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Day in the life of a freelance Illustrator & Graphic Designer

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

After working agency side for the past 12 years, to be in total control of my own time is exhilarating but also petrifying!

Now I have to plan my own time - planning designs, making them, sell products/services, email marketing, social media posts, keep my website up to date, do my own finances and not to mention taxes! 😱 It's a minefield and easy to get overwhelmed with it all!

As a designer in an agency, all my working time was concentrated on creating, directing more junior designers and with the odd client presentation thrown in for good measure.

I found myself feeling that I should be creating 100 PERCENT of the time. This isn't the case. There is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes of my own business. I am still figuring this all out, however I find my days are mainly structured like this (no doubt it will also develop and change over time). I'm working on batching jobs together, so spending:

1-2 hours for emails & paperwork (sending off invoices, sending work to clients, chasing feedback, answering enquiries).

1 hour to exercise as I find I'm actually spending more time not moving now that I'm working from the kitchen table. I either go to the gym or out for a walk. Sometimes even both.

2 hours me time - time spent away from my laptop, sketchbook and social media spending time with my loved ones or just with me.

7-8 Creative time - I use this time to plan designs, work on client briefs, commissions, and most importantly marketing.

I don't like the term 'marketing' like most creatives it conjures up images of board rooms, sell sell sell and big advertising. So, I soften this term and try and think of it as a way to share my creativity and work, in a joyful but not over complicated way.

One of the hardest things to do, is to know when to stop working. To be able to switch off, allow yourself time to decompress. It is important to have time out in order to restore those creative juices.

Make sure you carve out time for a self care routine. If it's not daily, then weekly. It's important to recharge to keep those juices following.

N x

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