I haven't blogged in... over a year. I've been receiving an increasing number of emails asking me about my business, freelancing, traveling while freelancing, etc. So I figured there was some interest in hearing my voice again! Upcoming posts will include thoughts and advice stemming from your inquiries, so if you want to stay tuned, be sure to check back. Or you can follow me on BlogLovin'.
I thought when I started freelancing full time I would have ALL the time in the world to write out my deep thoughts, take classes, be wildly prolific with personal projects, pick up leisure reading again... well, that hasn't happened. What has happened is that I'm traveling the world twice as much as my pre-freelance life. The opportunity to travel destinations far and wide with my husband is a rare privilege. When I was tied down to a desk job (which was necessary for both my finances and for gaining career experience), I began to feel like I was squandering moments I may never get back (coincidentally, I turned 30 that year--something about turning 30 makes you recognize your mortality. If you're not there yet, beware). I was also tackling the inner voices saying: "But you have a job people would kill for!" "You run from this, you'll never get it back!" "You're crazy to think people will pay little ol' you to market their business" "You're living in dream land, come back to reality!"
When I finally mustered the courage to damper those voices, jump ship, dive into the unknown, and be my own boss, I didn't know how I would find a way to make a profitable business (bills don't stop for fun!) while balancing life between being home and being on the road, but my gut told me I had to. Thank goodness for guts.
I could beat myself up over the fact that I'm spending my time traveling instead of tackling that 20+ long list of classes I have waiting for me on Skillshare because traveling can feel indulgent. In the beginning, I often felt guilty that I wasn't back at my desk burning the midnight oil like other designers I knew. I had anxiety that I wouldn't make enough money and have to grovel to my old boss for my job back. I had to transition my brain to understand that it didn't matter where or how I worked, but that I was building a business that fit my lifestyle. It's not for the faint of heart, but it's possible!
I'm almost 2 years in and not only have I survived, I've thrived!
Designing on the road is the easy part. You just need a laptop, internet, and the willpower to sit down and get your work done, even when you're in fun places (this is actually a lot harder than I make it sound). But lately, I have been expanding my creative services to include a newer passion of mine, and it is creative work that fits into my business on the road.
While I wouldn't call myself a professional photographer, I definitely have spent time over the last year honing my skills with lifestyle and natural light photography. It started with taking photos of my husband and his bandmates backstage and exploring cities. I wanted to give their fans a glimpse into their lives on the road. There are plenty of live music photographers out there, but not many photographers have the access to live on a tour bus with 10 dudes and document their every waking move! Just kidding, I'm really respectful and know when they want/don't want to be photographed.
I have turned that explorative hobby of making myself useful to others while on tour into client work. Over the past 6 months, I have been photographing artists all over the world for INPRNT (Check them out for amazing artists' prints that actually give most of the profit back to the artist). Traveling has also expanded my online and social following as I post about more travel and food than ever before. The big task now is getting back to posting about design! It's all a balance.
Had I stayed at my agency job, I don't think I would've spent the time to expand my creative capabilities. I used to consider myself just a Graphic Designer. Post-agency life, I am finding myself deeply immersed in my interests and have figured out ways to monetize those interests and be a more well-rounded creative. The opportunity to travel has not only changed the way I live, but also the way I work. And I feel like I'm just getting started.
If you have something you'd like me to talk about in my upcoming posts about freelance life, post a comment! Please, no questions about the band.