This is my fifth year working free as a bird, well almost.
I used to work full time as an employee. I made friends, developed my network and portfolio. I missed working in an office, meeting new faces, the rush of deadlines. But I grew tired and bored then later I decided to make it on my own, and perhaps maximize the use of this talent for the greater good.
It takes so much self discipline especially if you work near a comfortable sofa with the tv on, and the kitchen's within your reach. So try to create your own little office space that will separate rest and play from work. I easily get sleepy so I removed my bed out of my room and used the room as my studio, now I'm sharing my sleeping room with my bros and sis. It feels lonely sleeping alone anyway.
If you have some background on marketing, management, and law, that will also be of big help to survive because these things lack in me: organization (working on it), career and money management. I know right-brainers do have a hard time working on letters and numbers so it is best to leave it on "experts". Your accountant or lawyer friend can be very useful on areas like these, unless you are endowed with great left and right brain genes.
Sometimes you have to work for everything, even small works like drafting an invoice, sending the quote and sending final files to the client that will eat your designing time. Which gives me an idea, maybe I can hire my bros and sis to do that for me later on.
Friends are asking if it's really worth going freelance. I believe you can succeed in any road you want to pursue if you have willfully decided to patiently work on it, and there will always be two sides of the coin, accept that no matter what will they be. Based on my experiences, there are advantages followed by disadvantages of freelancing (depends also on what works for you):
- you work at your own schedule, in your own place, on your own pace. you work at extensive long hours, even during holidays, whenever your client needs you.
- you can work with any clients and with any projects at your own discretion, the number of projects you handle is your choice. sometimes, no projects may come in.
- your income depends on your own rate, talent/specialization, and number of projects you are capable of. you don't have a regular income.
- you may meet some generous clients or even personalities. you might also meet difficult ones, or clients from hell.
- you may have total creative freedom in some projects. your resources and equipments may restrict your creativity and proficiency.
As someone gave me this advice: Never underprice, believe in your work and share experiences with fellow artists.