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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