Individuals with visual-spatial intelligence, or those who are "art smart," can capitalize on their artistic ability and work as freelance artists or illustrators.
In the commercial complex near the suburban neighborhood where I live, there are artists who offer their skills for a fee. One of them does pencil portraits of their clients, while another one draws caricature renditions.
Taking in work as an artist is not limited to these tasks. You can get in touch with authors of children's books and ask if your style in illustrating appeals to him. I have also heard of water color painters who design Christmas cards.
Before you start searching for clients, get these basics down:
Put up an office.
Having your own space need not be a huge investment. Decide on your priorities. A sturdy desk and chair can be obtained for a price cheaper than the ones offered at an office supply store if you'll exert a little patience in looking for alternatives.
There are online stores that sell used (or second-hand) stuff, or get prospective buyers to bid and then settle for the most reasonable price. It would be good to check what these stores have to offer.
If you have a mobile phone, that's usually enough for you to reach your clients. Also, you would need a professional-sounding email address so you can send samples of your designs or illustrations to interested clients.
Save up for your art supplies.
If you'd like to focus on rendering portraits, you need a set of drawing pencils in different grades (HB, B, and 1B to 7B) and paper in good quality. If you're more interested in caricatures, you would need to add up the cost of colored pencils or pastels.
Have a portfolio handy.
You need a place where you can conveniently insert your illustrations. Purchase a binder in a conservative color (i.e. black, navy blue, brown, or maroon) with enough room for the size of your drawings (8 1/2" x 11" drawing paper or larger).
Make the lay-out as presentable as possible. You can make it a rule to leave a one-inch margin on all sides of your artwork, and make your signature as visible as possible.
Another option would be to have your own website or Facebook Page that will serve as an "online gallery." There are also websites like Deviant Art where you can sign up for a free account.
In my next few articles, I'll talk about pricing your artistic ability competitively.