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2021 Personal Goals as a Freelance Illustrator

As we reach the end of February, I wanted to take some time to reassess my goals for this year in light of the ongoing challenges and uncertainty of the pandemic as a freelance illustrator.

The overarching objective is to...

proactively initiate or self-drive outreach for new opportunities instead of being bound by flux and stagnant in delays of clients/projects as they deal with pandemic instability.

I believe its vital for self-employed creatives to always continue moving forward - as a matter of survival and growth but more importantly as personal development to innovate and cultivate your values to shape the future you strive for.


1. Creating my own stories

I am furthering my author/illustrator projects this year and submitting my picture book dummies to publishers for consideration. In my experience, a well put together book dummy builds determination into your practice to check off all the deliverables. You can learn so much from the development stages which enhances one's understanding of picture book making. I am continually exploring the relationship between words and pictures - show not tell where each has its own distinct but complimentary narrative.

2. Explorations on Character Design

I have been implementing specific strategies to develop my character design with intention. Aside from pure repetition to get accurate anatomy, I am trying different proportions, textures, digital vs traditional, new colour palettes, different angles of the face to name a few.

3. Sharing my Creative Process

I would love to connect to a wider audience through video content documenting my creative process along with sharing snippets of my thoughts/ advocating for fair illustration industry similar to what I have done on this blog so far. I hope these initiatives can reach a new demographic of audiences on social media and cast my net further for professional collaborations.

4. Portfolio Curation

I'm sure many creatives will agree that portfolio curation is a never-ending process. I am continuing to refine the selection I show and work towards feedback from prospective agents, mentors and my peers. Aside from small updates of new work, I would like to schedule a major review of my overall site a few times this year.

5. Shop Expansion

I want to continue to develop new products for my online shop as a means of generating secondary income and the design aspect is lots of fun too. Its always really rewarding to be able to bring to life personal projects where you can let your creativity roam free. It would be great to get back into in-person event sales in the future. Hearing personal responses to your work is really rewarding and gives you valuable market insights.


Thanks so much for reading till the end! What are your personal goals this year? How are you managing client pandemic challenges? Come say hi over on instagram: @natalie.illustration


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