Thursday, January 24, 2013

Diary of a Freelancer: Balancing the Business vs. Artist Me

Quote found here:

When I left my full-time job last March I knew that I was taking on more then just drawing for a living. I was becoming my own CEO, CFO, Assistant, Receptionist, Janitor... you name it... and I was looking forward to this. I love it, I really do, but something I still struggle with is the business aspect - especially when it comes to getting paid and the cost of my work.

I get so into illustrations and each individual job. Getting them completed to the point of being proud of them but also on time is my number one concern... The money portion is secondary... This is a good and bad thing... it's good because doing a great job and being concerned with the quality of work should be number one... it's bad because it can be so awkward and sometimes I just want to avoid it!

The biggest times and the worst examples I can tell you about are when I have clients that ask for sketches for free, or think my pricing is to high, etc... When this happens it's so tempting to want to make them happy. I worry that I won't get to keep them as a client or that they will go to someone else, so I half consider saying yes to the free sketches or lowering my prices.

But if I did, what would that say about me? It would say that I don't value my work, or my time... it would also say that I have no back bone and I'm a pushover... (things I'm secretly afraid are true anyway) and it would also (and this might be the worst part) under value the work of other freelance designers and artists because I'm willing to do work for less then it's actual worth...

At the end of the day I know that I need to learn to not worry if I turn away someone or miss out on a project. There will always be other opportunities and other clients that do value my work. Clients who do appreciate the time it takes and the level of quality they are getting, and they won't complain. But for the time-being when things like this happen I end up feeling icky and unsure. And truthfully, I'm also a little insulted. How can someone expect me to just do something or create a custom piece for them, for free? How would I make a living if I worked on things for free?

So it's been a balancing act that's for sure and I still have a lot of learning left to do... but in the end it's better to learn it now then not at all. And if I want to succeed in this world and this industry I will learn it... but for now let the learning curve continue and I'll focus on the positive... All of my wonderful clients who do appreciate my work.

Wish me luck and any advice you want to pass on is much appreciated!

xo Sweets!

No comments:

Post a Comment