Nothing beats walking into the local high street bookstore and seeing a variety of books you designed for sale on the shelves – or receiving your own complimentary copy in the post.
2016 was a lot busier than I anticipated and I loved every minute of it.
During 2015, after walking into what I had hoped (at the time) was a full-time job after 10 years sitting at home working as a home-based freelancer, I thought I knew where I was going. Within a month at the job, working as a brand licensing designer (which ended up being a 6 month contract trial period) I was made redundant (for the second time ever). A non-fiction illustrated books imprint within the publishing company took over my 6 month contract and towards the end of 2015, I found myself back on the freelance wagon again.
I am grateful for the experience I was given out there in the big wide real world of publishing, it was really good for me to be in an in-house environment and I am grateful for the fact that I ended up with new-found confidence knowing that even though it wasn’t for long, that I am actually employable in the industry, my skills haven’t stagnated from sitting at home and I gained a couple of new clients in the process. In fact, becoming a busy freelancer again with a solid list of dedicated clients and a regular stream of work, is more beneficial financially than taking on a full-time salary that a senior designer is likely to earn in the industry – even if I do happen to squeeze in a few more hours into a day in the process.
From the end of 2015 and throughout 2016, I have been constantly busy. My old children’s book publisher client gave me freelance work immediately, my contract employer called on me for a few big projects and I progressively gathered a couple of new clients over the year. I even had to turn down a 3 month freelance/contract position for another big publishing house in London because of the amount of anticipated projects I had in the pipeline.
In total, I sent 21 books to print in one year (including three 300pp co-edition US and UK versions of concise encyclopedias)! Go me!
I was also commissioned for a charity job to design and paint a mural on a 22m long outer wall for a local Scout hut – when the weather improves, I will be out there this year finishing it off… and hopefully it will give me something else to blog about.