Episode 22: Cathal Duane

How to Make It as a Freelance Illustrator


In this episode, I talk with illustrator Cathal Duane about freelance life, setting realistic expectations, and the importance of understanding the business side of freelance illustration.

An Irish illustrator based in France and represented by Usfolk, Cathal’s work is bold, modern, and textured, with highly figurative forms, smart compositions, and joyful color schemes. Cathal has worked on commercial and editorial projects with clients like The Atlantic, the BBC, Creative Ireland, the Association of Illustrators, and the Belfast City Council.

In this conversation, we talk about:

  • how Cathal established himself as a freelance illustrator

  • how setting realistic and acheivable goals can help you succeed

  • how Cathal gradually built a portfolio, a client list, and a network

  • Cathal's creative process

  • why all illustrators should learn about the business side of freelancing

  • how having a boilerplate contract can save you hours of unpaid wok

  • how Cathal separates work from his life as a freelancer


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I may get a small commission from purchases made through them (at no additional cost to you). This helps to support the show.