Greeting cards are expressions of varied emotions such as friendship, love, gratitude. The greeting card is essentially a western phenomenon but has become popular in the remaining parts of the world in a short duration of time. Now, many people conventionally mail greeting cards to their loved ones; many businesses send greeting cards to their customers during particular seasons. Nowadays, greeting cards conveying messages such as “season’s greetings” or “happy holidays” are becoming increasingly popular. Thus, one can easily gather the idea and relevance behind greeting cards, and how much traditional they have become in the contemporary world.
Like the greeting cards, the artists who make them are equally delightful human beings, as they pour in creativity in a bewitching and diverse manner to cater to the needs of special occasions and human feelings. As greeting cards are highly popular, there is a huge demand of greeting card artists.
Greeting card artists have a universal advantage since everyone loves greetings and cards are considered the way to convey greetings. Nonetheless, the greeting card industry is highly competitive, and one cannot simply become a greeting card artist with the help of a few, unshaped artistic skills. There is much to know, and in this article, we shall identify those critical areas where a freelance greeting card artist must work.
Here are four points a freelance greeting card artist must remember:
1. Job Requirements for a freelance greeting card artist
Formal education is not mandatory in case of greeting card artist, but the present freelance community presses on the need of some or other form formal training in the art of making greeting cards or, in general, illustration. So, if you wish to score big, you might need a little bit of formalism in you and your career. To know more on this, read below:
- The minimum educational qualification required to become a freelance greeting card illustrator is the qualification of 10+2 from a recognized school in India. Employers, however, prefer those candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in illustration.
- There is one more mode of formal education in greeting card making: Certification courses. One can earn certificate courses in greeting card making or illustration from a number of reputed institutions. One such course is the Advanced Certification Course in Adobe Illustrator CC Training offered by TGC India. The course is a comprehensive package on Adobe Illustrator Interface, Graphic designing, Design Pipeline and what not .
These courses are designed to teach you the basics as well as the advanced aspects of illustration.
- Portfolio of skills is equally essential in the making of a fine freelance greeting card artist. When formal education ends, training begins. You have to train yourself as much as you can, and how to do that? Become an apprentice to skilled artists, or start engaging yourself in the industry on a routine basis. With experience, your portfolio of skills will grow, and it is this portfolio of skills which will act as a ticket to success and economic independence—something which nearly everyone one of us madly want in life.
2. Skills needed to become a freelance greeting card artist
There is a myriad of skills which a greeting card artist is expected to possess. Some of those skills have been mentioned below, and it is incumbent upon you to study and incorporate them.
- Knowledge about greeting cards: As a greeting card artist, you must be well- acquainted with the kinds of cards and the latest market trends. As far as the kinds of greeting cards are concerned, there are plentiful. There are photo greeting cards, which have become widespread only recently; reusable greeting cards, which cost less and last more; electronic greeting cards, which are famously known as e-cards, and are the natural outcomes of the digital world; musical greeting cards, which play music when opened; risqué greeting cards, which often incorporate mature cartoons and humour, and are extensively popular among companies, etc.
- A knack for creativity: Yes, as a freelance greeting card artist, you must never compromise with creativity. To you, creativity should be an inseparable companion. Avoid following the same line of creativity in your creations; always make new inputs in cards. If there is no novelty in work, your career will eventually suffer an unfortunate debacle.
- Tech savvy: The world has gone digital, and hand-made cards have become less popular with time. This mandates knowledge of artistic technologies such as Adobe Photoshop. In absence of enough knowledge in these areas, you may fall behind in the competition.
- Visual representation of emotions: As noted earlier, greeting cards reflect sentiments—this is the very essence of greeting cards. It is, therefore, important on the part of a greeting card illustrator to give apt visual representation to sentiments. For example, a birthday card is often colourful and cheerful. You should know what design best reflects the sentiments associated with a birthday.
- Adherence to specifications: A freelance greeting card artist must stick to the specifications and guidelines issued by the client. While creativity and novelty are helpful, too much deviation from the general and specific guidelines of the client may cause problems. If the client has a limited budget, you must keep that in mind and perform the job in the most suitable manner. Failure to keep the best interests of the client in mind will cause you problems.
- Willingness to take up varied themes: You should always be ready to take up different themes, and not restrict yourself to a couple of themes you are best at. The more diversification your work exhibits, the better job prospects are.
3. Where to work as a freelance greeting card artist?
- As a greeting card artist, you can seek employment at card selling shops. You may enter into a contractual engagement with them and supply them cards accordingly.
- You can work with international organizations such as UNICEF, which often market greeting cards for charitable purposes.
- There are a number of workplaces where you can work; however, one has to do a lot of research in this regard. To keep yourself aware of job opportunities, you can become a member of popular online platforms such as linkedin.com, freelance.com, worknhire.com and guru.com. These are essentially job portals, which bridge the communication gap between freelancers and potential employers. All you are required to do is create an informative profile, upload a portfolio of relevant skills and start submitting applications. While submitting the application, pay keen attention to the drafting of the proposal stating why you are best suited for the job. Follow-up regularly, but not too frequently otherwise you might project a rather desperate side. After that, wait for aresponse.
4. Pay scale of a freelance greeting card artist
Much of the pay scale depends on the quality of the card, the client, and whatnot. In fact, your skills, as a freelance greeting card artist, play a huge role in the determination of the pay rate. Individuals associated with prominent greeting card companies such as Hallmark or Archies earn handsomely. You may earn as much as Rs. 1000 per card, but that will depend on multiple considerations.
If you are fresh in the business, you may have a hard time in the beginning with the pay scale usually starting with Rs. 100 per card, but as you gain experience, your income will accordingly increase.