What it's like to be a Freelance and Passive Income Graphic Designer

July 25, 2019 posted by



hi everyone this is a more graphic design how-to and today we're going to talk about what it's like to be a freelance graphic designer who also manages a few passive income streams I quit my job a few months ago to become a full-time freelance graphic designer but I actually only spent about a quarter of my time actually working on freelance projects the rest of my time I put towards teaching graphic design courses and also selling art online on Etsy and other sites like Shutterstock I sell on about 10 stock sites so what does a graphic designer really do I think the best way to explain it is we are creative problem-solvers so a client will come to us and they need a way to explain their business to a customer who may not know anything about it so they come to us graphic designers to get help they might have a lot of ideas of what to say maybe but we as graphic designers can use visuals and copy and combine them to tell a story that a customer is going to understand a lot better and part of our job is to do that in a visually compelling way a few other examples of graphic design are book covers brochures websites package designs t-shirt design ebooks infographics and that's just to name a few so first I'm going to talk about my freelance business I have two agency clients one is completely remote so I do all my work right here at home and this is actually my old job so I don't go into the office even though it's right here in my city the process it usually happens with this client is they email me a project I read through the email and make sure that I understand exactly what the projects about and usually I've already done a similar project to this for that company so I connect to the company server remotely and I get all the necessary files and download them onto my computer and they also will send a word document or a Google Doc usually by email with all the content the project needs and from there it's up to me to determine the look and feel so sometimes I'll make some sketches so I can get a better feeling for what direction to take but usually I just start creating on a computer right away as far as fonts and colors and logos all of that has already been created for the agency's client so all I have to do is really just drop those in but the rest of the design is up to me so once I've completed everything and I'm happy with it meaning it's communicated the clients objective in a way that I like and it's visually compelling I'll send a PDF off to my client and then they have a lot of internal changes usually so they'll send me a PDF back with those changes I make those changes it goes back and forth a few times and then finally it gets sent to the client who also has changes and it goes back and forth a few more times and then the project is complete the other company that I freelance for I actually go into their office and work just like a regular employee and that's really nice because I get to feel like part of a team and if I have questions art directors right there I don't have to send an email off and wait for an email and return to find out the answers but generally the process is the same as working remotely I'll get a word doc with content I'll talk to the art director about the needs of the client and then I just start designing on the computer after that I send PDFs to a few different people who check the document sometimes print it out and look it over and then I will take all those changes and make them and do the back and forth until it's complete you know a completed project I think the hardest part of working for someone else or working for companies is the the changes that you get sometimes or clients that don't really understand design so they might want you to make a huge red starburst in the middle of their corporate website that says 50% off or something like that and it just doesn't make sense that's two completely different styles of design so I think that kind of thing can cause a little bit of burnout it has for me personally so to combat burnout when I'm not freelancing at a company I create art to sell I sell my art on about ten different websites that's like Shutterstock RedBubble pond5 Adobe stock and those are usually bought by other graphic designers and I also have an Etsy shop where I sell files to crafters the third part of my business is teaching I teach short how-to tutorials here on YouTube but I also teach full-length courses on Skillshare and udemy so between all of these different things I am busy all day long the thing about the passive income stuff is it's sort of good and bad because you do a lot of work at first and you don't really see any payoff at first that's a bad part but it really does build up over time the freelance stuff you do it and you get paid right away and that's nice so I sort of see the passive stuff as kind of building my own pension in a way because once I stop hopefully that income stream will just keep going and I won't have to contribute any more to it if you want to become a graphic designer I really recommend getting a few income streams going it is so nice if you ever do decide to go freelance that you have some backup in case freelancer really slows down if you want to learn more about passive income I do have a lot of videos on this YouTube channel and I'm working on making a skill set class just about shutterstock the ins and outs and the goods and Bad's all about that alright so check it out that's my video for this week if you liked it please leave a comment in the comment section below and I'll see you next week with another graphic design video thank you

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