And oh boy, you can ask me any time how i’ve almost lost my mind. Finding balance when working from home can be super tough. I’ve found myself not leaving the house for weeks, staying in my pjs, messy hair, no make up and just working. Which, i know, to most will sound ideal, and… Read more »

And oh boy, you can ask me any time how i’ve almost lost my mind. Finding balance when working from home can be super tough. I’ve found myself not leaving the house for weeks, staying in my pjs, messy hair, no make up and just working. Which, i know, to most will sound ideal, and in a way is.

I’ve experienced the toughest stage of it, this week. With the moving, chaos everywhere, and working at the same time, i’ve been stuck inside, and it can just drive you crazy. Now it really changes from person to person on what refreshes them, but i believe there are a few things, that will do for most of you.

get pretty

This is my number one and first on the list. Nothing will you feel refreshed than a nice shower, putting something nice on, and get your hair done. Even if your cat is the only one to see you. You’re doing it for yourself, not neglecting the things that make you feel nice.

change your routine

From times to times. There are weeks that i eat breakfast in the living room, and others that at the balcony. Sometimes i take a shower in the mornings, others in the evenings. Switching your routine will make your days interesting, and why not get adventurous and do something for your self, or take a walk? 
take breaks 

Regularly! Even if it’s just after an hour or two. From five, to fifteen minutes, for a snack, a quick walk, or to sit on the couch, stretch and take a nap. You’ll feel much more inspired and less tired within your day.
make time to socialise  
No matter how your schedule looks, make sure there’s one or two days that you stay away from your computer / phone. For me it’s the weekend, and i make sure to make the most of it. See friends, go for a walk, visit a new place, do something different, interact and see people. 


meditate / exerscize 

With the last and most important, exercise. Signing for yoga classes has been the best thing i’ve done in a long time. Not only it gives me three hours in a week to change scenery, it also good for my body. Stretching and feeling more healthy, rather than rotting on the chair.

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This is definitely one sensitive post that i’ve been trying to write for quite a while now. Setting aside the creative part of being a freelance designer, scheduling is absolutely everything. From your workflow, to how you book your new projects, to how it affects your inspiration and creativity.
Originally, i was working with none of the below in mind, ending up stressing a lot about projects overlapping each other, or taking way too much. I’m not gonna say i’ve perfected my workflow, but i’m definitely on a good way. Changing and tweaking the way i work every now and then, helps the creative process in a huge way.


calculate project timeline

A great way to figure out a project’s timeline is from experience. Knowing how a project works, the steps, the time you need to complete it and how many revisions are needed. Break down the process into steps, and make sure your client knows beforehand the exact timeline.

have a design contract

A design contract, is not only to protect both sides, but it’s also to set some rules for the communication and collaboration. Among payment, rights and ownership, it’s crucial to mention the  number of revisions, turnaround time of the designer and most importantly the turnaround feedback time of the client. I know i have some guilty clients who might be reading this now, and guys, know that i still love you.

Stressing a bit more on how important this is, when booking projects, eventually you estimate the time projects will take. If the project takes more time, then two will overlap, creating a bit more stress and chaos. Well, this example was more like 1+1=2, but imagine working on 3-5 projects at the same time, or more like 6-8 different ones. Then timing, is absolutely everything when you book the next ones.

set the rules

I’ve heard quite a few different ways that designers handle feedback delays. What works for me, at least for now, is mentioning everywhere i can on my kits that delayed feedbacks might occur to having a delayed turnaround time from my side. Giving priority to the clients who are right on their time. Along the way, you might find that something else works best for you, or if you already have, i’d more than love to hear it.

design process sheet

Keep your clients always informed. Knowing what follows next, keeping them involved in the whole process from beginning to end, you will have them focused and dedicated to the project as much as you are. My design process kit, looks like a one page pdf, describing the steps from how to reserve their spot on the waiting list, the homework they have to do, when payments are due, the design process steps, to how we’re going to produce the final files.

Hope this one helps both designers, freelancers and future clients. If you guys have any topic that you want to hear about, feel free to mention it in the comments below. The Freelance Life series started more than a year ago (time really flies!), back when i was still trying to figure out my blog’s topic. It’s like a freelance diary to me, always learning and exploring ways to work with you guys.

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More than ever, i’ve been receiving so many emails on how i do this or that and nothing my heart more happy than seeing how inspired and thirsty for knowledge you are. One of my favourite trait to develop has always been observation.  When being observant, you’re relying on yourself and you never ever have… Read more »

More than ever, i’ve been receiving so many emails on how i do this or that and nothing my heart more happy than seeing how inspired and thirsty for knowledge you are. One of my favourite trait to develop has always been observation. 
When being observant, you’re relying on yourself and you never ever have to ask anyone. It’s definitely the longest way, but hey, you can’t always have everything easy! Back when i first started designing, i was super super shy, so embarrassed to send an email asking a creative how they did something. I felt that it was part of their work ethics not to reveal, or it was a secret, or that i invaded their space and asking for a cheat of their hard work. Which, i know now isn’t the case. 
What i started doing instead, was when i saw a graphic that i liked, i would sit and stare at it for hours. Putting my imagination to work and think how they could have done that, and what tools they used. Slowly, with experimentation and patience, i would have it done and learn something new in the process. 
The most emails i’ve received was for the tropical vibes post on Monday. “How did you make the font look so realistic”. If you take a closer look and observe, you’ll see that there are only cut outs, on the letters where i chose the plant to come through, and then shadows behind the letters, where the leaves touch the type etc. Just like others, i saw that type + image style from someone else. With experimentation, i added a few darker and lighter shades on the font (that you probably won’t notice) because in real life, nothing has just one colour. So ta da! It kinda looks realistic doesn’t it? 
What i’m trying to say (if you didn’t get through my long post already), is that if you don’t put yourself in the position to experiment, and observe a little bit more, you will always take the easy road and never make mistakes. And you know what they say about mistakes. The more you make, the more you learn. Do they say that? i know i do 🙂

Answering an interview this morning for Laura, i was asked what was one of my biggest challenges as a freelancers and how i overcame them. And although there were quite a few downs and difficult times, one of the biggest challenges was my self doubt.  When stepping into the freelance life, without having someone to… Read more »

Answering an interview this morning for Laura, i was asked what was one of my biggest challenges as a freelancers and how i overcame them. And although there were quite a few downs and difficult times, one of the biggest challenges was my self doubt. 
When stepping into the freelance life, without having someone to guide you and especially when you’re a self taught designer, you are always going to self doubt yourself. Because you simply don’t know what you do is right, or wrong, if you’re good enough or if you know enough. Slowly i realised that no matter wether you’re self taught or not, we all end up learning things from scratch when freelancing. All is new, and we are building the steps one by one, discovering what works for us. When you become your own boss, you definitely gain a good deal of confidence. 
The only person standing in your way, is you. So choose being on team “you“. Nowadays, although  less, there are those self doubt moments, but it’s so much easier to get out of it.
01. get rid of negativity 
Oh, i know this one too well. When feeling down, being negative about yourself is the easiest thing to do. And the worst. Try to balance those negative voices in your head. What really works for me is to take a break and distance my self and my mind from what’s getting me down. 
Stop thinking, take a walk or take a nap. Distract yourself by doing something that will relax you, why not mediate? Eat something that will make you smile and do something that will make you happy. Once you’re in that good place, write a small list, top 5 things that you feel proud of. 
02. stop comparing yourself 
Most of the times self doubt comes from your need to compare yourself with other designers. And although i believe comparison is great to make you more determined and passionate, when it makes you feel bad about yourself, just stop it. We are all different, and work in different ways. 
Focus on writing your own history, discovering a way that works best for you, expanding your skills or perfecting them. Choose to to put more thought into yourself in a positive and constructing way. 
03. surround yourself with people who know you well
Not to have them tell you how awesome you are, but remind you the things you will forget. I’m so lucky to have my husband at those times. He knows me better than anyone, always bringing me back to my sanity. It’s very important to wrap yourself with positive and inspiring people to look up to and to be inspired by their positive spirit. 
04. choose a path and go with it
In my first year as a designer, i was doubting myself 24/7. Was i creating the logos as i should? was my process as it should be? what files should i have? I was googling and searching desperately for someone to tell me what i should have and what i should do. 
In the end, i ended up going with what i knew at that time and getting the work done. Slowly,  my process and way of working developed depending on my needs. What i’m trying to say, is that when you doubt yourself about something, just leave it to the side. Do what you gotta do, and you will get it right along the way. 
05. understand what makes you doubt yourself
Creating awareness about what triggers it, is pretty crucial. Is it your lack of skills, is it just your mood? Once you can identify what triggered it, it’s going to be easier for you to get over it. When you’re being emotional, everything will seems more tragic, but when you see everything with logic, knowing why you feel the way you feel, you’ll be able to overcome self doubt in just a second. 

The past month i’ve written quite a few interview. Lucky me!! These are always a pleasure to participate, and frankly i can never say no. There’s this one question that never changes. Where do i find my inspiration.  I guess all designers / artists are asked that. Everyone’s always looking for that secret ingredient that… Read more »

The past month i’ve written quite a few interview. Lucky me!! These are always a pleasure to participate, and frankly i can never say no. There’s this one question that never changes. Where do i find my inspiration. 
I guess all designers / artists are asked that. Everyone’s always looking for that secret ingredient that makes them who they are. And i guess my super power is the island. At least a big part of my inspiration comes from it. After all, that’s why we left Athens in the first place, and it turned out pretty well for us. 
But looking further from the magical landscapes, blue waters, white sands, i’ll be straight honest with you. I don’t get to experience all that everyday. My days start and end with me sitting in front of my desk. When you’re running your own business, needless to say freelancing, there’s a lot of pressure. Projects are getting bigger and bigger, and everything requires loads of time. Starting work early in the morning, even with all the needed breaks and ending my schedule right on time, i’m just so exhausted to go for a walk or do something inspiring. 
Being a perfectionist and workaholic and completely in love and obsessed with my job, work gets first and me time second. I know i know, i’ve said it so many times before.. when you don’t take care of yourself how do you expect to create? Well, as long as you’re lucky to work on your passion, there’s no worry, at least in my mind. 
Those who have been following along for some time, you might remember when i started taking macro shots. There was so much awe and admiration on those small details, that you pass by daily. The biggest thing i’ve learned from that is to be more observant. There’s magic and beauty absolutely everywhere. I’ve learned to get inspired by all the small things. From the light that falls on my desk, to the plant, to the way Shrek sleeps. Even the pencils or frames in my house. Everything can be inspiring as long as you realise the beauty in it. 
And i’m not saying that you should rest on staying home. But for those days that nothing seems to work, and you just can’t reach inspiration, stop for a minute and take a look around you. Everything is so unique and different. From the smells to the shapes. And then, there are the weekends. When you can rest, take time for yourself and see those glorious mountains, the sea and the white sands. 

PS I’m having a major giveaway with Be Free, Lance over at Instagram. Just for a short time, you can win a spot for their workshop!! Bloggers, designers, freelancers, this is your chance to learn lots and lots of things from the most talented ladies Breanna Rose & Jen Serafini

It’s quite the time to share with you what i’ve been talking about on The Hive Conference. I choose to go with one of my favourite topics, and since this was a 30 min presentation, i’ll do my best not to blabber just as much here. But instead i’ll give you the very key words… Read more »

It’s quite the time to share with you what i’ve been talking about on The Hive Conference. I choose to go with one of my favourite topics, and since this was a 30 min presentation, i’ll do my best not to blabber just as much here. But instead i’ll give you the very key words – the cheat sheet
Like i started my presentation on The Hive, i’ll mention here as well just how many different ways and opinions there are on Personal Branding. I never try to be the expert on things, and know i’m not one. Instead, i share what i’ve seen from experience, what has worked for me so far. 
WHAT IS PERSONAL BRANDING
Personal branding is you. It’s the way you’re presented, the way you market yourself. 
01. DETERMINE YOUR BRAND’S ADJECTIVES
It’s crucial to take some time for your self at the very beginning. Think of some crucial things, write them down instead of jumping right in the fun parts. 
      What are your aspirations, goals? What do you want to achieve? 
      What’s your mission, statement, voice as a leader? 
      What are your passions, what excites you? 
      Specialise on something, what’s the one thing you want to be known for? 
      What sets you apart from others? 
02. PLAN AND RESEARCH 
      Locate your competitors and aim high
      Learn from the them, differ from them
      Compare yourself, but choose to stay inspired, sparkle your determination
      Where do you see your brand in 5 years from now?
      Social Media – Which ones will work for you? 
03. BRAND’S NAME
      How you want to be known? Nickname, actual name, just first name?
      Choose wisely as you only get to do this once
      Make it personal. Don’t stress for a successful, catchy name. Make sure it’s timeless 
      Be consistent in the way you use it to be easily recognised and found.
04. PERSONAL BRAND IMAGE
Your personal brand image is more than just your logo. It’s the way that you’re introduced to the social media and real world, it’s how they see you. 
       Start by thinking what’s your brand about
       And is your image in line with your brand’s mission? 
       The way you style yourself in profiles / pictures. Pay attention to all the details
       How you appear verbally on social media. Be honest, authentic and yourself
       Content you write and share. Is it all in line with your brand? 
05. BRAND DESIGN
From logo to brand identity. Choosing to work with a professional will boost up your inspiration and will make you look and feel like a professional yourself. 
       Determine the colour palette and stick with it. Does it express your brand’s mission?
       Work with style. Whatever your brand’s style is, make sure it shows / is clear on your logo
       Use Pinterest. Organise mood boards, train your eye, learn which aesthetics appeal to you
       Consistent logo through its variations. From primary, to icon, monogram, everywhere. 
what makes a good logo
      A clean logo is always a winner
      Impression point. A statement, something that people will remember. 
      Balance. From logo, colours, patterns, create a harmony. 
06. SOCIAL MEDIA & RELATIONSHIPS
How social media will empower you brand
      Consistent images throughout the social media. Wether it’s your logo or profile picture. 
      Consistent name in the social media. Easy to find + recognised. 
      Give your bio some love. Make it as funny or personal you want. It’s your tagline. 
Being active, vocal and easy to approach has its benefits. 
      Be pleasant and friendly. Give your honest feedback but leave negativity out. 
      Moderate your mentions. A bit of everything daily. 
      Reply to comments. Best within 24h, or whenever you see them. 

07. WEBSITE 
See your website as your brand’s house. It’s where your audience will get to really meet you. Think as a user. Which website do you like visiting and why. 
       Get your domain name + email. It’s gonna make you look so much more professional. 
       Choose the right website / blogging platform for you. 
       Clean layout. Organised, friendly. Make them focus on the content. 
       Accessible menu and social media. 
       Have an option for different kinds of subscriptions.  
       About me section. Engage with you audience, let them get to know you a bit better. 
to summarise with my favourites,
Be consistent, passionate and different. 

Being a minimalist doesn’t only have to do with your style or what clothes you wear. It’s really a much bigger concept than that. It’s something that has really helped me keep up with my working schedule, which can easily get super crazy.  Growing up, i definitely wasn’t a minimalist in any way! Not in… Read more »

Being a minimalist doesn’t only have to do with your style or what clothes you wear. It’s really a much bigger concept than that. It’s something that has really helped me keep up with my working schedule, which can easily get super crazy. 
Growing up, i definitely wasn’t a minimalist in any way! Not in terms of organisation, state of mind, really, anything. Freelancing was what made me become a bit more organised and figure out things that worked better than others and what’s helping inspiration flow. 
Cleanest office is the best. Having just a few things, basically the most important ones. I don’t keep all my tools on the desk in order to create more space and room to breathe. There’s my hand cream, a succulent in a white pot, a lamp, a small metallic tray where i keep my watch, a few other things and a place for my magazines and organisers. 
It’s really basic, organised, clean, the white desk makes it all very light and airy. But most of all, there are only things that i use daily, all the rest is neatly organised in a drawer. 

My theory on this is that if i haven’t used something for a month, then it’s gone. Either to the drawer or to the trash. I’m super brutal when it comes to things. I’m zero emotional or attached to them, and can throw something i just bought just because i don’t use it and don’t need crap in my life. 
It feels that all that junk piles up not only in front of you but in your head and emotionally as well. Once you remove it, you’ll feel tones lighter. That goes from the things you have on your desk, to the things you own, to the closet, and even your computer itself. Each month for example, i clean up projects i’ve wrapped up, pictures, personal projects, anything that i don’t work on now and move it to my External hard drive. 
Categorising helps you have peace of mind, trust me. From categorising you drawers (ex. brushes and painting tools, post it’s & notebooks, stationary), to categorising your folders by client name, you hard drive by years and months, to creating client folders in your email. 
Being organised like that, saves you time when working. You know where everything is, you’ll never spend more than 1 minute looking for it and it’s easy to keep track of things. You’ll never find yourself freaking out or forgetting stuff if you have it all under control. 
If you want to work like a boss, you have to have the boss tools, and know what helps you work. From your design tools, tablet, brushes, to the calendar. Theo and i have been working with Mac’s Calendar lately where we share events and things to do so we can always keep track of our schedule. Having the calendar on both mac, iPad and iPhone reduces all that stress on whether i’ll forget something, or if i’ll have time for this and that.