Freelance Focus 18th April 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 Jacob Cass (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?
Jacob Cass (20 years old)

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Newcastle, Sydney, Australia.

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
Logo Design, Branding (ie. letterheads, business cards, stationery). I also dabble in web design.

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
I am still a graphic design student however I am freelancing at the same time to pay my bills.

5. How long have you been freelancing?
Let us put it this way, my first paid job was when I was 16.

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I never really decided, I more of fell into the design world. I first came across the internet when I was about 11 and I put a webpage onto the net at that time for my basketball team (ah good ol’ Frontpage) and ever since then I have loved the design world. Kinda weird I know.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
At first it was all through word of mouth and referrals however I just recently started Just Creative Design, which is a blog focused on graphic design and I have been receiving work through there as it has made my blog/website show up in search engines. I am currently #1 on Google for ‘logo designer newcastle’ which sends great targeted traffic. online portfolio at Just Creative Design.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
As I am a full time student, I really am pushed for time like the rest of us so I don’t market myself any other way other than via the internet and word of mouth however I do have an online portfolio.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I have read blogs and discussions on these matters to help me decide what is the best price. It also changes depending on the client and the project at hand of course.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
Work from home and love it! Everything is in my room, it has my bed, office, tv, desk, storage, phone, scanner, printer, sound system and fridge. There really is no reason for me to leave! How is that for productivity?

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?

I work all over the place and I usually juggle a couple of projects in the same day as I do not like working on one project for one long time. This helps the project and myself stay fresh.

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
Too much. We are very privileged here in Australia, with the beaches, sun and great outdoors so I make the most of it. However as much as I love Australia, I also love traveling too. I have been over to 20 countries so far and I am booked to travel to 14 countries over Western Europe in June this year which I can’t wait for as you can imagine. You can read a bit of my travels and view some pics here.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
I am subscribed to many many blogs which I read on a regular basis. I also receive email newsletters and my professors at university also keep us in the know.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
I am subscribed to about 40 graphic design blogs which I try to keep up with – very unsuccessfully… there is so much quality content!

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
Brainstorming is my best technique and sketching. If I am ever stuck I refer to my how to boost your creativity post that I kind of wrote for myself :)

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
Excel sheets keep most of my data, along with online records.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?

Don’t under value yourself. Many starting designers do this and in the end, do it quite rough!

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Never have done full time work in my life and don’t look forward to it.

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
Thanks Tara for letting me have this opportunity to share a little bit about me and the freelancing world!

20. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
You can check out my graphic design portfolio here. Thanks!

This post is from Graphic Design Blog

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8 Comments

  1. Posted April 18, 2008 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Are you coming to Scotland in June, Jacob?

    I’ve a little weekend away in Amsterdam planned for June. Never been before so looking forward to that.

  2. Posted April 18, 2008 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    “17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
    Don’t under value yourself. Many starting designers do this and in the end, do it quite rough!”

    I agree with that statement…..a lot of freelancers seem to be missing that confidence and business sense to stand behind their creativity and demand a respectful price for their work. I know a few that let clients talk them down a lot and it’s terrible. Freelancers can be so creative, but may have never learned about business, and how to control your career, and make money!

    Taking a business course may be a great way for a freelancer to improve this aspect.

  3. Posted April 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately not getting to Scotland however I am getting to Amsterdam. This reminds me that I have to pick up my itinerary from the travel agent. I’ll see when I am going to be in Amsterdam.

    I have just noticed all the hyperlinks have been taken out in this post?

    Brian,
    I am still learning the best pricing methods however I also must remember I am only in my second year of Uni so that kind of devalues it a bit.

    I was actually going to do a double degree in business and graphic design at another Uni however the university was just too far away from where I lived so I passed that one up. But I agree, business is a side of design that is not taught.

  4. Posted April 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    HI Jacob

    I think the hyperlinks are working to go to your site, let me know if something is missing?

  5. Posted April 19, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    You’re missing a beautiful country on your European trip, not to mention a complimentary pint of Guinness. ;)

  6. Posted April 21, 2008 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    That’s a shame. I went to pick up my itinerary today however it wasn’t ready (even though it was due to pick up two days ago). I am going to get it in the post now apparently.

  7. Posted April 23, 2008 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Hi, i have gone through the works that u have done.. the logo designs are simple but very catchy… and the print designs are also remarkable.. Grt work.

  8. Posted October 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    good job Jacob, good for you that you are very happy with your job now. I agree with you since I am very much comfortable working as a freelancer than working in an office.Goodluck!

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