Seeking New Artist Portfolio + Freelancing Advice! Tips?


I am aspiring to get in 30 Modeling work as a part-time professional trade. Ultimately I am interested in long term goals of creating real-life 3D environments using 3D printed/ CNC milled custom models. I am also interested in modeling for games/animations, but those are highly specialized skill-sets. I reasonably would like to start small for now, just making models for a small company or as a freelancer (second preferred). I am currently working on building a portfolio, then procuring jobs/clients and have a few questions. Any specific examples would be great!:

1.) WHAT SHOULD I MAKE FOR MY PORTFOLIO!? :slight_smile: What types of models are great to have in a portfolio? Furniture? Food? Cars? Buildings? Assuming everything should be fully textured and fully lit realistically. What types of models do most people hiring 3D modelers usually want created?
I specifically want to do character and object design (I am not interested in environment creation yet).
I would eventually like to get into modeling for games and animations, but for now, the focus is creating basic models that people can buy to use in advertisements, and any other field that does not require rigging as well (and also for sale on sites like turbosquid). I am particularly interested in models for 3D printing/CNC milling- any advice here is very helpful!.

2.) HOW DO I FREELANCE!? :slight_smile: Is there a short and easy guide I can look at to getting started and working as a freelancer? What is the standard rate per hour in the United States? Does the price for a model increase with textures (aside from the cost of the texture)? How long does a client typically expect to spend on a particular model (examples)? How should taxes be calculated? How should contracts and quotes be drafted? What rights does a client typically have to the final file? Ideally, if I created a highly custom model, I would also like rights to sell it on the 3D marketplace as well (but might that cause issues should a client come across that later? Often, its much more expensive to have a model made than to just buy it online). Perhaps there could be a higher cost for “exclusive rights” to a model?

3.) WORRY ABOUT COPYRIGHT ISSUES!? :slight_smile: If I wanted to say, make the sword from a particular anime and sell it online as a 3D-printable model… or even if I had it 3d printed myself and sold the result… assuming that is always an image rights issues? It would seem so. Possible, maybe (tbh its preferred anyway) to contact the image-rights holder for permission or to negotiate a deal? Seek image-rights usage?

4.) WHAT DOES A CLIENT TYPICALLY EXPECT? :slight_smile: When a client commissions a model for a project what do they typically expect to get and how much do they typically expect to pay for a custom-commissioned model? Examples?

5.) WHAT 3D MODELING FIELDS HAVE THE HIGHEST DEMAND!? :slight_smile: What 3D modeling markets should I target if I want to secure steady work and/or jobs paying at least $25/hour (low end), regardless of my personal interest? What 3D modeling fields pay the most?

6.) IF I WORK FOR A COMPANY WHICH TYPES ARE BEST TO TARGET? :slight_smile: Advertising companies (not preferred)? Perhaps art fabrication companies (preferred)? What should I request for entry-level salary?

7.) HOW DO ONLINE MODEL SALES WORK!? :slight_smile: How reliable is downloadable 3D model online sales (i.e. as a source of income? Any tips to generate consistent revenue?

8.) WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW!? :slight_smile:

I hope you guys can help out this newbie! Thanks!