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by Dannielle Cresp on September 30, 2010
Have you heard of Creative, Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Cho (of Oh Joy!)?
Subtitled: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business, it is exactly what it says it is!
I found this book to not only be an interesting read but very informative too. It starts off as a guide for those who have never freelanced before but as you move on through the chapters it suggests that you have started your business and by the end it talks about the future.
It is a great book for those who are starting out at the very beginning but is also useful for people (like me) who have been working for themselves for a while. There is information on setting up a portfolio, what kind of person you need to be to be able to do this sort of work and has a big focus on those that work for clients.
For me, the best parts of the book were the profile interviews with other creative freelancers who are successful in their own business as well as the chapters on pricing, agents and balancing work and personal life.
The pricing chapter was particularly helpful to me, so much so that I actually wished I could hug the authors when I read it. I have made no secret that pricing my goods and services is not my strongest point and usually when I ask for help or advice all I receive in return is motherhood statements like “price what it’s worth” and “it just needs to cover everything” which are frankly useless when you have no idea where to even start! This book on the other hand, teaches you how to quote on a job and gives you a formula for your time.
I also appreciated the chapter on finding an agent and whether that might be the right decision for you. The balancing of work and personal life (something I’m not that great at) was also helpful, especially from a standpoint from someone who’s been-there-done-that.
The book is honest and funny at times and it doesn’t make the world of freelancing sound like a whole lot of long lunches and never ending holidays, which I think adds to its usefulness. But it doesn’t make it sound like a hell that you’ll wish you never entered either. I will also note that while it is written for an American audience, other than the parts about becoming a business in a legal sense and the tax requirements, it seems pretty universal and certainly applicable to Australian and international readers.
I will be keeping this book close to hand so that I can refer to it over and over, I think it will be a great resource and I’m already considering buying another copy for a friend of mine who I think will benefit from it too.
You can purchase the book from here*.
Thanks to Meg and Joy for writing this resource, I think it’s the kind of book that will stay relevant for years to come.
* Affiliate link.
by Dannielle Cresp on September 29, 2010
What does it mean to you to live within your means?
To me it means that if I don’t have the money to buy something, I don’t buy it. I am not one of those people who struggle, like I understand that some do, with having everything right now. It’s something that I have trouble understanding when people talk about it.
I’m sure that people will think I’m all high and mighty for saying this, but I don’t have much money and I could easily get into debt buying all the things I see in shop windows. But I don’t. It’s not even a mindful spending thing for me, I just really loathe shopping centres and shopping in general.
Part of me would love to be fashionable, but in truth, I haven’t bought any new clothes in 18 months. I will buy something that I like if I can afford it, or I will save up. When I do buy clothes, they do cost a lot of money, but I buy clothes that will hopefully last years and years, because you bet I will be getting every cent worth out of them.
That’s not to say that I’m on a crusade or that I’m going without, it’s just the way I am. I would rather buy something that will help build my business than to buy the latest fashions. I don’t have a credit card and I’m aiming to never need a loan for my business. I’m sure that’s crazy to some people, but I believe that just because everybody else does it, doesn’t make it right for me.
Sometimes I see people with all the latest stuff and they are so busy buying the latest thing that they never have any time to enjoy what they have bought. A house full of stuff that you never get to play with can’t make you happy, can it?!
Obviously not being in debt is not an option for some people, and for me education loans and mortgages are not included within this, as we need education and we need a roof over our heads, but will the world fall apart if your TV isn’t a flat screen? Will your friends really stop speaking to you if you are wearing last season’s jeans?
This is not about using money to stay alive but using money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like. And honestly, I couldn’t be bothered.
If it’s the life you choose to live, that is your choice, but it’s not for me.
Is living within your means a goal for you? Do you like to do things differently to others? Tell me in the comments.
by Dannielle Cresp on September 28, 2010
The other week I was lucky enough to attend the Semi-Permanent conference held at the MCEC (Jeff’s Shed).
It was an interesting experience for me as I had never been to a conference before let alone a design one. I felt a little bit apprehensive about going as the tickets weren’t cheap and because I feel like a bit of an impostor to the design community, as my formal background is not in design but in business and logistics.
I was really glad I went though. There were a lot more students and a lot less professionals than I thought there would be but the conference itself was really cool.
My favourite speakers were Timba Smits; Gerard Saint from Big Active; Orion Tait from Buck; Andy Jenkins – graphic designer and the art director of Girl Skateboards; Brad Eastman of Beastman; and Simon Allen of Pixar.
I found all of these speakers incredibly interesting to listen to and I was glad in a way that I didn’t do much research on them before hand. The Pixar presentation was a little bit disappointing as he didn’t really show or tell anything that isn’t on any one extras of the Pixar DVDs, but that’s how it is when Disney are pulling the strings.
Here are some of the images I captured on my little camera during the two day event…
Big Active- Album Covers
Andy Jenkins Skateboard designs
Andy Jenkins – Girl Table
Beastman – Pizza Box lid Painting
You should have a look at all of their websites as my little camera doesn’t do them any justice! Links are above.
I am really glad I went even if I ended up feeling very overwhelmed at the end of it. It was a little bit too inspiring. I think I will take a lot away from it in the long run though.
Do you know these artists? Did you go? What do you think of their work? Tell me in the comments!
Also: I met Timba after his presentation and got him to sign a copy of Wooden Toy Quarterly. I tried to make polite conversation and he looked at me like I was mad. – Just another awkward moment for the memories… I’m such a nerd.