The Freelance Life 31: Comparison, surprised me so much, on how many of you fall into the comparison trap. Obviously none of us is alone 🙂 It was so inspiring seeing how vulnerable we are. But you know, admitting  it out loud, only makes you realise it, and avoid it the next time. Thank you… Read more »

The Freelance Life 31: Comparison, surprised me so much, on how many of you fall into the comparison trap. Obviously none of us is alone 🙂 It was so inspiring seeing how vulnerable we are. But you know, admitting  it out loud, only makes you realise it, and avoid it the next time. Thank you for your emails and comments and sharing your thoughts with me. 
There were so many times in the past that i looked back at my blog, or worked and went like, oh boy, what was i thinking creating / posting that? Sometimes even feel embarrassed. But that was the very moment that i realised just how important is to be bold about your work and seeking exposure, sharing your work and putting yourself out there
I’ve talked so much in the past, on how putting yourself out there, when it comes to your work, will get you seen. But only now i realised how from the very beginning, you get exposure and stimulate your own eye. It definitely helped me in a big way to practise my visual stimulations and aesthetics through out the years. Creating graphics, being brave and proud of them, and sharing them here and everywhere. It felt to me that unless you don’t see your creations published, they’re not real.
So i truly urge you to stop living in a shell, feeling doubtful of your work, talents and skills. Start being proud of who you are, your work, step outside your comfort zone. Our community is such a marvellous place and you’ll be hugged in the most precious way. Not to mention the self esteem and motivation you’ll discover. Once again, here’s to exposure and putting yourself out there. 

Thankfully, Roosevelt isn’t the only Theodore that keeps reminding me that “comparison is the theft of joy”. It’s a quote that i should keep as a mantra for my whole life.  I’ve eventually concluded that i’m not the only one that keep comparing myself with others. I guess it’s something we all do, that keeps… Read more »

Thankfully, Roosevelt isn’t the only Theodore that keeps reminding me that “comparison is the theft of joy”. It’s a quote that i should keep as a mantra for my whole life. 
I’ve eventually concluded that i’m not the only one that keep comparing myself with others. I guess it’s something we all do, that keeps getting us down. There’s always a day or two within the month that i feel like a total looser, and for people who are as hard with themselves as i am, these are some seriously tough days to get through. 
What my own Theodore reminds me all the time, is how different we all are. From the place we live, our mindsets, styles, what we do. For some success comes easy, and some have to work just a tad harder. Whatever you’re sweating for though, will come eventually as long as you want it real bad.
I won’t hide that i’m still figuring myself when it comes to comparison. Other times it lights up the passion in me, sets my eyes on keep getting better. Other times though, it completely breaks me down. At the end of the day though i realise that there shouldn’t even be a comparison. All the great things in our world happened just because of our uniqueness and by people who weren’t afraid to stay true to themselves. 

You see what i did with the bees in the cover? Nothing pays off more than working hard. Most of the emails i receive is about sharing that little secret, on what i do. What courses i took for graphic design, what brushes i use, what paper, process etc.  And although i totally get how… Read more »

You see what i did with the bees in the cover? Nothing pays off more than working hard. Most of the emails i receive is about sharing that little secret, on what i do. What courses i took for graphic design, what brushes i use, what paper, process etc. 
And although i totally get how those can be helpful to those who are just starting, let me spoil the magic for you. There’s no secret. No specific courses i ever took, no specific brushes. I could letter on all kinds of brushes, from pen brushes, to watercolour, on any kind of paper. The secret lies on working hard and practising daily. It’s like taking over a specific subject, and working on it daily. At first everything you do is going to be crappy (unless anything you touch turns into gold). Day by day, it’s going to get better. Doesn’t that make sense? Can you imagine how far you’ll have come after a whole year? 
That of course, i think applies to just about everything. From blogging, to lettering, to aesthetics, graphic design, any kind of new and old skill. You shouldn’t let go of any day, and just keep practising. All that it takes is love and passion on what you and the rest will come. 
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edit by corina | original image by Weronika Kosinka The past month, there’s just so much that i’ve learnt as a freelancer designer. I’ve been always working on tight schedules, and proved myself that i can pull it of. But i had never found myself under really really tight schedules like i have now.  At… Read more »

edit by corina | original image by Weronika Kosinka

The past month, there’s just so much that i’ve learnt as a freelancer designer. I’ve been always working on tight schedules, and proved myself that i can pull it of. But i had never found myself under really really tight schedules like i have now. 
At first it was all about work work work. Starting early, finishing late. Small breaks and back to work. Lots of coffee and junk food, and feeling completely dead by the end of the day. Until the day that i knew i had to work 16 hours came. 
That was the only day that i handled my schedule correctly. I woke up and took 30 minutes relaxing, coffee while browsing Pinterest, read blogs i follow. Gathering inspiration. Around 5, i took a couple of hours to watch Vampire Diaires (yes!), walk by the lake with Bella, have a shower and then having dinner. 
By the end of the day (night?) the only thing i felt was my ass hurting from sitting so many hours. If it was 8 in the morning, i would feel as fresh as i felt at 2am. There’s nothing more refreshing and energising than starting your morning in a relaxed, calm way. And of course taking good breaks to recharge and gather some new inspiration. 
Any day, even the easier ones, will be go much smoother if you start relaxed, in the way you would on your perfect day. 

This is a topic that has been written quite a lot by pretty much every freelance graphic designer. Although the answer is clear for most, i’ve been thinking my own story lately and realised that no one can tell you when the time is right. It completely depends on you.  As i’ve mentioned on previous… Read more »

This is a topic that has been written quite a lot by pretty much every freelance graphic designer. Although the answer is clear for most, i’ve been thinking my own story lately and realised that no one can tell you when the time is right. It completely depends on you. 
As i’ve mentioned on previous posts, i was quite lucky on how i started freelancing. I had no other option than to stay home due to my surgery four years ago, and basically it was either doing nothing, or push myself to experiment on at least that. 
I am not going to lie, things have been pretty tough. We’ve had some bad and stressful years, but having Theodore’s support and trust in my skills and how much i wanted it definitely paid of. Only the past few months, in the whole four years, i can say that i finally can breathe. Feeling safe, having a good work flow and an income that i’m comfortable with. 
With that said, there are lots of ways you could take the leap. The first and most important thing in my opinion, is considering how you feel about it. I don’t think there’s a time that you will ever be ready. You just go for it and work things out along the way. But there’s definitely a point where you feel more certain of your skills, aesthetics and style that boosts your confidence on your work. 
If you’re already taking up freelance projects along with your full time job, a good time to take the leap would be when the number of new projects is getting steadier with each month. Having people that support you can make things a lot easier, as i already have figured out. Not only mentally, but physically as well. Of course there will be stressful months, but having someone to back you up, will make it a whole lot easier. 
Any way you take that decision, you have to be aware of all the positives and negatives. It’s a process that will test you in all kinds of ways. Remember, it’s always your hands to make it work. But even if it doesn’t, it’s a pretty darn experience that will make you stronger. After all, we have to experiment in order to see what fits us right? 

I’ve been asked a lot on interviews what’s my advice for new bloggers, and i could not stress more on how you should stay to who yourself. Having a blog, is like rediscovering who you are all over again. You think you know your aesthetics but you don’t. Once you sit in front of your… Read more »

I’ve been asked a lot on interviews what’s my advice for new bloggers, and i could not stress more on how you should stay to who yourself. Having a blog, is like rediscovering who you are all over again. You think you know your aesthetics but you don’t. Once you sit in front of your computer and have to write, or style a post, come up with a post, it’s so easy to get distracted by what others do. 
Sometimes, in the process of seeking inspiration, you can get influenced by someone you truly admire, and that’s only fair. Being strict, putting boundaries, takes its time. 
When i first started blogging, i was all about collaborations with anyone and everyone. Which i think is definitely something you should be open when you’re at the beginning. Meeting people, creating connections, big yes to all. But your blog, is who you are. And you should cross the line on doing what you are comfortable with. 
Sometimes it’s harder than you think, rejecting collaborations, or finding your own path. But who you are, and how you show it, is what makes your blog original, different from the others. We should embrace difference, show it, and not trying to blend in. What makes us different, makes us special. 

lettering cocorrina ferns by Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh Truth is, i’ve been avoiding this TFL by all means. It was so ironic of me to write a post about managing a schedule while i was completely drowning in my own. Yes, there is a method behind the way i lay out my working hours within… Read more »

lettering cocorrina
ferns by Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh

Truth is, i’ve been avoiding this TFL by all means. It was so ironic of me to write a post about managing a schedule while i was completely drowning in my own. Yes, there is a method behind the way i lay out my working hours within the week or even month, but it’s so much easier said than done. Most of the times i’m a good girl and everything works perfectly fine.
There are those times though, you may overwork on one project, and then the whole days gets messed up. And by messed up, imagine me, starting work at 8am, and finishing at 1am with only lunch and dinner breaks, so the schedule won’t stay behind. Yikes. 
Thankfully, when working loads of hours, my creativity and inspiration stay at the same levels. I’ve figured out that i work the best under pressure but my body completely abandons me. 
You’ve probably understood by now, that with schedule, i mean your freelance client projects. The goal -for me at least- is to start at 8, with my emails already answered, and a clean inbox, and finishing at 5pm. That’s what i call a healthy day. 
Have a good big organiser.
Lots of you use calendar from mac, and i believe it’s really helpful with all devices syncing etc, but i still prefer writing everything down – i’m a typical visual person. 
Write everything down. And i seriously mean everything. When your daily / weekly / monthly to do list gets bigger and bigger, there’s no room to forget meetings, or turnaround times. 
Calculate your time. As soon as i get feedback from a client, depending the project, i give myself the room of days. For example if it’s a logo, and the feedback is easy, i give it from 1-3 days, regarding the schedule. So on the 1st and 2nd day i note it down as a secondary project, so i can work on it for about 30 min. On the 3rd i write it as a primary project to be sent and calculate an hour. 
That way, it could be Tuesday, and i’ll have a full week with scheduled days, on what projects i need to work on, when and for how long. When i have to send them, and when i have room to experiment. 
Set a timer. Staying within the schedule is the next most difficult thing. Depending the project again and its priority, i set a timer. And even if i could be close to finishing it, i close it once the timer rings and resume the next day. 
It’s so easy to get distracted and 5 minutes you may promise yourself could become 30 without noticing it. And you may have finished one project, but you’ll either mess up your schedule, either another project will stay behind. Be strict, and the quick project change, will keep you refreshed.
Don’t get distracted. Emails come and go, and clients may ask something real quite that could take me 15 minutes probably. I say, keep your head down, and work until the timer rings. You can allow yourself 10 minutes to reply to emails, catch a breath and then resume.
Enjoy it! Find a way that works well with your needs. It’s good to experiment and at the end of the day you’ll be always on top of your list with happy clients!
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