing you, and stay positive. And I promise that things will come full circle in the end.
That’s all I have to say about it! Hope that helps!