Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Freelancing is a slippery thing.  Sometimes, weeks go by and I wind up wondering where the time went and what on earth I did with it, if anything. 

Business this year, for instance, has been slow compared to 2011, slow enough to force me to finally reorganize my bookkeeping system after years of evasion.  (Once done, it makes life so much easier!)  But looking back on it, business hasn’t been awful.  I’ve worked for six clients so far this year – which, for me, isn’t bad.  And two of them are new this year, while two were new last year and have come back for more, which is always nice, and the last two I’ve been gratefully working with for many years. 

A slippery thing, freelancing.  You have to do everything yourself, and have to pay for it all.  Maintaining the website, among other things, and the social networks (well, not so much lately), upgrading software, preparing quotes, doing the bookkeeping, paying taxes, learning how to do stuff you’ve never done before, and – oh yeah, working, and getting paid for it.  But you never quite know exactly when you’ll get paid (especially by new clients), and sometimes you don’t quite know how you’re going to pay the rent.  But (and this is a big But) you don’t have a boss, don’t have to commute every single day, don’t have to wear a tie (or anything else, if you don’t feel like it – unless you have a Skype conference scheduled), and as long as you meet your deadline you can work whenever you want.  Take a three-hour lunch on a sunny day, or play with your son after school, then work til midnight.  I’m a night-owl anyway, which makes working for clients three timezones away less stressful. 

So, I guess it all balances out in the end.  One thing I can’t overlook is that I’ve only managed to survive as a freelancer by diversifying within my field of illustration and animation.  In my experience, overspecialization means doom, sooner or later.