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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 Aleksey Voznessenski (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?
Aleksey Voznessenski

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

3. What type of work do you do? (design for print, web, multimedia etc)
I am predominantly an 3D illustrator. I basically make all that 2d work look a hell of a lot better. I have worked on projects where i make rendering of a design students mp3 player, stock 3d models for, create illustrations for Museum Newsletters (sydney Jewish Museum), currently I am working on the graphics for a flash game for “Sol Beer”. I am also attempting to develop my skills 3D/flash web design (with success, but still no clients for that). Would like to get into Corporate branding, but have to read some books on that first.

4. How many years had you been working in the design industry before you went freelance?
A big Fat zero, no education in design ( at school i studied, advanced (4unit) maths, Chemistry, Physics, and Economics.) Haven’t gone to uni yet. Everything I learnt from the internet and browsing some books while drinking coffee at Borders (love that shop).

5. How long have you been freelancing?
Around 2-3 years, small projects while I was at school, and now I’m doing it full time.

6. Why did you decide to go freelance?
Well I was doing 3d graphics and design as a hobby, and then i started realizing the job sections of forum boards, so I stuck together a website and started applying for them. It was a great way to earn pocket money during school. Now, It’s a job that pays nicely (for someone with no degree) and i can do it in my spare time at home. ie. I can work another job simultaneously.

7. How did you market yourself (find design work/new clients) in the beginning – (online portfolio/brochure/direct mail/email/phone etc)?
Get your resume and a link to a portfolio to every possible design agency, make sure they know you are interested in contract work, as many are reluctant to hire anyone.But mainly forum Boards. The work I have Right now I got through Australia inFront.

8. How do you market yourself (find design work) now?
Pretty Much the same way. I am currently Thinking of putting together an Article of why design agency need a 3d artist, as i think many right now still think it is only for games and such, and not just fancy 2d graphics.

9. How did you decide what to charge? What was the process?
Initially, I didn’t decided. The posts consisted of the work required and how much they will pay. Later on it’s just matter of discussing it with the employer. I need around $600 to $1200 a week, so I charge $1200 for a weeks work. And then see where it goes from there. Generally i believ ethe process to be as follows. Keep raising prices until clients start declining, at which point you can drop them and find the equilibrium. Do some research on the client to, that way you can see it it’s a company that really doesn’t care (ie very big one) or if it’s a small, one for which you would charge less.

10. Do you work from home/have an office/work inhouse at design agencies?
I work from home, as i have a set up that I like, and most design agencies lack multiple monitors. I am looking to getting an office as I want to open a fully fledged creative agency. But that can wait for now.

11. How do you organise your workload, do you work long hours?
I work whenever there is work that needs to be done. And whenever there is nothing else to do. Generally I just write everything I need to do in a notepad and go down the list

12. How much holiday do you give yourself?
Haven’t been working for long enough to give myself a holiday, but then again, with this work life is like a holiday, so you can say, I am always on holiday.

13. How do you keep up to date with what is happening in the industry?
Forum Boards, magazines, clients. I don’t know to be honest not too worried with it, haven’t been in the industry for long enough to fall behind.

14. What blogs, magazines, podcasts etc do you subscribe to?
Don’t really subscribe to anything, but I buy Computer arts and 3D world once in a while. also Sometimes read this once called Desktop*

15. How do you generate ideas/what techniques do you use to stimulate creativity?
I go do laps at the pool at the beach. While i walk there and back I usually come up with all the solutions that i need.

16. What about the business side of things, accounting, invoicing, bookkeeping, how do you manage it?
There are those payments, that go through paypal ( so I don’t have to worry about anything, as the money is in some remote location) The rest, I have a folder with invoices, but to be honest I have not been in the industry for long enough to actually get around to this. At the moment my income is below the threshold for paying taxes. I’ll probably pay an accountant in the future though.

17. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give to someone starting out freelancing?
Put together a good website (well designed), and make sure there are links to it in as much (appropriate) places as possible

18. Would you ever go back to fulltime work?
Haven’t been there, and to be honest do not really want to go there, as well i prefer to get paid for the work I do, rather than the amount of time I sit in an office.

19. Any thing else you would like to add?
For anyone starting out I highly recommend to broaden your skills as far as possible, use the internet, it is an amazing large source of free education.

20. Where can we see some of your work (URL)? – I am currently trying to design to take advantage of all the new flash action script skills i have aquired over the last week.Will probably be a full flash site. Oh yeah click portfolio button as the front page still has some old links – Kind of my blog, has pretty much everything i have ever done.

Oh yeah and the flash game will soon be on