Welcome back for another round of 5 Creatives 5 Days, this week's answers are definitely my favourite so far, so hopefully you feel the same way!
Remember if you have a question you would like to have answered, or a theme you would like discussed just submit it to the right in the "Submit a question to Just Ask" box and then I can put it to the panel next time.
This week I have some pretty inspirational people sharing their thoughts with us. The questions all focus around business, managing time, thoughts on how you expand and all the tricky problems most freelancers come up against. My panel have all made it past the initial stages of their businesses and are now focused on building and growing, but like many of of us there were many things they wish they'd known from the start and are still figuring out for themselves along the way.
Sonny and Biddy from We Buy Your Kids are perfectly placed to answer this week's questions after recently expanding their creative reach to count "gallery curator" as one of their titles with the launch of Ludlow Gallery NSW. Jasmine Dowling doesn't need much of an introduction these days, with over 170,000 Instagram followers you've probably heard of her, and if not you would most likely have seen her popular typography work around.
Adam Bryce hails from New Zealand where he founded SlamxHype before moving on to become the creative director of popular fashion brand Glassons. Since leaving Glassons he's pulled back to focus on his own photography work, working for some on New Zealand's most recognised fashion brands. Beci Orpin is Australia's very own illustration darling, her popular illustration and graphic design work has found her working with clients all around the world. Ryan Romanes, although the youngest contributor this week, is already proving himself to be a talented designer, and has some really interesting insight this week.
So let's get in to it shall we...
Q1: Stepping out on your own and deciding to make your creative hobby in to a job is a big and often daunting step. What were some of the things you know now that would have been really helpful to know from day one?
Sonny & Biddy - illustrators at We Buy Your Kids , also working at Ludlow Gallery - That it was going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of balancing and a lot patience. Probably the big thing was learning that it's okay to say "no". We would take on everything that would come through the door. But that's the thing, starting out you want to be busy, you get a rush from being so busy, but sometimes saying "no" works better in your favour. Knowing what are the jobs you should commit to and those you should pass on really comes with time. And mistakes.
Jasmine Dowling - Typographer & Blogger www.jasminedowling.com - I think having a really good accounting/financial set up would have made the first year of business a lot easier. I had no idea before starting my business what a BAS statement was so when I got my first one I freaked out a little. I now use an online accounting system that makes the world of a difference and makes tax time much easier. Other things like trusting your gut & saying no was something I probably only really learnt in my second year of creating. It is important to trust your gut when collaborating or even quoting if you feel like you are getting ripped off.
Adam Bryce - Photographer www.adamcharliebryce.com - Other than a few part time jobs when I was young, I've never really had a proper job. In a way I never really made that decision, its just what I assumed would happen for some reason. I think the most important thing to know is that no one will help you out, you have to make your own luck. If you make that move to turning your hobby into a job, then you have to really commit on every level. With my job, it takes a lot of time, you have to do a lot of work for free for a long time, so you need to be patient.
Beci Orpin - Illustrator & Art Director www.beciorpin.com - Get a good accountant! the business side of running your own business is super boring, but super important, and if you don’t pay attention to it can get you in trouble! Also document your finished work properly - I have so many early projects which I don’t have documentation and files saved of and with that I did.
Ryan Romanes - Graphic Designer www.ryanromanes.com - Learning the hard way is inevitable, but there were things I wish I had done differently. Engaging with an accountant from day one will save you a lot of money in the long run, even if it’s just a quick consultation. There were also pieces of equipment that I could afford to buy but didn’t prioritise and ultimately waited a lot longer than I should have. I only recently purchased a DSLR camera and lighting equipment, initially to just document my own projects for self promotional purposes. After experimenting and up-skilling my photography skills I now have a lot more independence and have clients approaching me for for photography work. I previously worked entirely off a hard drive which was the absolute worst decision. Now, all of my live projects, portfolio and other important information is on dropbox. I pay for a professional subscription which provides up to one terabyte of data over multiple devices. This has increased my productivity immensely as I travel regularly and need to have access to all my files. Even if I’ve just popped out for the day I can easily share files by generating a link via the mobile app.
I hope you enjoyed today's question, look out tomorrow for the second in this week's series.