It's easy to have a list of incredible work and business goals, particularly when you work alone and have pleeeeennty of thinking time. The tricky thing is figuring out how you grow your business, while also keeping your income flowing. The hardest thing I have found is funding the things I need to do to grow, when you're freelance and clients pay irregularly it can be very difficult to plan ahead. BTW, in my next life I'm coming back born in to family wealth!
Here's an amping piece of text from Jasmine Dowling before we move on to question 4 below
Q4. One thing that I always struggle with is how to grow my business when I basically am the business, I have many ideas, but only two hands. Do you ever find this a struggle and do you have any advice from personal experience about how to expand your practice or diversify?
Jasmine Dowling - Typographer & Blogger www.jasminedowling.com - I really think this is where collaborations work really well for a young brand. If you can find a company that has similar values but has an expertise in something you want to expand your practice into then it is the best of both worlds. You can create something that you maybe wouldn’t have been able to by yourself. For an example when I recently did a collaboration collection with Hallmark US, we created foiled & letterpress cards with custom foiled envelopes. This is something I have wanted to create for myself since I started but at the quantities I wouldn’t have been able to make it feasible by myself. The collaboration collection meant I was able to still create a beautiful card collection at the quality standard that I dreamt of.
Adam Bryce - Photographer www.adamcharliebryce.com - I think this is really tough. The only advice I can give here is to be really bold. I tend to set aside time periods to try to just nail a new project and then move on, basically put everything else aside for 2 weeks, make a book, then move on. Its a really risky way to go about it, but for me so far its worked. Its so hard turning down work though, but you have to trust in yourself you are making the right decision the long run. I'm obsessed with my work, so I also have no problem working long hours and everyday, I tend to work, work, work and then crash once a year. Again, probably not the best advice.
Ryan Romanes - Graphic Designer www.ryanromanes.com - In the past I have been able to expand my practise by simply saying ‘yes’ to every job that came my way. I don’t think I could or would want to make a living purely off graphic design, which is why I’m constantly trying to up-skill. Having skills in Art Direction, Photography, Animation and Videography has allowed me to diversify my project-intake and get higher budgets.
Sonny & Biddy - illustrators at We Buy Your Kids , also working at Ludlow Gallery - You need to be motivated to keep pushing yourself, try new things, experiment. We used to use exhibitions as a good way of testing new ideas and approaches before we sprung them on clients. Its a good excuse to blow off some steam creatively and maybe make a little cash. That's not in terms of business expansion though. We haven't found a smart idea that makes us money while we sleep. We have worked as a team of three in the past, and hired a few other designers to help us but found the work needs to change when doing that. We really made a choice a few years ago to downscale - accept that our work was make by the two of us and try to work within that.
Beci Orpin - Illustrator & Art Director www.beciorpin.com - I still haven’t worked this out! I try to be involved in lots of things, and also diversify my work into other areas, so lots of people see my work and also see all the different things I can capable of. I’m not sure if this has ‘grown’ my business, but it’s definitely lead to wrk in alkyds of areas, which i guess is a step to growing.