5 Reasons Why This Creative Creature Went Freelance
Recently, I've been living the fascinating, dream schedule my younger self wouldn't think possible. On some weekdays, I look for cafés to get some work done before I go to Japanese class. On other weekdays, I work at home and barely spend a peso on food. Weekends are spent either watching Netflix and chilling on my bed (alone) or doing productive hobbies to satiate my inner creative. And if it's necessary, I work on a Saturday.
Having worked 9 to 5 for 3 years, I've never imagined this was even possible / tangible. Either way, I'm living the dream.
But going freelance isn't just brewed coffee and self-imposed vacations. There are times when work flatlines, wondering when I'll ever get either my money or if I got the jobs I applied for. (Emphasis on the s.) But when I feel close to giving up, I always reminded myself "Why did I even go freelance?" My answers were definitely positive and enough to get me back on track... I definitely need to write these down put these up my home office board!
So, why exactly do I work and wander in the city?
Creative control: it's all mine.
We creatives are proud of our work, and it's most often a good thing. Not only did I discover the kind of projects I was interested in, but I also figured out which skills I'm good enough to make money out of! As you can see in my portfolio, I love illustration, art direction, and branding. I get to explore what I can do as a creative because I call the shots on execution when the clients give me creative briefs. Plus I can use my art style in my work if the project allows it!
Time is under my control.
Context: I live in Manila, a city known for horrible traffic. I live quite close to my work place, but what's supposed to be 20 minutes to the parking lot becomes 40 minutes... in a good work day. Add working hours, an hour per meal, and 7-8 sleeping hours... Time for myself was barely a thing. But now that going out of the house to work isn't always a necessity, I can take charge and decide what to do!
Staying healthy is easier.
When you have a job that requires creativity, you need your mind in tip top shape. Enough rest keeps the mind imagination fresh, worry-free, and full of ideas. Aka, the perfect state of mind to work. Now it's already proven and obvious, but I produce better work when I sleep enough. But a sharp mind also needs a fit body for it to function too! Sitting around for hours isn't good for the buns, so I make sure I get my almost daily / weekly dose of exercises. I make sure I do my 5Ks, hula hoops, or build strength. Also, if the walking distance between me and my destination is safe, I'd walk around the city if I could! Plus, working out is a good way to kill time while waiting for responses from prospect clients!
The world is my office.
My home is the literal home base of my work. Most of the time, I work right after a shower. Other times, I'd be drinking hot choco. But if I need to go somewhere, I only need a few things like my laptop, its charger, a backup hard drive, and my pen tablet! That's why I'm a backpack kind of girl, because I need my workaholic life to fit in a bag. And hey–having different sceneries is very inspiring! I could be working at the beach or in a park at a foreign land. Those are two things I haven't tried yet, but I'm down to it if the chances ever happen.
There's room for growth... because I create it.
We often choose what and where we work in because it aligns our skills, vision, and philosophy. The further we go along our work, we grow. I can't "resign" if my view on work changes, I can let my work grow along with me. Not to say there's no growth in 9-to-5 jobs, though. I still did pick up a lot of skills and notes along the way which I applied in my current state of work. But as a freelancer, I create the flow as a freelance creative. That indeed sounds promising and leaves me leading myself to a start that will leave me very satisfied when it pays off.
Why did you choose the freelance life? And why would you go freelance, if you're planning to?