Freelance, one week in..

September 1st 2011

Well, I’m one-and-a-half weeks in to working freelance now, and it’s been a little different to how I imagined in some ways. Here are some of my learnings…

Lazy new colleague

i) I’ve worked harder than I have in months (the cat has not helped at all, as you can see). This is partly down to exciting new projects and a renewed enthusiasm for what I’m doing, and partly down to a creepy sense of guilt whenever I do anything besides work during the day. I suppose that’s because there’s nothing to hide behind now – if I don’t do the work I need to, there’s no one else to blame or hide behind, and I won’t get paid. Unsurprisingly, that’s a pretty good motivator.

ii) I’m being much more disciplined than I thought I would be. I’ve been getting up at pretty much the same time as I used to, and I’m at my desk working by 9.30 until 6ish. I even worked on bank holiday Monday! But I need to get used to the idea that there will be quiet time too, and figure out how to use it productively.

My study and ‘mobile office’

iii) Working from home, it’s essential to have a proper desk chair, a coffee machine and a good internet connection (in that order). I also treated myself to a new (albeit refurbished) Macbook Air so I can work remotely and take it to meetings – it’s ever so light and pretty.

And check it out, my first piece of work has even gone live already:

The lovely folk at With Associates asked me to make a one-page design for their studio’s website, which changes every month as part of an ongoing experiment. The brief was completely open, which I think is every designer’s dream and nightmare rolled into one! All they asked was that is was colourful (no problem) and showcased some of their work and ethos.. oh, and I have one day to concept, design and write the whole thing, eek.

So I took a kind of crafty theme, and wrote some copy about how good digital work takes a lot of cues from traditional craftsmanship. I photographed and pasted in the ribbon to draw your eye down the page, and did some craft-inspired illustrations and some header type that looks like embroidery. Luckily they all really liked it! Have a look here.

Comments (16)

  • Connie @ Daydream In Color

    September 1st 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I love what you did with it! The profile pictures and embroidery hoops with their work is so darn cute!

  • Michelle

    September 1st 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I love the page you did for With Associates! Glad to hear everything is going well so far.

  • Han

    September 1st 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Amazing work Katie.. very inspiring! glad it’s going well so far.. i can see this being very suited to you! would love to do it one day too.. keep us updated how it is to be a freelancer :)

  • Michelle

    September 1st 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I love your web-design and the little cross-stitch portraits. One of my favourite colour combos too. I hope I am as motivated when I finish work at the end of the month and move to studying full time.

  • Shinypigeon

    September 1st 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Well Done Katie! I love your little home office…I am begging for one in our next home purchase, as I reside with my laptop on the sofa and my sewing projects are all over the living room!

  • Ann

    September 1st 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I know exactly what you mean – now that I work at home, I find it harder to take a day off! Your new work looks great.

  • Ana Maria

    September 2nd 2011 at 8:09 am

    Katie, I’m a bit late but Congrats on going freelance! This project looks great, I love the cross stitched profile images.

  • The Intern

    September 2nd 2011 at 9:15 pm

    I love your desk. The layout of everything looks so perfectly lived in. I can never seem to get mine right so, and my chair is so awful, my desk just becomes another wardrobe *hangs head in shame*

    What you did for With Associates is really cool, especially the profile pictures, they’re my favourite.


  • Moorea Seal

    September 3rd 2011 at 1:22 am

    Oh man, such a great design for that site!!!! I checked out their other months’ designs are yours totally wins :)

    xo Moorea

  • Melanie K

    September 3rd 2011 at 9:54 am

    I love the cross stitch design.

  • Shell

    September 3rd 2011 at 11:04 am

    What a fun first project! Really cute and crafty. Well done for the freelance discipline, I’m not sure how well I could go from being studio managed to all off my own back, especially in the comfort of my own home… there is always something that could be tidied of nipped out for… hope you keep enjoying it! x

  • Liz

    September 6th 2011 at 11:20 pm

    My mouth literally fell open in awe at that design. It’s GORGEOUS, Katie! Super inspiring.

  • Naomi

    September 9th 2011 at 5:23 pm

    This is amazing, you did a fantastic job!!

  • Idil

    September 14th 2011 at 8:52 am

    Hi there,

    Love you site it’s so pretty. Well done and congrats to you! I hope to be as motivated as you are when I start freelancing. you did a wonderful job on that site, looks so crafty, love your little people sticking as well.

  • Kwil

    September 20th 2011 at 7:35 pm

    What a great concept and design. Wonderfully executed. I tried my hand at freelance once, but sadly it was the wrong time in my life to take on such seemingly daunting self-discipline and responsibility.
    You inspire me to give it another go!!

  • One year freelance… | What Katie Does

    August 17th 2012 at 7:25 pm

    […] been almost exactly a year since I went freelance – I’m not quite sure if it’s gone surprisingly quickly or slowly. I’ve done […]

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