Are your fellow freelancers rivals or allies?

We asked leading designers: "As a freelancer, do you see fellow freelancers as rivals or allies?" Here's what they had to say.

Nikki Farquharson
Graphic artist
"If I had to choose between the two, I’d pick allies. Although the art and design industry is very competitive, it is still comradely. A network of support exists among professional creatives. Also, I am aware that my hand-drawn, graphic and abstract style suits a very specific kind of market and client. If you’re confident in your work and ability, you shouldn’t need to view your fellow peers as rivals."

Steven Bonner
Illustrator and designer
"Rivalry is natural and helps you strive to improve, but you can’t let it make you become insular. I try to be friendly with other freelancers wherever I can as it’s good to have a network of people with a similar skillset who you can recommend to clients if you’re too busy. It’s something I’ve done quite a few times, and I know other people have done it for me too. If we can help each other out and create a friendlier industry, then why shouldn’t we?"

Ji Lee
Designer and art director
"I never see other creatives as rivals. I’m confident about my work and appreciate what others do. I have exchanged mostly helpful and inspiring information with other freelancers."

Good Wives and Warriors
Artists and illustrators
"We have some really good friends who are illustrators in different countries, and are always exchanging info or asking for advice. Friends or allies, either way it is definitely a good thing to have contemporaries to turn to when you need a little help."

Stuart Whitton
"The creatives that I have had the pleasure of getting to know have all been fantastic people. Many understand the situations you may be presented with as a freelancer, and are able to offer not just advice but share recommended services, bounce ideas around, promote your work on social networks, even recommend you to a potential client."

Craig Redman
Graphic artist
"Definitely allies. We often chat with other illustrators about projects. I think a client is going to come to us for a specific look, so if we’re not the right fit for a project we’re always happy if it goes to a friend instead."

This article originally appeared in Computer Arts issue 218

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