Does anyone work as a freelance graphic designer?

(12 Posts)
Pixelmama Thu 03-May-12 15:09:33

I have been considering this as an option. Has anybody made this work? If so what hours/days do you work? Do you go into companies or work from home? Any other insights would be appreciated!

WannaBeWildCosMyLifesSoTame Thu 03-May-12 15:20:32

I do! I work part time for a company and freelance (both from home) around that so best of both worlds really. I don't earn a fortune but it's not bad considering. I've been doing it for over 10 years and would say the pros and cons are:

Pros
Flexibility - for school runs/events etc
Job I enjoy
Can be good money

Cons
Working long hours and never feeling switched off from work (iPhones etc are both a blessing and a curse!)
Admin and chasing non-paying clients
Worry - about getting the work done if I've got lots and about getting more work in if I haven't
Cost of equipment - upgrading Mac, software etc on regular basis
Having to network and smarm up to clients (but that would apply in a regular job as well, just replace 'clients' with 'boss')
Decent paying jobs are few and far between and you end up doing endless fiddly little things for £50 which can be frustrating - but of course it all adds up

Despite the cons list being longer than the pros, the flexibility is such a massive pro that I think it outweighs everything else. Being able to work round kids and family commitments without (very often) having to pay for childcare if a real bonus although you'll need a supportive OH as something has to go by the wayside and that's usually housework and sex social life smile

Pixelmama Mon 07-May-12 20:05:15

Thank you for your response. Good to hear someone is making it work! Are you London based? Other than your pt role do you go into agencies or only work from home?

WannaBeWildCosMyLifesSoTame Mon 07-May-12 21:05:57

I was in London when I was working 'properly' (!) but out in the sticks now. We are commutable to London so before I landed my permanent job I did used to go into businesses there (worked in publishing so that kind of place rather than agencies). I've done a bit in-house round here and it's OK but a bit 'worst of both worlds' ie you have to work certain hours and follow the rules but you're not 'one of the team' with all that entails, personally I prefer working from home but that's just me.

Good luck if you decide to go for it smile

I'm considering this too, since no one seems to want to give me an actual 'in the office' job sad

lisata Fri 11-May-12 19:29:28

I work as a freelance UX (user experience) designer in the software industry. There is a real shortage of good graphic designers to design websites and iphone sites... i.e. people who know their way round photoshop/illustrator etc.... I get contracts via odesk... although you need to ask for UK rates brazenly and stick to them... If you search particularly for UK contracts you will often find people who would rather have their graphic resource in the same country rather than in the far east! Just a thought....

I find that virtually every job expects a designer to be able to do it all

Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, HTML, CSS, Java, C++ and all the other stuff

Now I am fabulous in Photoshop and Illustrator and ok in Indesign but I no nuffin about Web programming and therefore am a bit stumped.

tharsheblows Sun 13-May-12 10:06:52

I have, on occasion, worked with graphic designers - I freelance doing websites for small businesses but am much better at development than design. I think clients that can afford it benefit from proper design - maybe look around your area for freelance developers and see if you can work together on projects.

Lisata, the quotes there are so cheap! They are so much less what I'd charge - do you really get proper rates? I'm registered with People per Hour but have never had luck with them, although I do quote my usual rates so that might be it.

Pixelmama Tue 15-May-12 09:29:00

Thanks for all the feedback. It has really got me thinking. I really want to work on more websites and iphone sites. Maybe I can make freelance work for me. I am sick of being in an agency and working harder then ever yet all anybody notices is that I leave on time!

sleepdodger Sun 20-May-12 16:46:13

No but I employ one, on a freelance basis
When I need them I need them for short but heavy work output time
In theory they are paid 9-5 but do an hours sheet as often top up from home etc
There is a deadline to hit, it's often up to them when the hours are in to do it!
Hth

fiorentina Sun 20-May-12 20:02:14

I also employ a few people in a freelance capacity. I dont feel website development is a key skill. Mainly a reliable and, accurate typesetter for a lot of my work. I don't care when they do it, one of my contacts looks after his children too and works from home, is sometimes on the school run etc but as long as he gets back to me promptly when it's urgent I'm happy. Go for it!

xsarahbellax Sun 01-Jul-12 20:55:39

Hi all, just found this thread so you may all be long gone!

I'm a graphic designer & really stumped about what to do with regards to returning to work. My LO is now 10 months old & I've handed in my notice at my previous work place, due to the long hours & long commute.

I'd love to freelance, either from home or a companies premises, but I don't see how it would work with regards to childcare. If I have LO booked in to nursery Mon, Tues & Weds, I need to know I have work those days to pay for it. If I got offers of work for Thurs & Fri, I'd have to turn it down!

I'd love a company to employ me a set three days a week, but I just don't think that sort of work exists!

I already do my own design work in the evenings (I sell bespoke prints & greetings cards - not enough to pay the bills unfortunately!).

I have a feeling I will end up stacking shelves in a supermarket!

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