I absolutely love it when people email me asking questions about me and my business. It’s always good to know that someone other there in the wide-world of the internetz is reading your blog and you’re actually making a difference. So I decided I might as well let all of you guys know how I got started with freelance graphic designing. Being honest and vulnerable is what the world needs more of, so read on if you want to know how and where and what I did to get started. I know how scary it is stepping out at the beginning, so I’m happy to help in any way possible by sharing my journey.
So I grew up in Hong Kong from 3-18, though I was born in London, Ontario, so I had a Canadian passport which was the deciding factor for me to go back to Toronto for university. (Passport= cheaper school fees= smart immigrant parents!) I studied at Ryerson, for Fashion Communications. It was the type of course that covered an array of subjects, from photography, to color theory, graphic design, film, marketing, basically anything to promote fashion. That’s when I found myself enjoying graphic design the most. I noticed that I would naturally go above and beyond on the assignments that required design and printing. I then did a graphic design internship for a non-profit organization and have since then have gone solo in my adventure of freelancing.
It’s been a really exciting but at the same time challenging beyond words. For the longest time at the beginning I felt as though I need real life agency work in order to be qualified and experienced. At the beginning when I first began freelancing, friends would just hire me to do the odd job here and there. Though at the time my mind was set on finding a ‘permanent’ job in some creative agency. For some reason, the doors to work for agencies just never opened, so I just kind of took the leap and started freelancing. It was super hard not having the security of steady pay check, but I just knew it was the right thing for me to do. I honestly just trusted that work would come through, and it really has! It started with some months earning only $50, and others I made $2000 plus, it’s all somehow worked out.
How Work Came About
How I got most of my work was through friends and family, then refeerals through them. A ton of my work is still now. How I started breaking out of my circle of influence, was that I seriously made an effort to be present online. Previously I hated all social media and the buzz about using them, but I have now joined society and no longer rebel against it. :P It actually makes a huge difference. Start engaging with the online community around you, and soon you’ll realize, ‘omg people actually like my work.’ If your work is stellar but you don’t show the world, no one will know, thus no work will come in. I’m still working on ways to promo myself though different outlets other than what I have going for me atm. On a journey myself, if you guys have ways worth sharing please do let me know!
Conquering My Fears
For the longest time, I was so scared to post or show the world my work. Being the perfectionist I am, I thought my work was never good enough to show. I had such a fear of failure and I believe that’s what held me back for ages. But the things is, there is always going to be someone better than you out there. You just have to shut that stupid voice up telling you that you won’t make it. To be completely honest, I still struggle with fears of stepping out. There’s so much more I want to do creatively, my dream is to somehow have my own stationary company along side design for others. I just don’t know how and where to start, and I’m scared. I’m still working on it, step by step. But all I know is that a year ago I am not where I am today enjoying my freelance lifestyle if it weren’t for me taking the risk of being vulnerable.
If any of you guys have any other question please feel free to get in contact me, let’s share thoughts and experience! Shout out to Lauren Copper and Linda Danh (who ever and where ever you are) for asking questions and inspiring me to write this post! :)