First Trip Around the Sun… As a Freelancer!

Today marks the one year anniversary of me beginning my new path of working as a full-time freelancer. Crazy right? I still can’t believe its been a year already since I started out on my own! This whole experience has been a wild and crazy ride for both myself and my family.

When I first announced that I was jumping into the wild ride that is freelancing full-time, I only had one potential project and no true leads. Worst yet, I pretty much had no money in savings and I had to liquidate a 401K just to make sure I could pay rent for the month. Safe to say… I was really nervous and scared.

How I Got My First Big Client — Cards Against Humanity

I find that a lot of people, including myself, always love hearing about who was someone’s first big freelance client. Its always fun hearing stories about people getting to work with Disney, Target, or Coca-Cola. Unfortunately those are three major clients that have still eluded me over the years.

For me, my first “big client” wasn’t even as big as it is now when I first started working with them but they quickly grew to be one of the most popular table-top games in the history of… lets face it… the world. The game I speak of is none other than Cards Against Humanity.

The Start Of A Freelancer’s Journey To Becoming Healthy

Back in 2014, I was in the best shape in my life. In about 8–9 months time I had lost around 80 lbs and was at my lowest weight since I was in middle school. I was running multiple times a week and by July 4, 2014 I ran my fastest mile yet(8:52).

Unfortunately a lot of things hit me like a ton of bricks a week after that run (I won’t go into detail about those but there were three major whammies) and I started slipping back into old habits.

My Choice To Work For Myself

A little more than six months ago I started down an amazing and incredible journey as a full time freelancer. The first couple of weeks after I announced this big move I was flooded with project inquires and job offers that I didn’t know what to do really.

I knew that I needed a break from working for a company and that I wanted to work for myself for a couple of months at least. I was so burned out from agency life and had come to the conclusion that it really wasn’t the type of lifestyle I wanted for myself. My future looked really foggy and I really didn’t know what to do.

Why Is Being A Social Networker A Necessary Evil

One of my good friends asked me the other day why its important in this day and age to publish things across the internet.

The truth is that its now become a necessity to be a “Publisher” or in other words become a social networker. In the age of tweeting and snapping, you are encouraged to be social even by your educators and employers.

Work Life Balance

In this day and age, work has become something that goes beyond the original “9 to 5” culture that has been dominate over the last 60 years (originally coined in the 50s or 60s). We live in a time where most people work between 50 and 60 hours a week, if not more.

If you’re a creative person (not limiting to just creatives though) you’re probably working way beyond that. You come home from work and spend an additional 2–5 hours doing more work. This can be simply just fun side projects, freelance or even some of the work you didn’t finish in the office.

Improve Your Drawing Skills And Keep The Rust Away

Every week I get the same type of compliment on my drawing skills and each week I tell those people the same thing. “Anyone can draw and anyone can get good at it”.

Do they believe me? Nope. They usually will just laugh and brush that comment off.

The truth, though, is that anyone really can learn to draw well. It just takes a whole lot of time, patience and even more practice. “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and your drawing skills aren’t going to be either.

The Age of Illustration in the Startup World

I will always remember one of my college professors telling me that there was no future in illustration and that I would be penniless and on welfare if I decided to focus primarily on that… well she said most of that.

If you look back five plus years you will notice that most people didn’t really see the value in illustration. For the most part the only real clients illustrators could get were in magazines and children literature. Now though with the boost in the start up industry illustrators are in demand. You look at companies like Facebook, Dropbox, and now Über who are going around and picking up illustrators when ever they can get their hands on them. Its honestly gotten to the point where illustrators are in as much demand if not more than UX designers.

A New Beginning as a Full Time Freelancer

Today marks the beginning of my new path as a full time freelancer. Two years ago I felt as if I wasn’t ready to freelance full time while living in Savannah, GA. I had spent the year before working full time for a branding agency and never even picked up a freelance gig. Instead was lucky enough to land a job at an amazing agency in San Diego, CA. This prompted me to move myself and my mom out here to the west coast and begin a new life as a UI/UX designer.

Exercising Your Creativity For Yourself and No One Else

Something that I’ve begun to realize more and more recently is that we, as creatives, tend to forget why we do what we do. In this day and age we tend to get stuck in the trap of creating only for clients and not ourselves. I would find myself saying “Oh I’ll spend this weekend creating a few new illustrations!” The weekend would come and I created nothing. My creativity was being used but not properly exercised. I was creating day in and day out but I was going beyond “the call of duty” and creating things for myself, only clients.