Top 10 Useful Websites For The Aspiring Creative
It’s a great time to pursue a career in the creative industry. The UK economy is becoming increasingly reliant on the freelance workforce’s contribution to a range of different industries, according to new Simply Business data. With freelance work on the up and the internet making it possible to quickly connect creatives with brands, there’s never been a better time to take the leap into graphic design, animation, photography, blogging, or other creative career. To help you on your way to creative stardom we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 online resource websites for creatives.
This is my most recommended tool, particularly for bloggers! All the artwork you see on beemoneysavvy.com was designed in Canva. It’s a great design tool for amateurs (like myself). You can easily create logos, banners, posters and social media graphics to name a few. There’s a premium option where you can pay for more fancy artwork or a free version that offers you all the basics plus some free stock images. Canva is easily assessed on PC, tablet or phone and you can save a library of all your designs.
Whatever your creative gig is, the sooner you can promote your portfolio the better. The best way to do this has to be by creating a website! I created beemoneysavvy through WordPress. Originally I used the free version to jot down content ideas and start creating blog posts, it was only when I felt that I had enough content that I decided to go self-hosted and buy my own domain name. I still manage my website through WordPress and couldn’t image using a different CMS (content management system) at this point. WordPress has free or paid hosting options, enables your website to be fully customisable and offers free mobile friendly designs and themes to help you on your way.
FreePik is a free graphic resources for personal and commercial use. I’ve used this resource before for free stock images but you can also find colourful and quirky vectors, PSD’s (Photoshop documents), and icons using the search bar function. A small attribution is required for a lot of the free resources but you can find the guidelines for this next to the download button.
Design Bundles is your go to for affordable digital products such as Graphics, Templates, Mock Ups, Patterns, Illustrations and Craft Files. Whether you’re a hobbyist or professional Design Bundles is a great alternative to FreePik when it comes to finding a whole spectrum of design assets to create unique and professional looking crafts. Browse over 150,000 Marketplace Products with up to 96% off the RRP. Design Bundles also has a $1 section, a free design category, and a choice of themed design bundles to help you cut the cost of quality craft templates.
Looking for quality design resources such as fonts, graphics, textures, patterns, templates and more? With a 5 star Trustpilot rating Design Cuts has been branded a ‘wonderfuly engaged community of creative people’. As well as supplying beautifully designed templates, DesignCuts offers free Photoshop, Procreare and Illustrator tutorials.
This one if for the aspiring photographers and digital creatives amongst you. Awwwards.com calls itself a “meeting point, where digital design professionals from across the globe find inspiration, impart knowledge and experience, connect, and share constructive, respectful critiques”. You can find tons of inspiration from Awwwards, browse collections of carefully created lists of innovatively designed websites, and submit your own work to be reviewed and voted on by our international jury.
My Photo School
If you’re looking to advance your photography skills then My Photo School is definitely worth a visit. Included on the site are tutorials from some of the world’s top photographers; including several levels of expertise to choose from whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or are looking for something more specialist such as wedding photography, bird photography, and even digital macro photography. You can also choose how you want to learn from either a peer option (with an online classroom of up to 20 people), or a more expensive expert option (including marked assignment and personal tuition).
While you have creative talent you might not necessarily have marketing talent. MailChimp’s all-in-one marketing platform takes care of the marketing side of your business for you. Create a sign up form, collect a contact list of people interested in your work, create newsletters, showcase your work, automate your social ads and sell more products. This clever website also shows you real time data insights to help you improve your pitch.
If you’ve only just started to make a go of your creative career and you’ve yet to build up a client base or you’re looking to take on some extra work on the side, then Fiverr is worth a go! Fiverr is the world’s biggest freelance services marketplace connecting businesses with freelancers offering digital services in 250+ categories. Why not make money from your creative talent? Here’s the process to start making money with Fiverr:
- Create your seller profile – this is how you present yourself to potential buyers so you should aim to appear professional.
- Create your gig – this is the service you plan on selling so make sure to show off your best work and provide all the information buyers are likely to look for.
- Set the price – try to offer a competitive price but don’t undervalue your creative talents.
- Send Custom Offers – pitch your gig to potential buyers by offering discounts, bundles and extras.
If you start working for yourself, you’re classed as a sole trader. This means you’re self-employed and are required to report your earnings to HMRC. When it comes to income and tax returns, advice from people already in business can be invaluable but you need to make sure that you follow all the guidance set out by HMRC otherwise you could be faced with a big fine! This year I filled in my first tax return (you only have to do this if you’ve earned over £1000 in a single tax year), while the process was a little tricky I found lots of helpful advice on the official HMRC website and following the self-assessment tool wasn’t so daunting. My advice for anyone looking to start taking on freelance work would be to keep record of your incomings and outgoings as soon as you start trading and check the HMRC website regularly for advice on taxes, expenses and national insurance.
Regardless of what creative career path your planning on pursuing these websites should be able to provide you with tons of guidance, support and inspiration. Get those creative juices flowing and make this year the year you took a step in the right direction of your dream job.