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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 Belinda White (pictured left) is the freelance designer in question.

1. Your name?
Belinda White

2. Where are you are based (Country/Area)?
Newcastle upon Tyne

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
All aspects of creative design – illustration, flash design, website design, packaging, advertising, retail display, literature, direct mail, logos and branding, magazines, presentations, motion graphics and flash games

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

5. How long have you been freelancing?
4 months

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
Flexible working, I have two beautiful children, a four year old daughter and a one year old son.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
Website, direct mail, networking events, telephone calls.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
As above.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
Work out all costs and outgoings and look at local market forces.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I have a bespoke Excel worksheet planner and I work long hours.

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
Trade magazines, networking events, online.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
Creative Review, Computer Arts, .Net, Design Week, Drum plus networking sites online.

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
Visits to art galleries, general design magazines including architecture, interior design.

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
I have a complex Excel spreadsheet set-up.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Promote yourself as much as possible, try to find different business angles and network, network, network!

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Yes. When my children are older.

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
Its hard work, but great to feel in control. Plus I get lots of family time.

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