How to you get a steady stream of projects?
You need to go to every event, exhibition and gallery. By putting yourself out there you will meet clients. You can build up your clientele this way; by a client recommending you to another and so on and so forth. As I'm self-employed, I would say that I'm at a disadvantage as I'm not in a creative hub like at Duke Studio where people often collaborate with one another. Working from home is a lot different, but I try to keep in contact with people at Duke and get help on my own projects, for instance Hungry Sandwich Club are currently coding me a website.
How do you decide what you charge?
It depends on what the project itself is and who the client is. It's finding the balance in terms of their budget and the time I will spend on the project to complete it. I've done multiple projects for free which isn't a great habit to get into. Once you find a steady stream of work, pricing generally becomes a lot easier. I also think ahead and try to create other outcomes for the project - If I'm doing a branding project and the client only wants a logo, I will suggest other areas that the logo could appear, such as tote bags, beer mats etc.
How do you manage your time with you working from home?
I wake up early and start the day by answering emails for an hour or so and then work up until and after lunch for several hours. I try to have a cut off time so that I don't spend my entire day working inside as that's repetitive. At the beginning I found it really difficult to draw the line between relaxing and doing work, but I realised how counter-productive this was and there needed to be a form of separation. It takes time to work out your design strategy.
What's your opinion on business cards? Do you think they're relevant or necessary in today's industry?
It's tough to say - it depends on the type of person using the business cards to promote themselves. I'm a believe in printed material so I personally would say that they are relevant. I really enjoy collecting business cards, purely for the beautiful designs. I've actually been thinking about designing a new set of cards for myself and getting them printed nicely as sort of an early Birthday present to myself.
What's your opinion on working for a studio straight after graduation?
It's great if you know that's what you want to do. I wanted to see if I could survive on my own after uni, so that's why I went freelance straight away. Studios are great places to work in especially if you want to stay relevant and keep up to date, however it isn't impossible to produce that style of work through working on your own. There's a certain level of isolation when you're in my position, but I personally thrive off it as I'm sort of a control freak. Working for yourself forces you to become your biggest promoter, constantly trying to get your name out there in the hope of finding work.
What do you think of the creative scene in Leeds?
It's an amazing city for creativity. It has an independent scene which is perfect for people like me who prefer to do things on their own grounds. If you're interested in editorial I would recommend going to London, however, as it's the place to be purely because there are a lot more opportunities down there. Having said that, however, there is no shortage of graphic design studios in Leeds and it's expanding all the time, as more and more young people flock up here from London.