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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 Sarah Elizabeth Yates (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?
Sarah Elizabeth Yates also known as Sazzelli / faunagraphics

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Manchester/Sheffield United kingdo

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
Design for Print, Web graphics, Illustration, Photography, any graphic design – cover all areas

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
Have worked In a Printing/Design studio for a year and then went into Freelancing

5. How long have you been freelancing?
I have been Freelancing for 3 years

6. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
marketed myself by the internet, meeting people, and showchasing my work online.

7. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
I update my website, and keep up to date with all the newest freelance jobs that need doing. I also get alot of clients through freelancer websites.

8. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
I decided what to charge through asking other friends who have been in the graphic design industry longer, they started cheap and now my prices change depending on the job. but i always make sure that i meet my client halfway with what their budget is and what i need to pay my way.

9. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
I work from a home studio, which has all the equipment I need to fulfill the jobs i have.

10. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I organise my workload by asking the client when he wants work finished by and i make sure i keep on track of what needs finishing in what time. I do sometimes end up working right through to the late evening, but i enjoy it because its a passion as well as a job.

11. How much holiday do you give yourself?
This year i have been on holiday 4 times, and i take my laptop and graphic tablet with me so i can work on design jobs on holiday if i need to.

12. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
I keep my eye on graphic design websites, and subscribe to graphic design magazines, so i can keep my eye on all the latest happenings.

13. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
I like to subsribe/read Graphic design blog, Freelancers.net, Graphic design forums, advanced photoshop magazine, computer arts, and many others, having internet access allows you to read endlessly into graphic design.

14. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
I carry a sketch book everywhere with me, if i think of ideas i write them down straight away, i also paint large murals and run graffiti workshops so giving other people ideas helps me fuel my own.

15. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
I keep all my account and marketing on my computer and i do it myself, i use excel to manage money side of things

16. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Don’t think you cant do it just because you dont have experience in the design industry, build up your portfolio yourself in the evenings, get it online and sign up to freelance websites, hand out your buisness card, drop off a flyer with your skills on it at local shops/buisnesses. Keep at it and if you go through a quiet stage just keep creating your own work to showcase on your portfolio. Read and learn as much as you can about maintaining your own website.

17. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
I wouldn’t want to go back to full time, i find freelance design much more achieving even if you aren’t on a set wage.

18. Any thing else you would like to add?
I’m a 3rd year degree student in graphic design, and i also did the BTEC in graphics, I would like to say that I have a lot of clients as it is, from all over the world and so i want people to know they can make it as a freelancer too, If they put 110% into it and have the passion, there is no need for this 2 YEARS INDUSTRY experience.

19. Where can we see some of your work (URL)?
www.sazzelli.com www.flickr.com/photos/sazzelli