Are you looking to showcase your talents and take your freelancing career as a creative professional to the next level? You’re not alone.
Many freelance artists struggle to be seen and connect with new clients, which is the whole point of freelancing. Luckily, several artist-friendly freelance sites offer access to a global audience and endless work opportunities.
Our goal today is to help you find the best freelance artist website for your creative needs. Whether you’re a freelance illustrator, painter, graphic designer, animator, or any other type of artist, this article is for you!
- Our Top Picks
- An Overview of Freelance Artist Websites
- The Best Freelance Artist Websites at a Glance
- Features to Look for in Freelance Artist Websites
- Best Freelance Artist Websites: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]
- Notable Mentions: Other Freelance Artist Websites to Check Out
- Other Options Relevant to Freelance Artist Websites
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Our Top Picks
Here’s our list of the best freelance websites for artists in 2023:
- Upwork – Our Pick
- Fiverr – Runner-Up
- Behance – Also Great
- Toptal – Best for High-Paying Gigs
- Guru – Best for Expert Freelancers
- Freelancer – Best for Milestone-Based Payments
- 99designs – Best for Graphic Designers
- Dribbble – Best Online Community of Artists
- SolidGigs – Best for Finding Gigs Quickly
An Overview of Freelance Artist Websites
Before we get into our list of the best freelance platforms for artists, let’s first discuss what these platforms are all about and how they provide value to freelance artists.
What Is a Freelance Artist Website?
A freelance artist website is an online platform where artists can showcase their talents, connect with potential clients, and apply for freelance projects. It’s also a platform where clients can browse through different artist profiles, review work samples, and hire talent.
Why Are Freelance Artist Websites Important?
Freelance artist sites are important because they provide artists with a digital platform to showcase their work and attract clients actively seeking creative services.
What’s more, freelance sites break down geographical barriers. They enable artists to connect with clients and other artists and professionals from all over the world.
Networking and collaboration aside, freelancing platforms offer secure payment systems and simplify the process of securing remote jobs and providing freelance services. They also help artists build their professional credibility via rating and review systems.
Do I Need a Freelance Artist Website?
While you don’t necessarily need a freelance business website as an artist, you’d definitely benefit from joining one, especially if you’re a budding artist with a limited client base.
That being said, there are several other ways to promote your work and connect with clients. For instance, you can create a personal website where you can showcase your work and share your contact information.
Additionally, you can resort to social media, art fairs and galleries, and good-old local networking.
What we’re trying to say is that the decision to use a freelance site boils down to your personal preferences and goals, as well as the type of opportunities or gigs you’re trying to secure.
The Best Freelance Artist Websites at a Glance
In case you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through our in-depth reviews, the following paragraphs go over the best freelance site for artists overall and the highest-paying freelance site.
What Is the Best Freelance Artist Website?
The best freelance artist website is Upwork.
With over 5 million clients as of 2023, Upwork offers freelance artists the opportunity to work with individuals, businesses, and organizations from all over the world. It’s perfect for showcasing your portfolio and building your credibility as a freelance artist.
What Is the Highest-Paying Freelance Artist Website?
The highest-paying freelance artist website is Toptal.
Toptal is where you can find top-tier freelancers in the fields of design, finance, product management, software development, and web development.
It’s known for its rigorous screening process and high-paying freelance jobs, with hourly rates ranging from $80 to $150 for designers.
Features to Look for in Freelance Artist Websites
Seeing as there are numerous freelance websites out there, it can be hard to figure out which ones are best for artists.
Here’s a brief checklist to go over when trying to assess whether or not a freelance site is artist-friendly:
1. Portfolio Showcase
First and foremost, you should narrow your list to freelance artist websites that allow you to showcase your creative projects in a visually engaging and professional manner.
Consider freelance platforms that provide high-quality image displays and customizable templates so that you can design your portfolio to your liking. After all, a well-designed and compelling portfolio is key to attracting potential clients.
2. Secure Payment Processing
All freelance websites should offer a secure and reliable payment system that protects transactions between freelancers and clients, as well as encrypt the sensitive information of both parties.
A secure payment system also helps mitigate any concerns users might have about fraud, data breaches, and unauthorized access, which helps in establishing trust between freelancers and clients.
3. Networking Capabilities
The ability to network and collaborate with other artists and creative professionals is another key factor to consider in a freelance website. It will help you connect with like-minded individuals that will help inspire you on your creative journey.
The freelance site of your choosing should also offer community-oriented features, including messaging systems, discussion forums, and virtual communities. Such features will help you form partnerships and exchange ideas with other creatives.
4. Feedback and Rating System
Another feature to look for in a freelance site is a system that enables clients to leave reviews and ratings on the work they receive and the professionalism of the freelancers they hire.
The higher your ratings and the more positive reviews you receive, the higher your credibility will be, which will help you attract more potential clients and increase your earnings.
5. Support and Resources
Last but not least, you should only consider freelance websites that provide reliable support and valuable resources to support your growth as a creative professional. These resources can come in the form of tutorials, educational content, studies, and mentorship programs.
Best Freelance Artist Websites: Our Top 3 Options [Ranked & Reviewed]
Out of the nine artist-friendly freelance websites on our list, the following three are considered the best of the bunch:
1. Upwork – Our Pick
With a large user base and diverse projects, artists can find a broad range of creative gigs on Upwork. The platform offers a comprehensive interface for posting portfolios, bidding on projects, and communicating with clients.
However, competition can be high, and artists may need to showcase a strong portfolio to stand out. The platform offers a steady stream of projects, but fees and commissions can be relatively high compared to other platforms.
Upwork has a high-profile vetting process, and it can track invoices, client communication, and billable hours. It’s perfect not only for finding freelance work but also for building your reputation as an artist.
Key Features of Upwork
- Portfolio Showcase: Upwork allows artists to create a professional portfolio, showcasing their work, skills, and expertise.
- Ratings and Reviews: You receive ratings and reviews based on your performance and quality of work.
- Secure Payments: You can forget about payment issues with Upwork, thanks to its secure and reliable payment processing.
- Community and Networking: Upwork enables you to connect with other artists and participate in discussions.
Pros of Upwork
- Comprehensive user interface
- Wide range of creative projects
- Great for reputation building
- Large network of global clients
- Reliable payment processing
Cons of Upwork
- Very fierce competition
- High fees and commissions
Conclusion: Should You Choose Upwork?
Absolutely! Upwork’s global client base, wide range of creative projects, secure payments, and reputation-building system make it an excellent platform for freelance artists. However, be prepared for the fierce competition and relatively high fees.
2. Fiverr – Runner-Up
Whether you’re into graphic design, painting, animation, illustration, or other creative disciplines, Fiverr has a lot in store for you. For starters, Fiverr enables freelance artists to create customized gigs with specific pricing, delivery time frames, and packages.
Additionally, the freelance platform ensures streamlined communication between freelancers and clients. Fiverr can help you establish your credibility and boost your visibility as a professional artist with its rating system.
Fiverr also allows users to leverage gig extras and upsell options for increased earnings. Similar to Upwork, however, the competition is intense on Fiverr. So, you’ll need to bring your A-game every time.
Key Features of Fiverr
- Global Client Base: Fiverr grants freelance artists access to a vast network of clients from all over the world.
- Order Management System: With this system, it’s easy to keep track of your projects and deadlines.
- Upselling and Extras: Fiverr allows you to increase your earnings by offering gig extras and upselling options.
- Customized Gigs: You can create custom service packages that cater to different needs and budgets.
Pros of Fiverr
- Intuitive communication system
- Easy project management
- Allows you to create custom gigs
- Diverse project opportunities
- Access to a large network of clients
Cons of Fiverr
- Intense level of competition
- Limited direct client interaction
Fiverr’s service fee is 5.5% of the purchase amount. If the purchase amount is under $75, an additional fee of $2.50 is applied.
Conclusion: Should You Choose Fiverr?
If you’re looking for opportunities to boost your exposure and work with clients worldwide, Fiverr is right up your alley. It’s one of the best options on our list when it comes to streamlined project management.
3. Behance – Also Great
Behance isn’t exactly a freelance platform. It’s more of an online portfolio and networking platform. Nonetheless, it offers freelance artists a space to showcase their work and skills and connect with clients in need of creative services.
If you’re keen on visual presentation, aesthetic appeal, and interactivity, Behance is the perfect platform for you. It allows you to display your creative works in a visually compelling manner that resonates with your services.
Not only does Behance help connect you with a global creative community, but it can also help you get discovered by agencies and recruiters. In addition, it helps you collaborate with others inside and outside of your niche.
Key Features of Behance
- Creative Collaboration: Behance is a platform that emphasizes networking and collaboration between creatives.
- Exposure and Discovery: Artists can gain exposure and get discovered or hired by agencies and recruiters.
- Useful Integrations: Behance integrates seamlessly with Adobe Creative Cloud for easy project importing and syncing.
- Feedback and Critique: With a global creative community, be ready for constructive feedback from other creatives.
Pros of Behance
- Potential for worldwide exposure
- Access to numerous creative projects
- Excellent networking capabilities
- Visually appealing portfolio showcase
- Access to stable job opportunities
Cons of Behance
- No transactional features
- Wide talent pool
Behance is free to join and has no restrictions on the number of projects you can create. And since there are no transactional features, there’s no need to worry about fees and commissions.
Conclusion: Should You Choose Behance?
It’s almost a necessity nowadays to have a Behance account if you’re an artist, photographer, videographer, etc. It will help you showcase your portfolio, boost your exposure, connect with a global community of creatives, and explore different job opportunities.
Notable Mentions: Other Freelance Artist Websites to Check Out
Not sold on any of our top three picks? Here are some other freelance artist websites that are worth checking out:
4. Toptal – Best for High-Paying Gigs
Known for its rigorous vetting process, Toptal is a premium freelance platform for highly qualified artists and freelancers. Though the platform is geared more toward software developers and designers, it still offers freelance artists lots of opportunities.
Toptal is all about prestigious, large-scale projects and collaborations. To stand out, you must demonstrate your experience, professionalism, and ability to deliver quality work within a convenient time frame.
One of the strongest selling points of Toptal is that it’s one of the most lucrative freelance sites out there. What’s more, the platform’s seamless payment and contract management systems make it a comfortable virtual work environment.
Why Is Toptal a Great Option?
Toptal is a great option for freelance artists because of its supportive community, which promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing, and its high-quality, high-paying projects. You can make a lot of money on Toptal if you’re one of the best in your niche.
Drawbacks to Toptal
The main drawback to Toptal is its limited artistic focus, as most of its gigs are tech-heavy projects.
Additionally, Toptal has one of the best talent pools among all freelance platforms. So, unless you’re exceptionally good at what you do, you’ll have a hard time competing with other Toptal freelancers.
Unlike most freelance platforms, Toptal doesn’t charge freelancers a service fee. Instead, it negotiates project rates directly with clients. In other words, the platform’s commission is deducted from the project fees paid by the client.
5. Guru – Best for Expert Freelancers
While not as popular as Upwork and Fiverr, Guru is home to many clients seeking creative services. The platform’s user-friendly interface and comprehensive features make it ideal for showcasing your work and connecting with clients.
One of the things we like the most about Guru is that it caters to several artistic disciplines. Whether you’re a graphic designer, animator, painter, illustrator, or else, there are lots of job postings waiting for you on Guru.
On top of that, Guru is one of the best options on the list when it comes to facilitating communication between freelancers and clients. That’s not to mention features such as built-in invoicing, milestone tracking, and membership options.
Why Is Guru a Great Option?
If you champion diverse project opportunities, smooth freelancer-client communication, and integrated payments, Guru is the right platform for you. It’s one of the few options out there with a clear focus on creative disciplines.
Drawbacks to Guru
The downside to using Guru is that you’ll have to pay a job fee on top of your monthly membership fee, assuming you opt for a membership plan rather than the free account plan.
Guru has a free subscription plan that offers basic features with a job fee of 9%. Its membership plans start at $11.95/m. The higher you go up the membership ladder, the lower your job fee will be, with the lowest being 5%.
Learn more about Guru’s pricing for freelancers.
6. Freelancer – Best for Milestone-Based Payments
As one of the most popular freelancing platforms out there, Freelancer offers artists a wide range of opportunities to showcase their skills and connect with clients from all around the globe.
Freelancer’s extensive project database makes it an excellent option for freelance artists from different artistic disciplines. Its communication and collaboration tools allow for seamless interactions and transactions between clients and artists.
Freelancer’s payment system is unique compared to other freelance platforms, as it’s based on milestones. Funds are held in escrow until you meet specific project milestones. This ensures secure and guaranteed payments.
Why Is Freelancer a Great Option?
Freelancer is a great option for freelance artists because of its large and active user base, as well as its diverse project opportunities. To add, it boasts robust communication and collaboration tools. It also has a reliable, milestone-based payment system.
Drawbacks to Freelancer
It can be challenging to stand out and secure high-paying projects on Freelancer due to the fierce competition and notable pricing pressure. It’s one of the most popular freelance platforms, after all, with over 67 million employers and freelancers from around the world.
Freelancer’s service fee for fixed-price projects is $5 or 10%, whichever is greater. For hourly projects, the service fee is 10%.
7. 99designs – Best for Graphic Designers
99designs is an online marketplace that caters specifically to graphic design. On this platform, clients can create design contests, where freelance designers compete by submitting their creative takes on the client’s brief.
Freelance graphic designers can compete in various design categories, including branding, web design, logos, packaging, and more. And with its large client base, 99designs is perfect for gaining visibility and attracting potential clients.
99designs features a straightforward messaging system that facilitates communication and collaboration between clients and designers. The platform also features a secure payment system, where designers receive the agreed-upon fee or prize upon winning a contest.
Why Is 99designs a Great Option?
The whole idea of participating in design contests makes 99designs a great option for freelancers, as it enables them to build a diverse portfolio and expand on it. The exposure to a wide client base is also a big plus.
Drawbacks to 99designs
There are a few drawbacks to 99designs. For starters, the contest-based model makes for compensation concerns, as there isn’t a way to make any money unless you win a contest.
Secondly, the platform is geared primarily towards graphic designers. If you’re not one, there isn’t much for you to do on 99designs.
As a freelance designer on 99designs, you pay a platform fee based on your “designer level.” Entry-level designers pay 15%, whereas mid-level designers pay 10%. Top-tier designers pay the lowest fee, which is 5%.
8. Dribbble – Best Online Community of Artists
Known for its vibrant community and focus on visual design, Dribbble is home to many graphic designers, illustrators, and UI/UX designers. The platform is also known for hosting design challenges and prompts designed to help creative professionals gain more exposure.
Dribbble enables users to connect, collaborate, and learn from other users. It allows for interactions such as likes, comments, and follows. It’s like a social media platform for creatives!
If you’re looking to land a full-time job, Dribbble is a job posting board where you can find many full-time job listings. This, of course, is in addition to freelance gigs and contract-based work.
Why Is Dribbble a Great Option?
Dribbble offers freelance artists a visually appealing platform to display their work to a large audience. Additionally, it allows users to be part of a vibrant community of like-minded individuals. That’s not to mention the countless job opportunities.
Drawbacks to Dribbble
As with most popular freelance platforms, the competition is fierce on Dribbble, and you may find it difficult to attract high-paying clients. Further, the platform is focused primarily on visual design, which isn’t every freelance artist’s forte.
Dribbble doesn’t have any service fees. You can use it for free, which limits your overall earning potential, or you can opt for a paid membership to unlock premium features like pitch videos, access to the freelance jobs board, and more.
9. SolidGigs – Best for Finding Gigs Quickly
SolidGigs is a subscription-based platform that connects freelance artists with job opportunities and clients seeking creative services. The platform basically hand-picks freelance artist jobs that suit your niche and drops them in your inbox.
There’s a team of experienced curators behind SolidGigs. Their job is to scour the internet for freelance gigs, filtering through freelance marketplaces, company websites, and freelance job boards.
SolidGigs provides freelance opportunities in a wide range of creative fields, from illustration and graphic design to writing. It also features a members-only community where you can interact with other creative professionals.
Why Is SolidGigs a Great Option?
SolidGigs is a fantastic platform for freelance artists because it spares you the hassle of bidding for gigs. Instead, it curates high-quality gigs for you, then drops them in your inbox directly.
Drawbacks to SolidGigs
The main downside to using SolidGigs is the relatively limited job listings. After all, the team behind SolidGigs only curates high-quality gigs. So, there aren’t as many options as with platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.
SolidGigs doesn’t have any fees. It’s a subscription-based platform where you pay a flat price on a monthly or yearly basis and enjoy working without paying any fees. There’s also a 7-day trial period.
Other Options Relevant to Freelance Artist Websites
If you find the idea of being a freelance creative professional interesting, you may want to consider the following ventures:
- Online Writing Sites: Do you have a knack for writing and want to make a few extra bucks doing writing jobs? We’re happy to tell you that there are online websites that pay you to write reviews, short stories, and more.
- Photography Platforms: If you’re into photography and are looking to showcase your work, this guide highlights the best photography platforms out, from Instagram and Behance to Flickr and Exposure.
- Micro Task Websites: Are you looking for quick and effortless ways to make money? Micro task sites, also referred to as micro job sites, allow you to make money by carrying out small, repetitive, and non-specialized tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few frequently asked questions that revolve around freelance artist websites:
What Is the Best Freelance Website for Illustrators?
The best freelancing sites for illustrators are Behance, Upwork, 99designs, Dribbble, and Freelancer.
Your choice between these platforms will depend on factors like competition, pricing, payment processing, and client acquisition. Be sure to weigh their pros and cons before making a decision.
Is Fiverr Better Than Upwork?
The answer depends on who you ask.
If you’re into smaller, one-time projects, then Fiverr would be the better choice. Per contra, if you’re into larger, long-term projects, Upwork is better for your freelance career.
It’s also worth noting that Fiverr has a simpler interface than Upwork. On the other hand, some would say Upwork is more secure due to its stringent security measures.
How Much Do Freelance Artists Get Paid?
According to ZipRecruiter, the hourly wages of freelance artists range from as low as $11 to as high as $89, with the average hourly rate being around $33.
Bear in mind that factors such as experience, credibility, and efficiency contribute to your earning potential as a freelance artist. The more you improve upon these factors, the more you’ll stand out in the freelancing world and the more money you’ll make.
There you have it; now you know all about the best freelance websites for artists!
All of the above-listed platforms offer artists invaluable opportunities to boost their exposure and secure regular freelance gigs. They also enable users to collaborate with and receive feedback from other artists and professionals.
No matter the type of art you specialize in, one of the freelance websites highlighted in this article will surely meet your needs and provide you with a digital space to showcase your talent, expand your network, and earn a living doing what you love.
If you have any questions about today’s topic, leave us a comment. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Also, be sure to share this guide with other freelance artists who are looking to embark on a new creative journey.