Should You Become a Freelance Graphic Designer?


– Hi everybody, this is Roberto
Blake of robertoblake.com helping you create
something awesome today. So today we’re gonna talk
about who should become a freelance graphic designer. Not how, but who. If you’re somebody who is
very comfortable with the idea of engaging with people, interacting. You like the idea of the
challenge of selling yourself. You wanna do those type of
things in addition to doing your design work, and you’re
not afraid of being able to talk to clients and
even disagree with them from time to time, then you
probably have the mentality to become a freelance designer. If you’re someone, instead,
who feels that they are a little more introverted,
or they classify themselves as shy, you like to avoid
confrontation whenever possible, you find yourself, describing
yourself as a passive person. You may not be someone
who is geared toward being a freelance designer. If you’re someone who
does not want to go beyond the design work and would prefer to handle more of the production,
work and grind in Photoshop, Illutrator and InDesign and
does not necessarily want to be part of the overall
process or take responsibility for the art direction. If you would rather be a pair
of hands, for lack of a better phrase, then you should
probably be more of an in-house designer or work for a
company or an employer or an agency rather than be a
freelance graphic designer. Now, that is not to, in any
way, belittle or demean people who work for agencies or
work as in-house designers or creative professionals. I was one of those people
for a very long time and there were a lot of my
career highlights that still go back to that, and I
empathize with people in those situations and I feel that
as long as you’re happy where you’re working, as
long as you feel fulfilled in the type of work that
you’re doing, and it suits your personality that’s perfectly fine. The issue is that in those
situations it’ll be very hard to change your job role or
to move to a new position or to raise the ceiling on your salary and your earning potential. As a freelancer you give up
some of that conventionality, that structure and that
stability in favor of the potential of making
as much money as you want, doing it on your own terms,
filtering your clients and being able to decide
who you’re gonna work for and under what conditions. As an in-house designer
you might have to work on a project that isn’t ethically
aligned with your values. You might have to do
something for a campaign that you don’t personally agree with. You may not even agree
with the business practices of your employer, and if
you’re not in the position to walk away to another
job, there’s not very much you can do about that. You might be doing work
that you are not proud of and don’t feel a sense of ownership for. As a freelancer you can
actually have the alternative of doing work that you’re
proud of, doing work that is meaningful to you
as long as you’re willing to do that at the expense
sometimes of making as much money as possible
and taking on less clients. Freelancing is something that
is a lot easier to get into if you’re a student or you’re in college. If you’re in college right
now and you’re watching this video you should be
freelancing in addition to doing your college courses,
you shouldn’t be waiting for permission to go out there
and become a practitioner and get experience under
your belt in the real world. You should actually be
freelancing right now, throughout all four years of
college, and even if that means doing some work for free. And I know that people are
gonna whine about spec work. I’ll cover that in a whole
other video, there’s a right way and a less than right way to do free work to gain experience that
means that by the time you’re in debt with your degree,
if you’re doing that, that you won’t have to worry
about your ability to pay back that money or to make a
living because you will have taken my advice on that and
not whined about working for free up front. But I will say that freelancing
has risk associated with it. So if you’re not someone
who’s comfortable with taking those risks, then you
might need to find a much more stable situation. You can make freelancing stable
and sustainable if you have a business mindset and if
you’re reading the right books, taking advice from practitioners
in the field who have done it successfully, and
reverse-engineering that success and modeling yourself appropriately. But, it’s not something that
everybody can or should do, and you really need to be
self-aware and look at what your circumstances are,
what you can afford, and whether this fits
your lifestyle or not, or if it’s something that you
really wanna do in your heart, or if it’s something that you
are just trying to do because you think it’s cool to
be able to quote-unquote be your own boss. But you may not be ready for it. So you really need to
think about those things, and you need to make the
best decision that your can for yourself and for
what your situation is. If you still have questions
as to whether or not you are the type of person
who could or should be a freelancer leave those
in the comments section. If you want more videos about
freelancing specifically also leave those in the
comment section and I will try and do those videos for you in the future. Like this vid if you like it,
don’t forget to subscribe, check out the awesome
content on the channel. As always you guys, thanks
so much for watching and don’t forget, create
something awesome today.

27 Replies to “Should You Become a Freelance Graphic Designer?”

  1. Awesome advice and so true. If you aren't comfortable promoting yourself freelancing is going to be much more difficult for you. Not that you can't do it, but know your strengths and compensate for your weaknesses.

  2. Looking forward to the spec work video. I have a friend who started a business and she could use a logo (according to me). It would also be a nice way of reconnecting with her (no agenda, just a way of getting back in touch). But I'm definitely curious about stepping up with some ideas to show her what I can do.

  3. so i really enjoy making album covers for artists. I usually just make free work to example of my creativity mixed with the music artist. if i want this to be my main focus for a career, will it just be freelance or do you if there is actually like record labels that hire a graphic designer?

  4. Thanks Roberto! Guess what? I just quit my job last month to pursue freelancing as a Motion Designer! This is awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. So lets say youre done school, whats next soooo many doors opened up! Im overwhelmed to think about getting a job after college

  6. I'm studying right now and i really want to do freelance work. I'm active on social media and post now and then on my Deviantart. I'm sure i can do some freelance work in my neighborhood but how do i start? just write an email to a little company? the thing is that i don't really know much people… i'm sure people don't even know i live there ๐Ÿ™

  7. Great video, Roberto! Lots of solid advice and I agree with every bit other than having to be extroverted. I myself am extremely introverted, and it has its benefits. I also am the type of designer that much prefers the production side of things, and I think it all comes down to what type of work you want to do. Since I specialize in t-shirt design, I grind out work on a daily basis, and being introverted, I've established a rock solid process where I can produce this work all by myself. Not arguing against anything you've said, just wanted to share that introverts can make great freelancers. You just have to know your strengths and work with them to your advantage. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Great video. Even through I am an introvert, I willing to push myself and step outside of my comfort zone to pursue my freelance goals. I would like create book covers and work with authors. I also like to work in other industries as well.

  9. Great channel! So I have a question, I live in The Netherlands and I'm currently studying graphic design. I'm starting my internship in January and the company has obtained the new (not sure how new it is but it's not so common over here) working method. Namely using freelancers who work anywhere, anytime they want. The boss there said that in-house companies are slowly dying and that freelancing is the way to go. I kind off feel like I'm being forced to freelance even though I'm not so sure if it really fits my bill. Although this internship is the perfect way to find out if it's something for me.
    I was wondering what your thoughts are on this matter, and if this also applies to the US? Thank you!

  10. Great video man! ๐Ÿ™‚ I've been struggling with something for a while.. Sometimes I'd really love to share some of my work but I don't like the idea of having my work "stolen", I don't know what todo about it :/ I've heard you can somehow "copyright" your work, but I'm honestly not sure what I should do about this.. Any advice?

  11. I struggle talking to people, but I live in the boonies and homeschool 4 kids, two of which are disabled. I'm needing a job bad, so I've been looking at transcription type jobs, but would love to do something with art instead… I'm still trying to figure it out. Thanks for the video!

  12. Could someone tell me that how could do i choose the college? I means that college have 3 years or 4 years scheme which one is the better?

  13. Before my company was taken over by a new employer I was allowed to do freelance work along with my full time job. Now I'm not allowed to do that anymore (had to sign a contract), PLUS I had to take a paycut of nearly 10% to help the business stay afloat (previous owner left it in a financial mess). I really miss the freedom of what freelancing offers (for example I know I'm more productive at night than during the day), but I'm not sure if I can survive on it alone though. All in all I've lost a huge chunk of my income and have really been struggling these last few months.

  14. Hello, I'm currently a senior in High school, already had a fair amount of experience with Illustrator and Photoshop, and I want to start building my portfolio on more of a professional level. My largest concern is for fonts/typefaces. I've tried researching what fonts are free for commercial use and found a website called fontsquirrel. My question is, is there a good, without a doubt way to get free fonts to use on logo design projects (that could be commercially sold)?
    Also, love the videos, I've found them very helpful!

  15. Should i go into freelancing or go into my on business, cos i finishing school with HND in Graphic Design and also finish servicing my nation and now i have no job. Roberto wht do u think i should do freelancing or wht?

  16. I'm thinking about becoming a freelance graphic designer, but i'm running into the problem of money. The adobe suite is $50.00 a month and also the computer I have right now won't run those programs fast enough so I need another computer on top of that. Do you have any advice of what to do? I am trying to get a 9-5 job but no ones biting so I was thinking freelance, which I think I would like better and I was going to do on the side anyway.

  17. But as designer, isn't it expected for people as such to learn to be outspoken and already be able to put ourselves out there? Would greatly appreciate help. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I start in graphic communication at uni next month. I'd love to see a comprehensive video on how to freelance while studying!! Thank you so much for all your advice ๐Ÿ˜

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