Now we have the chance to learn more about Joana, her creative journey in freelance illustrating, and how to become a freelance artist. Thanks for taking the time for us, Joana!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is a day like in the life of a freelancer?
Joana: First of all, thank you for the invitation! I’m currently based in my hometown Alcobaça, which stands in a valley right between the beach and the mountain crest and I can’t say I have a routine. This is the best and the tricky part of freelancing. On one hand, you have this opportunity of working in all kinds of different projects – I usually do illustration, but also graphics and web design. On the other, there’s this flexible schedule that you can juggle to have a more balanced way of living.
So it really depends on what there is to do every day. I usually work from home because that’s where most of my tools are, but if what I need to do doesn’t require any of those, then I like to work outside. The library is one of my favorite places, it helps me stay focused. Still, I tend to be less productive in the morning, so I usually compensate at night (fewer distractions).
Did you always have a freelance illustrating business and graphic design? At what point did you decide to begin working as a freelance illustrator?
Joana: Not exactly, it took a while to develop the whole freelance thing. After finishing my studies I worked in communication studios, so the freelance part started with small projects in my free time and all in collaboration with friends. I started doing illustrated posters for parties, then I was invited to illustrate kids’ books, eventually, word got out on the street and more people started to contact me. Then, 2 years ago, I felt that I needed to reset on a professional level so I decided to take a leap of faith and turn the hobby into my full-time job.
What inspires your work? How do you stay creative? What are your favorite projects to work on?
Joana: A little bit of everything, really – music, movies, books, stuff I see, conversations I have with my friends. Sometimes I take notes of crazy dreams I have, too. When I feel blocked I like to browse through my favorite artists’ work. But my favorite projects are the ones related to music (album covers, posters, merch) and collaborations with my friends.
I recently had the chance to do animation for a friend’s short movie so that one got a special place in my heart 🙂
What are some of the challenges you face as a creative freelancer?
Joana: So far, the same as everyone else – to keep focused when working from home, dealing with the completely unpredictable income and learning to sell your work.
What advice would you give to someone starting out their artist or freelance journey?
Joana: I’d say work hard and do your best if that’s what you really love. Remember that, and if you come to realize that freelancing is not for you, that it’s taking all the joy out of your art, don’t let it take you down! It’s ok, you can always keep doing it for yourself, on your own time and on your own rules.
How to Become a Freelance Artist
Here are three key takeaways from our interview with artist Joana on how to become a freelance illustrator (or a freelancer in general):
- Build your foundation first. This means improving your skills, getting your name out there, accepting projects and building a solid portfolio. Joana started taking projects, building her portfolio, and meeting new clients through friends before she took the leap to full-time freelancing.
- Give yourself time. Joana said it took a while before she jumped into full-time freelancing. It takes time to not only learn your craft and improve your skills, but it also takes time to learn how to run your business as a freelancer which includes things such as selling your work and managing a variable income.
- “Work hard and do your best if that’s what you really love”. This is absolutely the best advice Joana gives! If in the end, freelancing is taking away the joy and love of what you do, don’t let it.
If you enjoyed reading this interview with Joana Raimundo, and would like to learn more about writing, publishing, and the creative journey, check out the following interviews:
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