I also worked on a big book last year and got paid about £1,500 before I started, and the overall project paid £3,000. But on the other hand, I just did a TFL poster where there was no prepayment. It’s often dependant on how long the job is going to take.
When things go wrong, there are options
When everything went pear-shaped a year ago, it would have been so easy to just give up. But because I’m so focused on making this work and expressing myself, I found another way to keep working.
The full-time role at Culture Trip is quite a weird job in some ways, but I do think in-house illustrator roles are likely to become more popular in the future. This is due to the fact that everything's so content-heavy now, and so many big companies want a strong design and illustration element in their identity.
In terms of side jobs, these can also offer a different challenge alongside your creative practice. I have friends who work as technicians, either in print or as teachers, and it really helps facilitate their careers.
Save, save, save
Something that would have been worth knowing when I started out was the importance of putting money aside after each job. I’ve learnt that you have to be conservative with your money. When you land a job that’s paying hundreds of pounds, you can easily think it’s all yours, but that’s rarely the case – especially when it comes to taxes!
This article is part of a series sharing experiences of earning money as a creative – from successes to failures and everything in between. If you have a story you’d like to share with us, please email us: [email protected]