When I started freelancing I wasn’t doing exactly what I want to do. I’m not saying I’m not grateful for my experiences, but I knew I wanted something more than where I was.
When you get started, you’re working toward that goal you have set in mind.
If, over time, you feel like you aren’t moving toward the direction you want to be, start taking control and do things yourself.
"Create what you wish existed." -@thecapitalv
I didn’t want to fall into a trap of doing (what I call) template work. I really wanted to design something from the ground up. Be part of the brainstorming--the gritty work. I thrive off of giving advice and critiquing as a means of helping, but the work I was doing at the time didn’t allow me to do that. I know that I’m worth more than what I could settle for.
So I worked on a few things solo (fake brands, re-branding of existing companies, logo exercises) and took note of what was involved in each process. Often times we say, “I want to be a web designer!” but don’t understand the full process on what goes on behind it until we get that client. Then there’s loving the process or completely hating it. Or, you have no prices and you’re winging it (which can kill productivity).
I created, “Tea Talk” that mimicked the feel of a coffee shop but only housed special types of teas. Creating everything from the color scheme, to the logo, signage, was not only a way to increase my portfolio, but also work on some things I haven’t tackled in my design career.
“But won’t it look weird that these places don’t exist? That this work is fake?” No, because you are practicing your talent. You are creating opportunity for yourself.
If there’s something you want to get better at, research and learn. SkillShare allows you to learn from experts for $20 dollars a class (way less expensive than any college course). Being a shadow or apprentice for someone also gives you hands-on training. Let them know you admire their work and you were interested in learning from them. I can’t promise that they’ll pay, but working a few hours of your free time can benefit you. Make sure it’s doable for you and you don’t get taken advantage of.
You have goals. You know where you want to be, so go forth and implement them. Create what isn’t right in front of you, because that’s the only way you will get to where you want to be.
Don't miss other parts of the freelancing series! Click on the following to catch up:
- Freelancing: Getting Started
- Freelancing: The Pricing Game
- Freelancing: Don't Jump the Gun
Until next time,