The first thing you will want to do is to create a portfolio of your art work. It is best to keep this specialized to a field you want to cover, an area where your greatest strengths lie. If you like a variety of styles then have a separate portfolio for each different style which you can submit individually depending on people's needs. Your portfolio should be neatly presented in a zip up folder and small enough to fit comfortably on your potential client's desk.
Once you have designed your freelance art portfolio the next step will be to find the clients. There are a number of freelance jobs boards on the internet today, including freelanceworkexchange.com, elance.com and guru.com where you can find freelance work but you may also want to try approaching newspapers, magazines and book publishers to find out whether they have any requirements for freelance artists. There are also a number of other places you can look such as greeting cards companies, design companies and advertising agencies, depending on what style you are particularly looking at and the type of work that you would like to do.
Another way you can promote your art is by setting up your own website. If you do not have web design skills then try to find someone who is able to help you who does have the skills necessary to create a website that will help to promote your freelance art work.
When you have someone who is interested in commissioning art from you the next thing you will want to do is to set up a freelance art work contract. This contract should include details as to what the work is that is to be done, the delivery date, as well as the cost and payment terms. If the project is a fairly large one then you may also want to have smaller milestones so that you both know what the progress is on the project at each particular stage.
For many artists, freelancing is the only way to get enough work if they want to make money as an artist. Before starting freelance art work you should develop a well presented portfolio which reflects your style, strengths and an area that you want to specialize in. You should use this portfolio when contacting clients either through freelance jobs boards, at newspapers, magazines, publishers, or other commissioning companies and use a website to further promote your work. Once you have clients who are interested in working with you, you will need to create a freelance work contract so that you both understand what is required.