Confessions of a Freelance Designer

Happy Monday Juniors!

Last week, I posted about “Thinking Outside The Agency” and all about exploring your options and being open to new opportunities. One way you can start breaking in the industry is to freelance. There’s a lot of good and bad things about freelancing that I wanted to point out, so I interviewed a Freelance Designer so you can get the in side scoop. Here you go.


Introduce yourself:
Rick Redznak freelance designer, most of my work is in packaging, branding and info graphics.

How long how you been freelancing?  Over 3 years now.

Would you rather freelance than work full time? How are the two different?
I was forced to freelance when my job was deleted. I have done both. Not sure if I can do a full time job again. Full time means you are going to the same place and do the same work over and over again. I am not challenge by that anymore. When you freelance, you work on different projects and meet new people all the time. That can be really refreshing.

What are the pros and cons of freelancing (vs full-time)

(Freelance) Pros: You meet new people, the projects have an end, there’s more opportunity to do cool work, you get to pick your projects, you can make a lot of money doing text edits retouching and PowerPoint presentations. You can focus on what you really want to become and build your portfolio.

(Freelance) Cons: No stability, you can be unemployed for months, no health insurance and the pace is really fast. Sometimes you are not sure what you are walking into.

(Full time) Pros: You get a paycheck every week and get benefits like health insurance.

(Full time) Con: You are forced to do corporate newsletters and other things that don’t really inspire you. Office politics: “We like green because it’s the CEO’s favorite color” kinda thing. Being stuck there for years can also suck.

Where do you find your freelance gigs?
I have 10 agents who place me all year long and somehow people find me. Going out there and networking at events or just meeting people through friends helps a lot.

How about Money, How do you determine how much to charge?
As much as you can get away with, I think there is a book out there which goes over how much to charge, it comes with contracts too. When you work with companies, you can charge more but independent people and small businesses are more difficult. Watch out for people who want to start their own business and claim they have no money. Which is not an excuse to do a logo for $25. You should always get compensated for your work.

Would you recommend Freelancing to Juniors?
I would recommend freelance to people who are hard workers, you can’t be lazy because you are going out there and getting your own work. I am always interviewing and working on my portfolio.

List your top 5 reasons why you love Freelancing:
1. I get to do new projects and ones I enjoy
2. I learn new things and meet new people
3. I make a lot of money at times
4. I don’t have to work everyday
5. I can work from home

List your top 5 reasons why you hate Freelancing:
1. No stability, meaning I don’t get a paycheck every week
2. Sitting at home with no work is tough!
3. Sometimes I have to do work I don’t like
4. I have to remind people to pay me
5. People try to get a lot out of you for nothing
6. You have to save money to pay for taxes at the end of the year

I’m sure you have tons of funny stories from your gigs, care to share?
At a job I worked 60 hours in one week, I took no lunch or dinner break, they delivered food right to my desk and kept me working. The Project was a sales presentation and the revisions were endless, it got bigger by the day. It was so meticulous that it was making my eyes hurt and they kept on putting pressure on me to move faster. So happy that job ended and I can’t believe people work full time in an office like that. I made enough to pay my rent in one week though.

What is your advice to Juniors who want to explore the world of freelancing?
• Know what kind of work you like to do or else you will be doing PowerPoint presentations
• You’re going to get fired and screamed at
• You better have great production skills and be very detailed
• While freelancing, keep taking classes, learn more, always
• Put together contracts for work, don’t sell yourself short
• TravelBe nice to everyone
• Bring your education to work, that’s what you’re getting paid for
• Be very cool
• Sometimes you are going to do boring work, but it pays the bills!
• You might be unemployed for a while.
• Stay positive and focused

If you have any specific questions you’d like to ask, send them my way and be on the lookout for more confessions.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s