2017 Year In Review – My Busiest Year Freelancing

2017 was my 10th year as a full-time freelance graphic and website designer, and I can without a doubt say it’s been my busiest year yet!

I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve been literally up to my eyeballs in work all year, which is every freelancers dream! Although it has taken 10 years to get to this point in my career.

However it wasn’t all plain sailing. The deadlines were tight, at times the revision process was a nightmare, and I struggled to get motivated at times due to a lot of sleepless nights with my young daughter!

It goes without saying that freelancing has its ups and downs, but I truly do love every aspect of working for myself!

What went well in 2017

  • Had non-stop client work designing for some great clients.
  • Finally got round to updating my own website.
  • Re-ignited my love of pharmaceutical packaging design.
  • Collaborated with some top design agencies.
  • Got to work on more brand design.

What didn’t go in 2017

  • I’ve been isolated with work so much that I haven’t been getting out or posting much online.
  • Haven’t made the time to create content for my blog or social media.
  • Poor health and diet most of the year.

My favourite bits from 2017

I still can’t believe some of the clients I’ve been fortunate to work with this year, with a lot of repeat work for clients like: Purple Fire, Windmill Tapes, GBF and Creativo Design.

These type of clients continue to motivate me, and I’m incredibly grateful to get to work with them!

Here is a selection of projects from this year:

Some lessons learned

I’m constantly experimenting with my work process and learning from my own mistakes. This year there were a few things that really stood out to me that I’d like to share:

  • Turning down work is okay. I’ve been fortunate enough to keep a full diary of work all year, however I can’t take on every project so I have learnt to turn down work if I have to.
  • Appreciate the downtime. There were only a couple of weeks this year where work was slow. (Not completely dry, but gave me time to breathe.) It’s easy to go into panic mode like when I first started freelancing. Did I do something to make my clients upset? Am I not doing a good enough job? It’s none of those things. So rather than worry, I need to fill any spare work hours with productive tasks like creating new products for my portfolio or updating my website – things that will help grow my personal brand. Or simply enjoy that time to ride my bike or go for a walk. But be ready for when those emails do hit my inbox!
  • Know what really matters in the end. I’ve been very fortunate this year with work. It’s easy to get caught up in the facade of wanting more likes or recognition on social media. But at the end of the day, I get to pay the bills doing work I enjoy, save some extra money, and make a happy living for my family. That’s what really matters. And while getting praise is great, having a happy and healthy family is even better.

Looking ahead to 2018

At this point I finally feel like I’m starting to figure this freelance stuff out. I’m working on some fantastic client projects, I’ve grown my income a bit, so now I need to keep things rolling and stay excited about the work I’m doing!

My 2018 Goals:

  • Stay excited about every project!
  • Looking forward to being an associate for Grey Bear Consultancy Ltd
  • Make time for sharing content that feels authentic to who I am and what I do.
  • Be more mindful of productivity.
  • Look to move house – with hopefully a peaceful place I can hide away from the kids whilst I’m working weekends!
  • Define a healthier routine and work/life balance.

So that’s a wrap for this year’s review! If you’ve read this far, thank you!

See you in 2018!