today’s question: “what do you love about freelancing?”

well, as of this monday i am finally a full time freelancer! (!!!!!!!) i’ve been freelancing on my nights and weekends for the last 4 years and i finally felt comfortable and confident to go out on my own.

so far i’ve loved being able to pick and choose my projects. there is nobody to tell me what to do. it’s my decision. there are fun and lame projects that i get inquiries for. i no longer drag my feet on projects i don’t like…i just say yes to the ones i want to work on!

i also love meeting new people and collaborating with them. being able to explore different brands and companies big and small. everyone is looking for something different and i love the challenge of designing into different aesthetics. i also keep learning how small the design world is. there is always some sort of degree of separation. if a potential client reaches out to me about a project that isn’t something i like to do, i always try to refer them to another freelancer. and same goes for client to designer. i’ve had jobs comes from past clients referring me to their friends and coworkers.

what i hope to love now that i’m full time is that i can come and go and work as i please. i’m currently working inhouse with kate spade saturday for bit but when that contract is over i’m on my own. i’ve always wanted to take classes at the gym before work but they’ve started too late. soon that won’t be a problem (and now I have no excuse). i’m looking forward to making my own schedule and not being tied down to one thing or place. grocery shopping during the day when nobody is there. leisurely lunch dates with other freelance friends. i’m excited.

when i first started freelancing i remember being very excited that i didn’t have to wake up at a certain time to go to work. very quickly i realized i would be working way more than when i worked a 9-5 job and now i wake up at 7am usually. it’s funny how that works.

but really, i love almost everything about freelancing. (sure, the paperwork, taxes, insurance junk isn’t the best) but i love that i have the time & freedom to execute my ideas. i don’t have to deal with office politics (i used to work under an art director at an old job of mine that was a huge ass 90% of the time.) i can lay on the couch in my pajamas or brunch with my friends in the middle of the day. i can be creative when it feels most natural to me.

after 2 years of being out on my own i feel like i have really found the projects that make me the most happy and learned an enormous amount about myself as an artist. i have been able to connect with more people (lunch dates or phone calls that i couldn’t take when i was at my corporate job.) this past year of traveling and exploring would have never happened if i didn’t take that leap.

as freelancers, it’s up to us to form the life that we want to live. it’s a ton of responsibility, yes. but i wouldn’t trade it for anything. there actually hasn’t been a day that i have regretted going out on my own. for those of you that are close to making the transition, i know it’s scary but there really are SO many wonderful things about it.

what do you guys love about freelance life? and congrats to katie!!! so proud of you, girl. you’ll have to share with us how the transition goes!

(illustration by katie evans. read more freelance advice posts are over here!)


Add your own

    Sarah says:

    It’s 7AM, and here I am up and working! Yes, being a freelancer means setting your own hours and ultimately more work, but I couldn’t be happier to have made the leap. For me it means a reasonably flexible schedule, and the ability to spend more time with my young daughter. Sometimes it’s stressful to fit it all in, but it’s so so worth it. I also love being 100% accountable for my work and blog. There are no creative directors or account executive in between me and my clients. Everything I make is 100% me which means all the credit, but all the criticism too. I have absolutely learned more in the past year of freelancing than 5 years of agency work combined. Congrats to you, Katie!

    Hayley says:

    I’ve been freelancing for three years and it’s been amazing – with one big contract coming to an end I have been considering returning to a permanent position, for various reasons (I like to see how projects pan out!) This post has reminded me how great (and hard, and great) freelancing is. Hmmmm…food for thought!

    Kenzie Lee says:

    Thank you so much for the insight! Freelancing has always been in the back of my mind and it was nice to get another person’s prospective!

    X Kenzie


    Ergo-Blog says:

    Good for you ladies freelancing!! I wish I had the guts to leave my 9-5 job because it’s not what I want to be doing in my life. I wish you all the best Katie! =)

    I am so happy for you Katie! Congrats, this needs to be celebrated!

    Cat says:

    Ah this sounds like the life! Katie – I used to work at Jack, so I know how much fun that office can be – but work is work and its great that you’ve got the freedom!


    Jessica says:

    I am so excited for you! I am currently trying to make that transition as well. I am in the earlier stages but I am excited to see someone else doing it. Let us all know how it works out for you!

    This is so encouraging! Thanks for sharing. Congrats Katie! Hopefully I’ll get there some day. 🙂

    Brooke says:

    Congratulations Katie! That is so inspirational. I’m hoping to switch over to freelancing full time in the near future. Right now I am VERY busy doing the whole art director at an agency by day, freelancer (and blogger) at night. I am looking forward to the big and small freedoms that come with freelancing, like choosing my own clients/projects, and taking yoga classes during the day!

    Best of luck to you!

    Becky says:

    Katie—Monday was my first full-time freelance day too!

    I quit my job a couple weeks ago and moved to Austin. It’s been really good, but definitely a learning curve. I’m only a few days in, and I plan on it taking a while to get out of this awkward freelance puberty stage, but I love it. I could go on and on, but you’re the ones who know how good it is 🙂

    gabrielle says:

    this is very encouraging. i always love these advice columns… it seems like you know exactly what’s on my mind! i am also hoping to make that transition from 9-5 to full time freelance. thanks for all the wisdom 🙂

    Julie says:

    Congratulations Katie! I’ve been freelancing for quite a while and while I love it, I feel like I’m always working around the clock without the time for leisurely lunches that you and Bri describe. You guys will definitely have to share your secrets on how to fit those kinds of things into your schedules! 🙂

    alicia says:

    Yay Katie, so happy for you!
    Top freelance perks on my list:
    – wake up at 9
    – work in pjs
    – work near a window, in my own space, without sitting in a stuffy neon-lit office
    – go to the swimming pool when it’s empty
    – grocery shopping when no one else does

    Kelley says:

    Welcome to the world of twerkin’ in sweats, Katie! It’s the best :)!

    Jenny says:

    I just started working as a full-time freelance designer two weeks ago and I am loving it as well! I love reading DesignLoveFest to give me fabulous inspiration! Thank you!!!!

    You ladies always inspire me with your tips. I am hoping to make the transition to freelancing this year. I work a 9-5 and run my business but feel like I am always running around to get it all done. Can’t wait to have a little more freedom with my work schedule and hopefully be able to do a little more networking. Thanks for all the inspiration!

    Ryann says:

    This has to be one of my favorite Q&A posts you have done! I’m going to save it in a special file to allow me to come back to when I’m feeling exhausted or defeated. I know I’m a few years away, but I know that it is posts like this and living examples, such as you two, that will keep me moving forward, so thank you for that.

    I graduated college with a random degree and no sense of direction and after a couple of years in a completely not design-y job, it finally clicked and I know now that’s where I need to be. I have since started school (third semester started this week) and doing some freelance work. One day I will get there and nothing excites me more.

    Being at home all day is definitely the best bit!

    JWoo says:

    I love working with different people all the time, while running into good old friends from project to project. I like that I can take a vacation whatever time of the year. Having an END to a project gives me something to work hard towards. I like the change in schedules, the traveling, and the different places and people I get to encounter. Best of all, I’m not stuck at a desk in my job so there’s usually constant stimulation to keep me up and focused throughout the day.

    Ah, you guys are living the dream! It’s on my goal list for 2013, so it’s good to read about your experiences, thanks for sharing these advice post’s, I really enjoy reading them (and absorbing your advice!)

    Juliette says:

    I LOVE:
    waking up at 9, going for a walk/pilates whenever I want, working in my jams, doing the jobs I choose, having the luxury to go the extra mile and really make my clients not only happy but thrilled, working on the weekends because I WANT to. I’m really thankful that this works for me and appreciate it every day!

    Rosalind says:

    This has given me so much moivation! Ive just started out freelanceing in London, and I love reading your Q&A’s! Can any of you give me some advice… how would you market yourself in just a few lines? A couple of friends of mine with creative blogs have offered to put an ad for my services up, and im just a bit stuck on the best way to word a short ad. Thanks!

    molly alone says:

    Where do you find good packaging suppliers? Especially if want something unique!

    Kait says:

    That is so exciting! Living the dream… I have a more elementary question for you girls – what are your favorite ways to organize projects/photos/files? Do you utilize services like DropBox/Google Drive? Do you keep things saved on hard drives? I would love to know! 🙂

    Tessa says:

    Very inspiring. i just becoming a freelance graphic design for 2 months and so far i really enjoyed it. And the happiest part is we dont have to wake up too early, but our working time is definitely more than office time haha.. ^_^

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