2015 Summary and Freelancing with Local vs Foreign Clients

Happy new year everyone! !

2015 has been a year of transitions. I started working freelance full-time since March. The company I worked for changed industries and left the gaming industry unfortunately. This has been the main push for me and my colleagues to get out of our comfort zones.

I thought freelancing would make it a lot easier for me to do personal art but, it was the opposite and my schedule(or lack of one) got messed up way too easily. This is something I’m still working on.

I’ve also encountered all sorts of clients. I want people to get an idea of how this freelancing thing works so I’ve made a list below of my clients so far.

  1. Foreign Client #1 – The client found me from a past client. The work was great but I had to do work that was not what I was aiming for but I learned a lot.
  2. Local Client #2 – Got referred by a friend and did some stylized work for kids with the help of my girlfriend. The client didn’t pay in full and had lots of complications because we never had a contract which was my fault too.
  3. Local Client #3 – Got work from old workmates. It was for a children’s book so the style was new to me. I collaborated with my gf again. It was fun and short but the style wasn’t for me.
  4. Local Client # 4 – Got referred by old workmates. The work was what I really wanted but the communication and pacing was terrible so we had to jump ship eventually.
  5. Foreign Client # 2 – The client found me from Artstation. I got to do lots of fantasy illustrations that I still can’t post. I’m still doing a lot of work for this client and hopefully I can post some stuff sometime this 2016.

Things would’ve been harder if not for my girlfriend. I got to hand it to her for always being there. <3

Basically, the lessons/highlights I got from 2015:

  • Local clients have not been ideal from our experience of 4 out of 5 clients. They want to meet up often which is a waste of time instead of just emailing comments. The pay is also not that great and most don’t know or want to do contracts.
  • Foreign clients have been better so far. Not only is it easier to talk to them but they also pay faster and better.
  • I finally registered myself as a professional freelancer. I will post a different blog post about this some time.
  • Get help if you think there’s not enough time. It’s better to get help from a friend instead of sacrificing the quality of your work
  • Scheduling is extremely critical. I’m working on this more now to get back more of my personal time. I use Google Calendar for repeating events, bills, etc and I use Google Keep for checklists.
  • Waiting on the right time to do your personal stuff isn’t going to work. It’s best to be strict with yourself and dedicate at least 30min a day on what you really want to do.

I guess that’s it. If you’ve read up to here, thank you very much! Now that being a freelancer has sort of stabilized, I’m sure there will be a lot more new stuff in store for 2016.


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