Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey as a creative, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carmela Caldart, an illustrator and artist based in Barcelona.

Tell us all about your business...

I'm a freelance illustrator and artist. My commercial clients include magazines, online publications, brands, etc. I also sell physical artwork like pins, prints, original paintings, and ceramics through my online shop.

Illustrations by Carmela Caldart

What's your background and motivation to get into the solopreneur life?

I got my degree in graphic design, but I've always felt it made more sense to express myself through drawing and painting. I made the switch to illustration about 3 years ago and began working on my portfolio and working as a freelance illustrator. I also noticed people seemed to really like my personal work, so I started making those available for purchase too. I think what motivates me the possibility to express myself through my work, and to create something people can connect to and be inspired by.

As a business owner, what does success ultimately mean to you?

Success to me means being able to do what I love, while also always recreating myself - having the freedom to experiment, change, and evolve within my work.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Patience and not getting discouraged - success takes time and isn't easy to measure, so I think the hardest part is to keep going even when things are slow.

What are the top 3 tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a business today?

First, like I said, patience! Building up your business day by day, and not expecting success to be immediate. Second, staying consistent - in the case of illustration, making new work, sharing it, etc. And third, I think creativity is really important (even in non-creative fields, I imagine) - creating things that haven't been done, or thinking outside the box.

If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?

I think it's the same answer as everyone - marketing and self-promotion, knowing how to sell yourself.

What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?

As a freelancer, I think this is really hard - we always want to say yes to every project! I recently started working regular hours (no working at night, taking actual lunch breaks, logging off at the end of the day). I also stopped taking my computer on vacations, which seems simple but is actually really hard to do!! I think as an artist, too, so much of our work is personal and there are blurry lines between what is work and what is life - so I think setting boundaries of time and space were really helpful to me.

Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?

I don't really have many recommendations!! But I do have a few illustrator-specific resources:

Magoz has a great client list template/blog post about reaching out to clients that was really helpful to me.

Jessica Hische has a great pricing guideline for illustrators/designers.

And Lauren Hom has a great course called "Passion to Paid" on turning your passion project into your career.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Don't forget to have fun :)

Where can people find you online?

My website is and you can find me on Instagram @carmelacaldart and here's my shop.

If you like what you've read here and have your own solopreneur story that you'd like to share then email, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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