12 killer tips for freelance success

07. Look after your health

A big lesson I've learned is to look after your health and wellbeing. I'm an all-or-nothing person and I could easily spend my whole seven-day week working 18 hours a day. Sooner or later you'll crack and need twice the time to fully recover.

08. You need a good accountant

Get a good accountant so you don't have to worry about a knock on the door from HMRC. Your accountant should be your ally, not an arsehole who charges the equivalent of a lawyer.

09. The goal posts are moving…

Rest & Be, by Brand Nu

Rest & Be, by Brand Nu

I believe any creative person – especially those in charge of steering the projects – has to be a lot more versatile than ever before. We need extra skills that go beyond the job title, as well as unparalleled knowledge to make a project and its final outcome bulletproof. At a time when every design solution is coupled up with performance analytics, we are in a new playing field.

10. Be ready to evolve – fast

You need to be prepared to be versatile and ready to evolve at great speed. I've seen people fresh out of uni with a single undeveloped illustration style wondering why they need a second job at a coffee shop. Styles and trends come and go. You need to be compatible – but without losing your soul.

11. Social media is the biggest idea-killer

I think social media is the biggest aid to any new designer. But it's also the biggest killer of a good idea. All the channels are over-saturated with bits of potentially amazing projects. I think we've fallen for the numbers game, feeding the streams of tweets and pictures instead of taking the time to develop work that could mean a lot more.

12. Challenge yourself

Lucky numbers is one of a set of three resin sculptures with a chrome finish and a collaboration with Creo design

Lucky numbers is one of a set of three resin sculptures with a chrome finish and a collaboration with Creo design

I spent the best part of the last year developing a range of small resin sculptures – taking a vector drawing and using 3D design and printing, with help from very skilled craftsmen, to achieve something new and unexpected compared to the main body of my work.

When I hold the final article it reminds of the feeling that I had when I held my first piece of work. It feels like another completed challenge on the way somewhere new.

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Words: Julia Sagar

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