Pine Turns 5!

Sorry for the negative introduction, but it's been a dark year for everyone globally.

Who would have thought that a pandemic would hit and throw the whole world into chaos?

I thought last year was a hard year, but nothing has compared to this one.

But I'm grateful for being able to work, as there are millions of people in the UK that are much worse off when it comes to their employment.

Somehow, I've made it through my fifth year as a freelance graphic designer running my own small business.

As usual, it's been a bit of a roller coaster. With some amazing highs, and some crushing lows. But incredibly the highs have outweighed the lows this year!

Highs:

  • I finally started doing the work that I want to be doing. Last year I began only working with ethical and responsible clients and this year it seems to have paid off. I've worked with some incredible organisations that are doing genuinely great things in this world.
  • I pitched for an incredible piece of work with the RAF Benevolent Fund charity and won the project. So keep your eyes peeled for that one in my portfolio soon!
  • My recent work with charities and schools has gotten me noticed by other charities, which is the ideal situation for any freelancer. It's always a confidence boost too!
  • A Summer of doing no design work gave me a fresh perspective on my goals and ethics as a freelancer. So when my work finally started kicking back in I worked harder than ever to improve.

Lows:

  • The obvious one is that when the UK went into full lockdown in March 2020 all of my work stopped. That meant stopping multiple projects half-way through their completion (and they have never been finished). I also wasn't eligible to any financial support from the UK Government. So things looked very bleak for a while!
  • A potential client did me over by hiring me to brand their service and then after receiving the initial ideas they pulled out of the projects and refused to pay for my time. Unfortunately this sort of 'speculative' project work still plagues the design industry. Freelance designers rely on using their expertise and time to earn a living, so when a client uses a large chunk of your time without paying then it takes away time that could be spent on a paid project.

Future plans:

  1. My main mission is to make it through to the other side of this uncertain time! So many people and industries have been affected. I think we'll all be grateful when things return to some kind of normality.
  2. I'm going to be launching a mentoring scheme for designers. The scheme will hopefully launch in the new year and will focus around working for yourself and within the ethical and responsible client sector. But will be open to anyone who needs a bit of a boost to launch their design careers.

If you're a freelancer and you want to vent or just share some words about how this year is going then drop me an email at: chris@craftedbypine.co.uk.

Onwards and upwards my friends.

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