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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 Joseba Attard (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?
Joseba Attard (pronounced yoh-seh-bah)

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

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
Mainly design for print although also some website work

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

5. How long have you been freelancing?
Since 2005

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
I was burning out running a design studio, and decided to take a break. Working from home gave me the flexibility I needed.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
Online portfolio and signed up to a couple of directories

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Send out emails from time to time to various agencies but to be honest I only tend to think about marketing myself more when I’m not very busy. (I don’t recommend this by the way).

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
Well, my work for various design studios gave me a good indication of how to price up jobs. I don’t put mark-up on print, but I do charge if I have to print manage a job. Some jobs I charge by the hour but for the bigger jobs I’ll quote a job rate.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
Work from home but have also travelled to agencies to work at their premises from time to time.

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I try and work 9-5 but as some of my clients are abroad with different timezones, I tend to keep an eye on emails etc throughout the day.

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
I build it into my work schedule. I’ll take a holiday if I need one during a quiet spell.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
Magazines (creative review, computer arts etc) portfolio websites, blogs and forums, generally looking around at what styles and trends stand out in the crowd.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
Huck and Stranger magazines. No blogs or podcasts though.

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
I usually head down the road to the beach, go for a surf and think about ideas in between sets. If there’s no waves, I’ll sit on a rock with a thermos flask sketching out ideas. I always carry my camera with me too to snap any inspirational design I see on billboards/posters etc.

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
I do all the quotes and invoices myself, and at the end of the tax year I pass on everything to an accountant. I try and keep receipts for everything business related.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Never sit still.

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Possibly, but I’m not sure it’d be in design. If anything it’d nice to take a break from the screen. Before I was a designer I worked as a shepherd in Shropshire!

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
Don’t be sensitive. Take advice from people in the know. Also treat each job as if it were for your own marketing.

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