I moved to New York immediately after high school and have been based there ever since. I went to the School of Visual Arts and studied design. Being in New York and studying at a school with so many professors who are still in the field, I was fortunate enough to able to intern a lot. I think I had 14 in-house freelance gigs and internships by the time I graduated. I stayed busy in school, and I think it's helped me a lot now. I have worked on a wide variety of projects and with a lot of super cool people.
I would've thought that I would be lonely or feel isolated working for myself, especially when I'm working remotely, but I find that I have a good amount of resources to ask for feedback when I am stuck, and enough work to keep me busy throughout the day.
It's always so random! Sometimes it's a friend of a friend or a studio that I've worked with in the past who passes me a project they couldn't take on.
“Be a self-starter. Don't wait for work to come to you, but actively seek the work you want. Don't hesitate.” – Morgan Light
Apple has been a fantastic place to freelance. I've lived in New York for the past seven years, and it's the only city I've been a designer in. Coming to California and being able to work with such talented people from all over the world—it's been a really eye-opening experience.
I definitely require a contract up front—and usually a 50% deposit, depending on payment structure.
Working in smaller studios, where I often had to pitch estimates as well as work, helped build my confidence when it comes to charging and having money talks.
Quarantine has definitely changed what my typical "routine" would be, but I'm a very structured person when it comes to my day-to-day. I usually wake up and force myself to work out (otherwise it won't happen). Answer some emails, jump on a morning call or two, and spend the next 2-3 hours in deep work mode. I always start by doing the things that I want to do the least, first, so I have the headspace to be more creative and free in the afternoon.
I have an are.na board where I collect cool resources. Otherwise, I love to buy old design books. If possible, I turn to them before the web.
Joule. I worked on Joule for more than two years before we were finally in a place to produce bars and packaging. In that time we went through countless iterations, partnered with a few different bakeries and factories, and eventually had a finished product.
Be a self-starter. Don't wait for work to come to you, but actively seek the work you want. Don't hesitate.