I graduated back in 2013, and admittedly had no idea what I was going to do after university. I had just quit my part-time student job to focus on the last few months of my degree. I thought I would end up working as a junior somewhere with my Motion Graphics skills I had learned over the years at Uni and in my own personal spare time. But I was scouted at my Degree show, originally thinking it was for an intern position, but only to find out it was for a freelance gig. I enjoyed the first few jobs I did as a freelancer, although not being paid much, I liked the idea of having a job and career I had ownership over. I had never ever considered freelance as an option when studying, but falling into it randomly was the best thing that ever happens to me. 6 years later, I love the freedom and flexibility of being a freelancer, and highly recommend it to designers and creatives. My take away from this would be it's okay to have a plan immediately, as something can always pop up surprisingly.
The best parts of freelancing for me, for sure, is the freedom. The freedom to pick the jobs I want to work on, the freedom of being able to pick my clients, and choose the people I get to work with. Unfortunately, with this, comes a lot of negatives too. Having to run your own business essentially is tough. Chasing clients for money, doing your own finances and accounts, dealing with clients and agencies, a lot of planning and scheduling is involved. And ultimately not knowing when my next job/pay cheque is coming in is scary. But that's the risk you take with being a freelancer. For sure the positives outway the negatives and downfalls.
Show your work by Austin Kleon: This was a real, big inspiration for my freelance career. The book features 10 ways to share your content and get discovered. As a young designer straight out of university, I decided to jump into the hectic world of advertising. The way to be seen and noticed by agencies and studios is to put out work that can be found by your potential clients. But this is tough when you hoard your work out of embarrassment or criticism.
Perspective Podcast by Scotty Russell: Scotty Russell, aka Perspective-Collective, is an incredible type artist and illustrator whose work I have become incredibly fond with over the past year. His podcasts normally last around 10 to 15 minutes which is the perfect bitesize chunk of incredible motivation and experience Scotty shares to his listeners. He is without a doubt one of the most passionate creatives I have listened to and shares a lot of free, catered content regularly, whether it's via the podcasts, blogs or newsletters. He shares genuine and very personal accounts of the struggles and hard work needed to make it in the creative industry, something you don’t often hear enough of for me personally.
The crossroads of should and must by Elle Luna: This book remains to be one of my favourites, so powerful and expressive. Elle Luna talks about ‘should’ over ‘must’ and how we have to prioritise what’s actually necessary when making life decisions. She speaks about her amazing journey from working at a startup and seeming as if she had it all, but having a dream about a white room where she paints and follows the path of must in her goals to becoming an artist. It resonates with me still in my personal battles of should and must as a designer, writing blogs, making personal art are all my ‘must’ choices right now rather then what was a ‘should’ I do it? Will I be able to do it?
I am always working on personal passion projects, it's a cool way to express myself and challenge myself in ways maybe I wouldn't be able to in client work. My Instagram is a majority made up of personal projects.
I am currently working on a Freelancer Guide for students/graduates looking to get into freelance. It will consist of tips and tricks that I have learnt over the years. I constantly get asked how I got into what I do, and I think it's your duty as a professional to give back as much as you can. Especially when working in advertising, I think it can get quite repetitive selling/making stuff for brands and companies. So it's nice to break free from that all and do something for other designers and share the knowledge you have gained.
Don't overthink it! So many graduates think the first jobs/projects they take, need to be the best. It's a journey, a career! You need to take the time to learn and soak up as much knowledge from those around you to climb the 'ladder'.
Make sure to get your work out into the world, share it online, post it on social media, portfolio websites. This is not only the best way to get noticed for the work you do, but it also shows character and your drive to make and share work. The hunger in creating is what I always look for in graduates.
Embrace your creativity. I often tell people that creating and making for me is a lifestyle, as it populates so much of my time, both when making work for clients, or myself. Embrace it all, enjoy it, have fun!
Traditionally I am a motion designer, but recently over the last year or so, 3D Illustration has really caught my eye and has become a calling for me and my work. I hope to get represented by a few agents that can help me push my work out to new clients and even new locations. I've had an amazing 6 years of working with some top brands and agencies, but I would actually love to do some smaller stuff now and work on brands and with clients that are not so established. This will bring more creative freedom and hopefully I can start to create a style of work that's a bit more unique and custom to me as a designer. In my personal time, I want to meet more creates to collab with! I don't do this enough, and really want to focus on the design community to work together and create something different and special.