Whether you're a freelance illustrator, artist, writer, photographer, musician, public speaker or creator of any sort... there's no clear-cut way to make a living from what you do. I dived straight into the deep end at the start of this year - moved out of home, to a new city, with my boyfriend, as a newly full-time freelancer. Just the last part is hard enough, so I feel like perhaps there are some of you out there that would like to take a peak underneath my hood to find out how I survived it all.
Without further ado... Here's 6 things I learnt this year:
START YOUR DAY ABOUT YOU
Do yoga, go for a run, a walk, or meditate. Take deep breaths. Let that be the first thing you do before you wake up and check emails or do your morning instagram scroll. Start your day with positive self-care and it will make a huge difference to your mentality for whatever you have on for the day. Stress is bound to creep up on you at some point, so having that time to yourself to be completely selfish means that you'll be mentally ready to look after clients, jobs & work that needs doing that day. If you’re interested in a great FREE yoga app, I’m currently using Down Dog and it’s great (did I mention it’s free? #notapromo).
HUSTLE WHEN YOU'RE BUSY
There will be weeks or months where you’re flying with work and you’re feeling awesome! And that IS awesome, but to ensure you maintain that momentum, it’s so worth keeping up the hustle. Drop in on clients you haven’t heard from in a while, do side projects that appeal to your following/client base, pitch ideas to brands… keep the hustle train moving and you will (hopefully) never run out of work. Also, reward yourself every now and then!
TREAT YOUR CLIENTS WELL
It seems obvious, but your clients are keeping you in business. When you find the good ones that value your work, pay what you deserve and pay on time - treat them like ROYALTY. You should treat every single new client as if they will bring their business back to you, always finish up a job or project with a positive high and make your client feel like you went above and beyond to deliver fantastic work. You don’t need a Kardashian following or 1000 clients to be successful, a small and pumping client base that love your work and come back for more is an absolute gold mine. Treat. Them. Well!
GET OFF THE INTERNET
Your best ideas won’t be found on Instagram looking at other creatives and comparing yourself to them. We all want to have fresh & new ideas but as tempting as it is to look at the creatives that are doing a wicked job, ‘drawing inspo from them’ or even trying to do it better will just kill your joy & stunt your growth. Get off the ‘trending’ bandwagon and do something completely different that no one else is even trying. Often you have to look outside of your artistic endeavours and observe the life you surround yourself with, ideas come from LIFE, not just from Instagram.
Experiment and try new things as often as your heart desires. Most people get really good at doing one thing, and that’s super cool… but how much cooler would it be to discover that your artistic talents translated beautifully into other mediums, or that everything works so much better at a large scale, or even that learning a whole new art technique actually made you think of a million new ideas for your current work? In reality, doing the same thing forever is boring and you will not grow. Once you wrap your head around releasing and adapting, your world will literally expand before your eyes. As an example, I’ve been doing heaps of yoga lately and it’s really opened my mind to my use of colour (I dunno how that works... science? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯). Also it helps with hand soreness after a long stretch of Prismacolor drawing... damn those waxy pencils!
LOVE YOUR DAMN SELF
Take a second to realise how incredible you are! You’re probably reading this because you’re a go getter and want to learn & grow… and I bet you stress yourself into the ground too. Sound like you? Well, here is permission from a stranger to appreciate the hard work you put into fighting for what you want and applying self-determination to creating an awesome life for yourself. Hell yeh! You’re doing it, you’re making it happen, and it will. And that’s fucking brilliant.
Thanks so much for reading this post! I'd love to know if it's hit home for anyone, did this help you out in any way? Leave your comments below :) x