Tuesday, 1 November 2011

My Day as a Freelancer.

Really long, wordy post coming up. This is more for me to remember what I did today!
Ok so a number of different jobs, all sent over via email. Several communication and file problems, which wasn't too great.

If you can't be bothered to read all this, skip to the end for my thoughts on my day as a freelancer.

Job 1.
(1 hour, including phone call to sort out pay rate (now getting what I originally asked for, which isn't even that much, so yay!))

Provided with a small amount of text and a couple of images, as well as what the previous poster looked like. Creative reign to design. The images were pretty uninspiring so I tried to get creative with typography (even though I could only use Times New Roman!) I even went all out and used a drop shadow. The work is for a construction/engineering company so the poster was about eye protection. So the usual photos of goggles/safety glasses etc, but also one involving a piece of drill or something sticking out of an eyeball. I'm the most squeamish person about eyes so it was really hard to look at that image, let alone use it in the design, but I persevered!

I sent over three designs. They preferred my first one (always the way), the least typographic one with the most images (also the one I didn't really like that much, but it's not up to me!) but they did want me to jazz up the text a bit so it was more similar to my other 2 designs (making key words bold etc) So they did like the more typographic ones, they just wanted more images on it too.

Job 2.
Recreating a power point chart in InDesign (x2)

Easy peasy, once we'd sorted out a template I could actually use! They're using CS5 whereas I have CS4 so they can open my files but I can't open theirs. They found an older version for me to change the content and move/remove text boxes.

Job 3.

Another poster, this time it had to be pretty much the same as the previous version but I didn't have a file so I had to create it from scratch. Pretty simple stuff, shaped text boxes, drop shadows, converting images to cmyk, rotating images and so on.

Job 4.
Italian newsletter

No I do not know Italian! Just copy and paste Italian text from a word file into the English version indd file. I had to do some resizing moving text boxes etc to get it to fit, but I don't have the font they use on my mac so it probably didn't look the same to them as it did to me!

Big gap here.
[45 minutes]
Sent over job 4 and heard nothing back yet. The same happened earlier, I thought they’d gone to lunch but turns out they had a problem with the server. Possibly happening again. Don’t have anything else to be working on. Blogged about owl slippers and Imagine That.

[1 hour]

1 hour 20 minutes later...

Job 5. (Hooray!)

This one was to be less corporate, and I had a bit more free reign. I therefore got a bit more creative with typography. As it was about a survey I used the tick boxes usually found in surveys with red ticks, er, ticked, sporadically throughout. I only had about half an hour to work on this in the end due to the network fail earlier, but I sent off a quick version at about 10 past 5, so haven't heard anything back, and I don't know where it'll go from here because I'm only doing one day :S

(I figure as this image is mine I'm allowed to use it here, I don't know about the rest of it)

I don't really know what to make of my day as a freelancer. I mean I definitely enjoy the freedom of working at home, although I could get very lazy if I was doing that all the time. I don't enjoy the wait between projects, although if I was actually going to be a freelancer I'd no doubt have more than one thing for more than one client to work on at once so that wouldn't really be an issue. As much as I enjoy not having to talk to anyone (I'm a bit of a loner!) I don't really like communicating by email, I can never tell what they really think of my work, and it's hard to just judge for myself.

If I was going to try freelancing full time, I have no idea how I'd get work. How do people do it? I don't really have many contacts in industry, I've tried approaching design studios directly and got nothing, I don't know anyone else who needs design work done, I've applied for "freelance databases" or whatever and told I don't have enough experience (errrr?) and I've got quite a strong web presence (or so I've been told) and nothing has come of that either. So I don't really know what else I can do :S

It would've been really good if my uni had helped out with this, but it was like as soon as we'd picked up our work, that was it, on our own. The final show was a bust, graduation is in december and I'd hoped I'd be doing something worthwhile by then but that doesn't look likely.

I'm sure I'll get my big break soon, I'm just impatient waiting for it!

I did get an email in the end, they said they were impressed by the speed I worked at (I thought I was really slow!) and liked what I did, so would like to send me some more work in the future if I'm interested. Result! I don't know what I have to do about this in terms of taxes and whatever, but that's what daddy is for! Haha

Can I officially declare myself a freelancer now? Can I put this on my CV?! (I say yes)


  1. Congratulations! Hope they give you a lot of work to do!

  2. Great news, Hannah! I think it's a good idea to be freelancer!

  3. Thank you! Don't really know where to go from here but I'm sure I can sort something out!

    How are you getting on?

  4. I hope you grow to enjoy freelance work. I mean, I know it's my dream.:) But schools are so very noncommital upon graduation; it's sometimes disheartening. I really think that if the quality of your work is recognized then you should gain some momentum. Fingers crossed! xx

  5. Thanks Ashley. Hoping your work gets seen by the right people seems to be the only way to get work nowadays, other than doing endless internships, but I can't afford to do that :(
    I have my graduation ceremony at the start of december and I had really been hoping to have something good to say that I've done by then, but I know hardly anyone from my course is working in design either so at least I'm no the only one!
    Good luck to you too :)


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