Freelance Focus 11th January 2008

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Freelance DesignerFreelancer Focus is a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Tara (who runs this blog) (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post. Any designer or illustrator can also take part in Design Case Studies.

I realised I had never answered the Freelancer Focus myself so here goes…

1. Your name?
Tara – Graphic Design Blog

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Northamptonshire, UK

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
The majority of my work is design for print with emphasis on logo design, brochure/leaflet design and package design.

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
12 years

5. How long have you been freelancing?
About 4 years

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I had a small share in a company in Herfordshire but when my business partner (who did the sales side) decided to move abroad I decided to go freelance and base myself from home.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
Initially I set up a simple portfolio website and then sent out letters and emails to previous people I had worked for (including design agencies). I also expanded this to letters and emails to other local design agencies and freelance recruitment agencies. In the letters and emails I directed people to my portfolio website. I didn’t have much success via the recruitment agencies who didn’t seem to have much work available near to me.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
I do very little marketing now, though I should do more. Most of my work is from existing clients and referrals though I have recently gained new work via my blog.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I knew what sort of prices local freelancers were charging and varied this depending on whether I was working direct for companies or through agencies. When you are working direct you need to build in extra for the management time involved.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
When I started out most of my work was inhouse for design agencies, but now I mainly work from home

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I usually type myself up a schedule (work planner) with all the work I have on and the days I am going to do it. I then update this everyday as things change, more work is added etc. You can find examples of work planners at www.graphicdesignblog.co.uk/design-downloads/

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
My boyfriend gets 25 days off a year so I usually take a similar amount of holiday to him.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
I am a real sucker for books, I must be Amazons best customer and read up a lot about design and web, I also buy a lot of magazines – Computer Arts, Mac User, Digit, Mac World etc. Of course I also read a lot of blogs about graphic design too.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
There are too many to list them all but a few are:
www.inspirationbit.com, www.creativecurio.com, www.randaclay.com, www.ilovetypography.com, www.designadaptations.com, www.davidairey.com, www.smashingmagazine.com, www.laughingliondesign.net/blog/

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
I am a big fan of spider diagrams (brain mapping) and creating moodboards (a mount board done scrap book style with magazine pages etc stuck on with the right “feel” for the job you are doing)

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
I do all my invoicing at the end of each month. I keep a job book so his is just a case of going down the list and ticking of as I bill a job. My accountant has set me up with a spreadsheet in Excel, but I have to say Excel is not my strength so my boyfriend helps me with the book keeping and sorting out my VAT returns (yuk).

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Make sure you have an online portfolio/design website before you go freelance and if possible start sending out letters/emails introducing yourself and before you leave your day job. Ideally have a few months wages in the bank. I regret having not gone freelance earlier, the more you start earning in a fulltime job the scarier it is to leave.

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
I hope to never have to.

20. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
Right here on graphic design blog www.graphicdesignblog.co.uk/portfolio

Freelancer Focus 4th January 2008

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I am looking for more people who would be interested in taking part in Freelancer Focus please see this post for details if you are interested. I am also interested in design case studies too.

Freelance DesignerFreelancer Focus is a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Chazzuka (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post. Any designer or illustrator can also take part in Design Case Studies.

1. Your name?
Chazzuka

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Bali Island Indonesia

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
Web design, web development and flash animation/programming

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
Almost 6 years, after nomadic periods in the beginning of my career finally I spent 4 years in ductch web design and development company before starting my career as a freelancer web designer and web developer

5. How long have you been freelancing?
Almost a year now

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
Working in flexible hours, flexible place, most of the things controlled by myself that are what i like for being a freelancer

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
I have a lot of friends which involve in internet communities as i have been there also, most of my projects i got from them, they act as a freelance sales and marketing for me, so its kinda freelancer for freelancer jobs 🙂

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
I got em from my own website chazzuka.com, my friends (as i explained above), and also from outsourcing/freelance website out there

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I charge based on dificulty level of each website, actually its hard to decide how much it is, since every project must returned profits but on the other hand there are many competitors out there which offer a very low price, sometimes I wonder how can they satisfied with those prices 🙂

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
Very flexible, at Home, Internet Cafe, and sometime I come to my clients office

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
again I work in fexible hours, depend on my other activity or appointment at the day, usually from 10 am till 5 – 6 pm then start again from 9 pm till late at night

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
Since am a Balinese most of holiday should be in ceremonial days, so I keep working, and have my holiday on those ceremonial days

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
Subscribe in social networking sites and or other blog resources which i think have quality and periodically publish a good articles

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
Mashable, Smashingmagazine, Webdevbros, ajaxian and other web development and programming resources blog

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
Browsing, see other related websites and analyze the design, how they place the content, what content they put on the site as well as specific functionalities that the site might need.

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
Currently I don’t have any specific calculation, just count how much my income for the current month and calculate whether it is able to cover all my needs including the production cost of the project that I am working on. So far so good.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
You will never know ’till you have tried, experiences is another income, experience in managing everything by myself thats is the biggest thing I got so far.

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Yes someday, but preferably fulltime work for my own company 🙂

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
Manage communications with the client is the biggest problem that i have for now, since mostly i am working on multiple projects at the same time.

20. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
www.chazzuka.com/portofolio/

Freelancer Focus 21st December 2007

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I am looking for more people who would be interested in taking part in Freelancer Focus please see this post for details if you are interested. I am also interested in design case studies too.

Freelance DesignerFreelancer Focus is a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Nur Ahmad Furlong (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post. Any designer or illustrator can also take part in Design Case Studies.

1. Your name?
Nur Ahmad Furlong or nomad-one

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Currently I’m living in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa, my city of birth and a place I keep returning to.

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
All of the above, though I’m moving more in the direction of consulting on these as well and working towards offering a more strategic solution which involved strategic & conceptual thinking as well. Yes you can sell thinking nowadays :). I think.

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
To this point I’ve work about 9 years in design quiting my day job at various stages for different reasons. I recently gave up on working for a boss about 2 months ago but most of the 9 years have been within companies or agencies.

5. How long have you been freelancing?
2 months of full time freelance. Most of that time has been spent trying to get myself together, networking & formalising my offering and my resources.

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I keep finding people who run companies just don’t get the fact that you have to follow process, you have to innovate, you have to analyse, research, think. There’s a lot of work being done without thinking and it just keeps getting under my skin. And now for the real reason. I’ve got some serious ethical restrictions which most companies won’t cater for and the ones that have given me the freedom to choose what I work on have not always been the most successful, so I figured being on my own I have more freedom to choose projects which I think are beneficial and have no shadiness.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
I started out by just telling those I know that I’m about to become a free agent, I had a blog which I’m still working on and had a few visitors but began paying more attention to how I write and how I attract visitors which has paid off heavily in the last 2 months.

I finally designed a logo which I’m happy with after 9 years, a logo for myself I mean and have re-designed my blog site.

I started attending a few networking sessions to meet other business people. I did a few free or very low paying projects which received a little bit of attention and sent me a few referrals. Becoming part of the blogosphere has been the main point of focus and commenting on other blogs has helped me come into contact with some really interesting people. I’ve started interviewing some well known bloggers & web people for my blog. Offering to help other bloggers out is a great way of becoming a trusted “blogging friend”. I’ve set up a Logo Design Questions & Answers competition on my blog where the best question will win a Logo designed by me. Basically I’ve tried many methods of getting attention and making valuable contacts and it’s slowly paying off. It’s early days though, I have yet to send out that much needed email newsletter to my database.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Well now & then are only a couple of months apart so I’m still working on it and adding new little things to my list of “stunts”,

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
Well I kinda had an hourly rate for some odd freelance projects I used to do. I just bumped it up a little as my initial rate was really low, in fact my rate is still quite low but hourly rates work best for me, it gives me a clear way of valuing my time and effort. I’m still uncertain what I should charge as I haven’t figured out how much of my time per month I can actually bill for on average.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
I work from my bed, kitchen table, the couch, in my car outside a clients office, just about anywhere I can sit down for more than 2 minutes. I hate not having an office space especially when my little daughter pulls my mouse cable or quickly presses the off button on my laptop but hey, I’m just starting out so I don’t mind too much either.

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
This is my main struggle. I have to do lists, I use a hipster PDA (paper based organiser) spoken about extensively on 43folders.com. I check my mail way too often and end up spending a lot of my time blogging and doing research online so this is where I feel I need to stabilize a bit but I’m getting better at it.

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
2 Weeks ago I went on a roadtrip to another City in South Africa for my wife’s Grandmothers 80th B’day. It was a 12 hour drive with my wife & daughter. I stopped off half way at my favourite place in the world Knysna, with the most stunning natural beauty, beaches, forests, lakes etc. Had some coffee there, checked my mail :), relaxed a bit and continued. The week we spent there I was stuck in front of my laptop for at least half of the daylight hours and many of the late night hours, so it was a holiday but one filled with lots of work as well. At this point I just can’t see myself making a complete break from work for more than a week.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
The blogophere is my main source, then I read books and publications and listen to podcasts. In a couple of weeks I’ll be attending an industry (un)conference where I’ll be meeting with lots of like minded peeps and discussing, collaborating & sharing knowledge & ideas with other web professionals. I have a healthy list of RSS feeds I keep my eye on on a daily basis, this site included.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
Freelance switch, skelliewag.org, smashing magazine, www.ted.com, SXSW, Debbie Millman’s Design Matters, Wikipedia, Treehugger, commoncraft, 43folders, design vitality, wpdesigner.com

I find following blog comments,commenting and actually interacting with other bloggers to be a great source of inspiration and ideas.

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
I use a few brainstorming techniques, I try to make sure I know exactly what my objectives for a project are so questioning plays a huge role, I do a lot of looking around online and have a few books & other resources I go to for creative inspiration. I keep collecting “stuff” ideas, graphics, screenshots and I have a huge favourites repository in my firefox which is like a maize of cool stuff which I stumble through sometimes. I’m a hoarder when it comes to cool stuff, articles, anything I think could be of use really.

I try to be strategic in everything I do and to follow a process which weeds out the junk and leads me through the project constraints and along with the projects needs towards the solution. To me Design is a lot like science, there’s definitely a lot of science in it and there are recipes for solving problems. I write and sketch and mess around a lot which helps bring out some otherwise hidden ideas.

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
Don’t even ask about this. I’ve bought the sitepoint web design business kit to try to help me work out an approach to dealing with this side of things. Right now my wife helps me keep track of income & expenditure. I’m horrified by this side of things though. I do have some basic templates, proposal documents, a strict project process, project profiler, invoice template etc to keep me sort of organised. I’m still working on this side of things very much though. It’s a profession all on its own.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Perfect while you move. I’ve witnessed many people painfully trying to get everything perfect and in place before they actually start doing business. This is a weird form of procrastination as far as I’m concerned and though it may seem like the professional thing to do it just doesn’t work. Pick a starting point, a very simple one and get moving, meet people, write proposals, whip up a simple website or business card, just start somewhere even if you don’t have anything first and fore mostly know that even without a single resource you can add value immediately just by knowing what you know. Get moving, perfect as you go.

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Mmmm,tough one. I won’t say no as I have no idea what lies ahead, I would prefer not to but if I did come across that near perfect fit with a company I’d definitely go for it, in fact I have spotted one or 2 companies I might even target as a long term goal of working for them in some way. I would prefer to work as an external resource though, this short time of “freedom” has spoilt me somewhat. Show me the money!!!

19.Any thing else you would like to add?
Firstly, thanks for this opportunity, meeting people and learning from them is one of the most valuable experiences for anyone trying to achieve just about anything. The “Human” factor is key to any endeavour, if ur a good human the rest will follow, ignore the subhumans out there. One last point on adding value, the best thing you can do is to really help someone and make a difference in their life. A meaningful difference made in one persons life is priceless. If you add real value you got a good thing going. Earning a living while doing this is my goal in life.

20.Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
Well, I’m very much a nomad and my little nomadic creations have mostly gone off to live on their own someplace or other but they do gather around at (flickr) & my personal blog/self promo site www.nomad-one.com

Freelance Focus 14th December 2007

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I am looking for more people who would be interested in taking part in Freelancer Focus please see this post for details if you are interested. I am also interested in design case studies too.

Freelance DesignerFreelancer Focus is a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Mitch Canter (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post. Any designer or illustrator can also take part in Design Case Studies.

1. Your name?
Mitch Canter

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Nashville, TN, USA

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
I started in web design, but I work in web, print, and other forms like t-shirts.

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
I’ve worked freelance ever since I left college. I was the creative director of the university yearbook, and once I left there, I put design on the backburner as a “hobby”. When the sales jobs I had fell through, I turned back to it, realizing that I wanted to make it more than a hobby.

5. How long have you been freelancing?
This will be my third year freelancing, but only my second month freelancing here in Nashville.

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I was working for a company, but then they let me go without warning or reason. I decided then and there that I didn’t want to worry about employment, but that I wanted to work for myself!

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
I had (still have) one semi-steady client. Otherwise, I just pulled work off of craigslist or the other freelancing sites.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
It hasn’t changed much. I give my business card to anyone who will take one, put them in all of the community boards around my town, and still scour the internet a few hours a day to find the jobs I need.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I’m still somewhat new to the area, so I wanted to offer an affordable rate but still show them they’re getting more than their money’s worth. This way I can build up a client book and raise my rates as I see necessary.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
I have an office in my apartment. I use a PC, but once business picks up I want to switch to a Mac.

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I work during the day and some at night, but since I’m married (with a baby on the way!) I try to keep a steady balance between family and work. As a freelancer, you are always “on-duty” so to speak, so it’s hard to keep the balance.

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
I take weekends off, unless there’s a project due. I stay active in community stuff (church, organizations, etc) to network.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
I read lots of blogs and news sites online.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
For starters:
Unmatched Style (Design Inspiration)
Web Crème (Design Inspiration)
The Web Designer Wall (Techniques, Tutorials, and News)
You The Designer (News, Techniques)
and that’s just a few! I have quite an RSS list.

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
The sites mentioned above give me ideas for layouts / colors, but I like to keep music in the background that will parallel the style (clean cut = orchestra, edgy = rock, etc)

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
I keep a spreadsheet with all of my open jobs (sorted by date/work order) and when the project is done, I send an invoice. When I’m paid, I mark it and close the work order.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
It’s tough. And there are about 10-100 others out there who are freelancing against you. You have to take your work and make it special; make it stand out; make it so unique that people stop and look and go “Wow”.

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Depends… how much are they paying 😉 Seriously, It would depend on a lot of different factors. At this point, no, but that may change in a week, a month, or even a year.

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
You have two options as a designer: focus on one thing, and do it well, or focus on a few different areas to make yourself diversified. Whichever path you take, just do the best you can, and people will take notice.

20. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
www.studionashvegas.com my portfolio site.
www.studionashvegas.com/blog my design blog

Freelancer Focus 7th December 2007

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I am looking for more people who would be interested in taking part in Freelancer Focus please see this post for details if you are interested. I am also interested in design case studies too.

Freelance DesignerFreelancer Focus is a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Didik Wicaksono (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post. Any designer or illustrator can also take part in Design Case Studies.

1. Your name?
Didik Wicaksono

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Jakarta, Indonesia

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
I do design for website and printing materials (poster, flyers, stickers, etc)

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
0 year

5. How long have you been freelancing?
It’s been three years already

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I choose to be freelance because I don’t like to be forced by an employment contract.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
In the beginning, it was direct marketing. I offer my services to friends, lecturers, and the company where I was having an internship.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Right now I start making and distribute my own business card to every person I chat with. One way is by offering a simple service that anybody can afford. I also joining a freelance group in my neighborhood and having an advertisement at a local newspaper. My current target market is local individual and small company.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I decided to charge at very low price (at the lowest cost) with smallest difficulty. The price will add if the work is more than what I usually offer.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
I work mobile, from everywhere I can bring my laptop in.

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I usually having a regular job (other than freelance) at day, and doing freelance stuff at night. I usually work long hours during the weekend (yes, the benefit of being single)

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
I take a break during national holidays.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
I keep myself up to date by joining the graphic design forum, whether it is from local designers or international.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
I subscribe to magazine such as ArtzMania, Adobe Magazine, Vektorika, and Concept (an Indonesian GD magazine). The Blog I subscribe to such as Graphic Design Blog, David Airey, Melissa Clifton, J David Macor, Veerle’s Blog and Design Diary.

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
I generate ideas by browsing every pages that people stumble with tag “Graphic-Design”. Most of them are brand new design which fresh myidea. I also often browse the design diary for the latest design magazine and artwork by talented artists.

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
Well, I’m an accounting student myself, so I usually have a budget planning for 1 month.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Don’t make freelancing as a main activity if you are unsure with your budget planning. If you are making freelancing as a main activity, make a budget for several months in advance. Who knows what you might run into, it could be a recession month, or even a harvest month.

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Well, I’m doing fulltime work and freelancing at the same time. So I will say, yes, if it pays me well.

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
I don’t offer something so complicated that anyone can’t afford to. Even though I am freelancing, I won’t neglect the essence of efficiency during my work. Consistently follow up your user/client so that they will know you are truly working on their project.

20. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
http://thefirewalker.blogspot.com/2007/10/portfolio.html
http://thefirewalker.blogspot.com/2007/09/downloadable-wallpapers.html

Freelancer Focus 30th November 2007

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I am looking for more people who would be interested in taking part in Freelancer Focus please see this post for details if you are interested. I am also interested in design case studies too.

Freelance DesignerFreelancer Focus is a regular feature, where freelance designers are invited to answer a series of questions about themselves and freelancing. This week Mark Gonyea (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question. If you would like to take part please read my previous post. Any designer or illustrator can also take part in Design Case Studies.

1.Your name?
Mark Gonyea

2.Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
The state of Vermont, USA

3.What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
Early on I was mostly doing website design and catalogs. Now I do brand identity and publishing. I’ve also had two books about graphic design published by Henry Holt Books, “A Book About Design; Complicated Doesn’t Make it Good” and the sequel, “Another Book About Design”.

4.How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
About 8.

5.How long have you been freelancing?
3 years.

6.Why did you decide to go freelance?
Since I was fortunate enough to have a couple books published about graphic design, that gave me the incentive to go full time as a freelancer and give myself the time I needed to work on my own projects as well.

7.How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
In the beginning it was mostly word of mouth and my own website portfolio. Local artist meet-ups are always a good place to network.

8.How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Now I attend 4 or 5 art/comic conventions a year and usual come away from those with many new contacts. I have two or three steady clients that provide most of the freelancing I do. That saves them the expense of hiring a full time graphic artist and saves me the hassle of constantly searching for new work. At the present time I’m sending out portfolios of posters to find potential licensing partners for my art.

9.How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
There is definitely a range that locals are or are not willing to pay. I’ve managed to find a happy medium. In the beginning I would do quotes for an entire job but I’ve moved to an hourly price scale out of necessity. I find that people are far more willing to compromise if changes are going to cost them more.

10.Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
I work at home out of a studio.

11.How do you organize your workload, do you work long hours?
I only work on freelancing jobs about 20 hours a week, usually from 12-4 in the afternoon, but that’s serious work time, no phones, no email unless it pertains to what I’m working on. The rest of my time is spent on personal projects and cartooning.

12.How much holiday do you give yourself?
Probably too much but it’s important to me to recharge my creative batteries whenever possible.

13.How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
I guess I don’t really. I try to keep up to date with programs though.

14.What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
I check out drawn.ca quite a bit. Macrumors.com. Freelanceswitch.com.

15.How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
Doodle, doodle, doodle. I’ve always got 2 or 3 sketchbooks laying around my condo for those moments when an idea hits. And for some reason, driving really cleans my mind out and allows random thoughts to pop up.

16.What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
Can’t stand it really but it’s a necessary evil I guess. I should really have someone else do it because I’m so bad at it. I find I have to stay extremely organized because it can spiral out of control very easily. I have an entire bulletin board wall that I use for current projects, finished projects that need to be invoiced, finished projects that have been invoiced but not received yet and all work related contacts, travel plans and important dates up to a year in advance. Even with all that it’s easy to loose track of things.

17.What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Keep receipts for EVERYTHING and have a professional do your taxes.
Have six months of expenses in the bank before you quit your day job.
It’s nice to have an opinion but not a massive ego.

18.Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Probably not unless I had to. I love the idea of working together with other artists for inspiration and bouncing ideas off one another but I’m not sure I can go back to having someone else tell me what to do.

19.Any thing else you would like to add?
Did I mention I have two books out about graphic design?

20.Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
www.MrOblivious.com

graphic design book