Reflections on Freelance Design

Digital 2D painting for my friend Becky in April 2019

When I started freelance designing (circa 2010), I would default and say “yes” to nearly every opportunity that arose. As my experience compounded, I grew more mindful and selective about the projects I undertook. I believe this growth was also related to my struggle to gain confidence in my abilities as an artist, and ultimately my self-worth. I used to be that automatic “yes woman” because I was insecure that another design opportunity might not arise. However, blindly accepting projects led me to demanding and unreasonable clientele, projects I disliked, and consequently anxiety, stress, and strain on my self esteem.

Overall, I’m grateful for every project I’ve undertaken and I’ve coined valuable lessons through every experience (painful or not). Casting a wide net of projects has grown me a thicker skin, highlighted skills I am good at, gaps in skills I’m not good (or downright awful) at, and also validated what brings me joy. So yeah. There are valuable lessons to reap from every experience. However, I’m enjoying this season where self-care is taking precedence, and I’m gaining confidence in my abilities. Although the process is long and likely unending, I’m happy to be growing and developing my voice as an artist (and as a human being)