By Shelby Robin
Last week Fashion & Retail Society was lucky enough to host fashion illustrator Holly Nichols. You should definitely take a second (or an hour) to scroll through her breathtaking drawings on Instagram— @hnicholsillustration. Holly gave us some great advice on everything from finding your style to succeeding in freelance business.
Building your Instagram Following
1. 1Keeping your content consistent was Holly’s most important bit of advice. Make a routine out of your posting schedule so it is predictable.
2. On the same note, don’t take long breaks. One day off is fine, three weeks isn’t.
3. Clear content. Well lit photos are well liked photos.
4. Separate your personal Instagram from your professional. For fashion blogging this is less essential than for illustration.
5. Lastly, effective #hashtags make all the difference. Using a broad hashtags means your post might get lost, but using something too specific might mean no one sees it as well. Try to find something the in between.
Find Your Style as an Artist
1. Don’t limit yourself, experiment. Trying out different mediums, subjects and materials will help you figure out what you like and what you don’t like.
2. Travel, especially as a student. As Holly puts it, “Being in a different place puts you in a different mindset.”
3. Try to look for themes in your art, what do you keep coming back to? For Holly that was fashion.
Working with Brands
1. If you are getting approached by brands and don’t know what to charge, just throw out a number. Start high!
2. “Pitch yourself as a business, not a person.”
3. Have your clients sign contracts, especially if they are your friends. It helps to have agreed upon terms and conditions.
Getting your Freelance Career Started
1. Being social face to face is as important as social media. Networking is a great way to spread your name and business.
2. Invest in your tools. Don’t skimp on what you create with, or what your business is sustained by.
3. “If it doesn’t make sense to jump all in, don’t.” As is the case with most of life, trust your gut.
Books to Check Out
1. “Business and Legal Forms”
2. “The Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron
3. “Art/Work” by Heather Darcy Bhandari