Should a designer be working through service provider freelance sites?

Should a designer be working through service provider freelance sites?

[private]I think not !

Service provider sites  for freelance graphic designers are the sites which provide a platform for designers and clients where they can set up and provide and get  work done. Many leading designers and artists choose to stay away from these kind of sites because of the uncertainty of being paid on time and full amount .My experience had been the same.. I shoud’ve listened to their advice :).

While trying to expand my clientele I looked for these site , wasted lots and lots of time in updating my portfolio on these site. Creating folders , managing , writing non ending forms of terms and blah blah…  and when eventually I was being paid I faced some strange behaviors by clients , using “unauthenticated” credit cards for payment . OR as soon as the file was delivered “AFTER” client is  “Happy ” with the work. Client claiming a refund as the work was “NOT” according to their requirement!.

When something like this happens remember THESE service provider sites are not playing fair. As the amount of profit that these sites are gaining are from the clients site. Who puts the money in your mouth? hmmm…

But if you do decide to work through sites like Elance , Liveperson , Freelancer or odesk there is some extra work that you need to do . And that extra work is first doing your homework on the client you are going to start work with .

1- Check the rating of the client
2- How many project the client has already paid for , some sites show how much project and payments they have done and are reviewed back as well . So don’t go desperate to start working for just ANY client.
3- Read thorough the description it is always wise and nice to know if the client is ready to make down payment.
4-If you can which i think you should , Google the name of the company you are going to work for .
5- Most of these sites work through bids , If you do win a bid and get a project make sure that you have all your terms and conditions of work at hand.

Business Solution

© Photographer: Rolmat | Agency:

There are designers who are getting paid well and getting enough works through these sites , but then again it is not just the matter of how you handled the client , my advice is just remember that if something goes wrong most of these sites are going to with the Person seeking service and very often the service provider.IF this is something that seems ok with you in a ratio of 1 from 15 projects ….then i would say .. Happy hunting! ;)[/private]

Expanding yourself as a professional illustration artist Selling your work.


Business woman
photo credits © Photographer: Bigio | Agency:
First of all it has been soooooooooooo long since i last wrote ! in ages right! , well i have been writing this little post for a while now and i think it is now time to have it published!!
Aivault regular readers might already know that i am an illustration artist who is selling her work through different stock sites. My Journey towards where i am is a very interesting one atleast for me 🙂 . When i started off i had no guide that lead me into selling my work . I was working in a telecom company where i was hired to create seasonal promos and ads , since the job was very seasonal i spent my time exploring sites and pretty much just browsing for cool creative and artistic stuff. At some point i stumbled upon stockexpert’s free image site  , which slowly led me into submitting my application to the main site Stockexpert in order to start selling a few of my illustrations.  Since i always created my own illustrations for the job i had in hand , and since i was a self taught graphic designer i had no idea that there were sites selling illustrations and photographs that you can actually buy and then incorporate into my work … hmm funny right ? 🙂 So , in short i when i sold my first illustration through Stockexpert i was so excited! , although the money in return was not that much at that time but it was great knowing that i can really become independent! One of my very first illustrations  is infact my best selling one and in a period of two years this single image has returned over $1000 ! and is still selling .

World kids 1 © Photographer: One8edegre | Agency:

This image is available through Dreamstime , shutterstock , 123RF , Crestock and my own store Aifactory
Soon after my initial submissions i had a questions are there other sites where i can sell same images? answer was definitely yes! . At that time i had just started working on illustrator and i was so thrilled to create more images that i started looking for tutorial sites to help me in the process , and really i found not many that showed me how to use simple basic tools!. So this lead me to creating a blog ie where i started writing tutorials  , and besides that started offering free illustrations every friday. The formula was so simple and it worked like a charm! . Pretty soon the ad space on was returning me $250 in ads space. and around 5000-6000 visitors daily! which could have been better if only i was keen at returns from the tutorial site which was at that time one of the very few around. This  ad revenue was Not much but i was happy doing what i liked and being rewarded in return. Here is one more point that i would like to mention that basically i am painter and all i learned was through exploration and dedication. I knew nothing of computers beyond using msn and browsing for interesting sites or resources to gather inspirations and looking at the works of painters , and artist. Gradually i taught myself , wordpress , how to install , how to handle database , SEO and what i had no idea i would be doing ! 🙂 pretty soon i wanted to sell my work independently aivault now has a store attached to it where i am selling pretty much the same work i am selling at stock sites . But the point is It is mine! I am writing this short story just to move on to the main concept of this post which is how YOU can sell YOUR  illustration and work and here i would like to share a few of my experiences , which i learned the hard way ….

What are stock illustrations? The artist on an open-air

Photo credits © Photographer: Flycat | Agency:
Stock photography or Stock illustrations is a term that refers to photographs or Vector illustrations that can be licensed for public or commercial use, which are usually found on professional stock photography websites. These are photographs that can be used for any purpose in marketing, advertising, or design, as long as it is not illegal or harmful. Rather than shoulder the expense of hiring a photographer to take unique photos, many advertising companies,graphic designers, web designers, and other professionals frequently take advantage of stock photography to fill their design needs.

Becoming a stock illustration artist ?

in Order to become a successful stock illustration artist you need to have a mind willing to think For the person sitting at the other side , looking for images on a specific subject. Mostly images are used for designers who compile these images for their specific purpose , there are two ways which you can submit your works in either a fully subjective illustration , second an element to begin creating art with . here is an examples . Secondly each site has its pretty much the same files submitting rules which you must follow but there are some point when you will feel frustrated when the files are turned down because of some itsy bitsy little flaws , A while back i wrote about how to over come these little file issues in one of my posts Ultimate Handbook for illustrations for Clients also another post about Useful Plugins for illustrator might also help you a bit
Cowboy vector setCowboy card
Photo Credits © Photographer: One8edegre | Agency:

Becoming independent

I remember during my early days of learning about graphic design a friend of mine said to me , “Think independent , think of a product created in your own field which you can sell and resell ” , this advice got stuck somewhere , my mind started running in circles what can i create as a graphic designer which becomes my product?.. interesting right?… This was realized in form of Vector brushes which i released through my blog now available through store. These brushes were pretty basic ones but they got more attention than what i was expecting. While i created stock illustrations i explored illustrator and was very much facinated with the ability to create brushes and speed up the work process. Hence birth of my very first product , vector brushes !.  i created very basic brush sets for my own work process and then started selling them through

Embroidery Borders Vector Brushes

Floral Brush Pack :: V2

Ornate-Vector Brushes

So far the response had been great , i have made these brushes commercial use OK , which means that you can create and sell products using these brushes. stock illustrations as well. Creating these brushes was a starting point for me to launch my own store hence the birth of Aifactory . And then  after this i just find myself creating base products ie sources like photoshop brushes , frames , borders , vectors for such uses as invitation design , stock illustrations , photographer resources ,digital stampscrafters resources and more and now i am hooked! and in short i am now an independent mom working from home at my own pace , while i keep an eye on my kids :). Thats what i call independence as an artist and as a graphic designer. It is not that i am limited to creating products now i receive custom illustration requests and i simply enjoy doing what i do ! no boss!! i call this my Flight of independence , but still i havent reached my targets which i have planned about .  If this has inspired you a little bit and you are interested in becoming independent artist , or a stock illustrations artist below you will find links to some of the leading stock sites.

Sites where you can sell your stock illustrations.

Here are a few sites where you can start off
you can contact me directly through contact form if you need any guidance


38 Step By Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorials to Help you Become a Vector Expert

Well, not exactly 100 but that is my target! 🙂 It has been 1 1/2 year since the launch of During this time I wrote Adobe Illustrator tutorials ranging from basics to advance. Here is my compilation for easy bookmarking to these tutorials. If you are starting up with Adobe illustrator check out the tutorials in the basics and then move at your own pace to bit advanced one.
And if you are confused or stuck with a specific tool let me know I will be glad to write Adobe Illustrator Tutorials on request!



BASIC Adobe Illustrator Tutorials 

Know thy workspace

Drawing Basics


Using Pathfinder Create a Personalized Badge for your site

Create a simple heart using pen tool

Using Filters.

10 Awsome features in illustrator CS4 that increase creativity to MAX!

How to Create a Pop Design Element using  Spiral Tool

The Mirror Technique: – Creating a Cool Monogram using brushes

An Introduction to Envelope Tool

Draw a Skull illustration




Gradients how to use

Create an envelope icon with a satin feel

Using Gradients Create a balloon wallpaper


Smart Scale object or Pattern

How to Create a Seamless Pattern

Expanding Pattern Fills


An intro to mesh tool

Creating Lips using Mesh tool

How to remove mesh fill


Making a stamp!

Create a Half Tone Effect Using Blend Tool


1-How to Use brushes

2-Changing appearance of Scatter Brushes

3-Changing Appearance of Brushes

4-How to make funky illustrative backgrounds and flourishes

Advance Techniques Illustrator Tutorials

Make your Own Paint Brushes

Using Flash as illustration tool

Understanding Twirl, Crystalize and Envelop Tool

Using Crystallize tool create a Detailed EYE

Exporting animated SWF files from illustrator

3D Effect Adobe Illustrator Tutorials

 How to Create a 3D RSS Icon

Giving Effect to Text

 Tutorial: Create a cool water effect

 Add grunge effect to your text

Printing with illustrator

7 Practical Tutorials to get you started

File Management with illustrator

Getting file ready : Cleaning up illustrations

Photoshop Tips and Tricks

How to convert photoshop brushes to paint shop pro brushes

How to use Overlays in photoshop

Bookmark this page, share with your friends!




Speed illustrations


A couple of months back i gave myself a challenge of creating 100 illustrations in 20days time creating around 5 illustrations perday . The purpose of these speed illustrations was to refine my skills and learn more alongside creating illustrations for stock agencies. It was such fun and i will suggest speed illustrations concept to anyone and everyone who is looking to refine their hand at illustrator ..


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