It’s been so long since I wrote a blog post it’s crazy. January?! Hello! Where have I been?!
Honestly I’ve done so much since I last posted I don’t know where to start to tell you about it all. I guess the biggest thing that has happened has been a long time coming really. It’s what I’ve wanted to do for years but not really been in the position to do until recently: I left my permanent secure job to jump into the world of freelancing uncertainty, the starting point for this experiment being my 27th birthday.
I’ve been freelancing as a side hustle since 2012. It came about as I was in a job where I felt quite depressed and unappreciated. I wasn’t in a position where I could just leave and needed to find another job before I could move on so I looked for freelance work at the same time. The work I found gave me back the confidence I’d lost in that job and also reminded me of why I love what I do. Gradually it’s just grown to keep me busy enough in the evenings and weekends that I no longer really had any spare time, wanting to regain some more work/life balance the idea formed in my mind.
It was a really tough decision, I’d done a lot of researching and reading and the more I read it seemed like it would be a good fit for me. I’d been toying with the idea for six months before I decided to commit to it. I wanted to do this smartly as it’s quite a risky thing to do and I wanted to be prepared. Luckily I hadn’t touched any of the income I made from my side hustle so I had a good little pocket of savings to cushion my jump. I calculated that if I only made enough money every month to cover my own expenses my savings would pay for my share of our house costs and food for a year – with the ideal situation being to make enough to cover all of my outgoings and not really have to dip into my savings.
Along came February 29th and I took the leap (so punny)… I handed in my notice, exactly one month before my birthday. I worked the four weeks and now I’m full time freelance. Funnily enough, I returned to Ogilvy on a freelance contract a week and a half after I left. I’m currently covering a content art director while they look for someone to fill the position permanently. It’s been a nice, familiar way of dipping my toes a little further into the pool and I’ve had the pleasure of working on a really fun project during my stint there. I should be wrapping that up in three weeks time, just before a quick trip to see my family in Finland. Yay!
In other news I took my mum to Barcelona at the start of March, to say thank you for all the help she’s given me and Mikee. It was a really nice trip and it was so great to spend time with just my mum, exploring. It’s the first time we’ve gone anywhere other than Finland together by ourselves, I think the future will call for more trips like that. I’ll do a full post on the trip when I have time to go through the photos.
I went to Sketch for afternoon tea on my birthday with my mum and my nieces and I would really recommend it. The venue is beautiful, the food is delicious and the tea was lovely. My nieces were sceptical about the size of the food but they were soon defeated. It’s amazing how tiny cakes and tiny sandwiches and tea basically make you feel like you’re going to explode you’re so full!
We’ve also started doing bits and pieces in our flat which is exciting. Our toilet broke in November and we finally got it replaced in February along with refitting some of the pipe work so we could rearrange our kitchen a little as we want to replace that. We also painted our front door pink last weekend. Mikee was fine with my colour choice and now we have the happiest door on the street. And we FINALLY got a desk. I’ve been doing all this freelance work without a proper desk for the last four years. I’m so happy with it, both Mikee and I use it with Piggy asleep at our feet on her blanket.
Work wise, I’ve been pretty busy, if you couldn’t tell. I’ve illustrated for a colouring book for a friend who works at a publishers, I did eight drawings in total. They were pretty time consuming complex drawings but also lots of fun. I had a quick little job designing a wedding invite for a lovely couple who were getting married in Amsterdam, it was such a nice little piece of work to do and I wish them all the best for their marriage. I’ve contributed some small bits and pieces for SagittaMed, started by the lovely Sabine who I used to work with. It’s a destination for healthcare info and tips. The website should be launching soon so there’ll be more work to do on that when it goes live. I finished designing an annual report for First Story and worked on a book cover illustration for them as well. Most recently I’ve been doing an illustration for Eve’s Watch. I made and photographed some food for Craved where Mikee works for some social content which was quite fun to do. I really miss photography so I hope with some free time coming up I can crack out the film camera a bit more.
Lastly I’ve been working with Catherine Okada on her visual bits and pieces; there’s the live video where I’ve been teaching myself premier pro. I should be able to share this soon. I’ve also been working on her EP artwork, logo and am finding time to work on some photos and the proper music video.
Anywho, I know this is a bit of an essay on where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing. I have three weeks left at Ogilvy, a week in Finland to look forward to (bring on midsummer, fishing and saunas) and I’ve been speaking to some people about potential work so keep your fingers crossed for me. I haven’t even had any time to update my portfolio so I’ll have that to do too. I’m hoping this jump I’ve made will give me more time to do personal work as well as being able update this blog on a more regular basis. We’ll see!