A freelance career in the creative arts
A freelance career in the creative arts

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Week 1: What is a creative freelance career?

Introduction

Welcome to Week 1 of the free badged course A freelance career in the creative arts. Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step towards a better understanding of self-employment and the options open to you.

This course will introduce you to key issues and point you to carefully curated references and organisations for further research and support. The majority of references are from online blogposts and articles. While there are many excellent books on this topic, the most up-to-date information is often to be found on the websites of relevant organisations and in blogs by creative entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

The amount of online information available can be overwhelming, so this course aims to highlight some of the best advice out there and set it into a logical order to help you progress your freelance plans.

Throughout the course, most of the advice is the same whether you are offering a product or service, but where it is useful to make a distinction the text will highlight any particular relevance.

This week, you’ll start by exploring some definitions. You’ll also look at a range of case studies from freelancers in a variety of contexts. Case studies can be both reassuring and inspiring as well as providing a useful overview of how someone else has approached common issues.

Case studies are also at the core of the videos you’ll see in the introduction to each week. These videos include excerpts from interviews conducted with several creative freelancers, and aim to provide information and inspiration on the week’s key topics.

Watch this first video, in which our interviewees explain what being a creative freelancer means to them.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Video 1
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you should be able to:

  • explore the context of freelancing within the wider economy
  • describe a portfolio career and reflect on whether that approach could work for you
  • recognise the benefits to employers of working with freelancers

Before you start, The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations of the course. Your input will help to further improve the online learning experience. If you’d like to help and, if you haven't done so already, please fill in this optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371