One: Never call me on the phone!
I hate to say this. I love my clients and I’d love to talk with them about our ongoing projects. (Who am I kidding? The introvert in me doesn’t like talking on the phone.) I do love talking with my clients in person though. Sadly most of my clients are out-of-town. So I’ll get to the point… One, two, or three people in my house will be crying at any given time. I only have two kids, but I’ve been known to join in on the crying.
I have a friend who is a mommy of young kids like myself and also a graphic designer. She has hidden in the closet to make phone calls to her clients. I admit that I have also done this. 🙂
So what’s the solution: text, Facebook message, email…. anything other than calling.
Two: I don’t have that many clients, so you are VERY special to me!
Because I’ve spent most of the last 4 years cleaning puke off of my couch, buying ridiculous amounts of Goldfish crackers and applesauce packets, and waking up 46 times every night I haven’t had the proper amount of time to invest in acquiring new clients. Thank you so much to the clients that I have now! Also, tell a friend about me please!!!
Note: I’m a designer, not a business woman. I really feel like I’ve been thrown in the deep end and I am floundering around trying to figure out the business side of graphic design. School did not prepare me to run my own business. I’m going to write a blog on this subject soon. The business side of a freelance business is a job of its own. It’s difficult to be a lone artist. Which brings me to the next point: being alone.
Three: It’s lonely.
Being at home all the time with the little ones can be very lonely. I don’t have the design support and inspiration that I would get by working with others. I spend a lot of time working on things that are NOT art. I’ve already mentioned the business side. But there’s other things like troubleshooting problems on my website, which I spent most of my “free time” today doing. These are things that I don’t get paid for, but must be done.
Four: We never get a day off.
If the kids are napping, it’s time to work. We work in our “free time.” There’s also a fair amount of “mom guilt” that goes along with this. I never really have enough time to do the dishes, do the laundry, read with my kids, play trains with my kids, cook homemade organic, blah, blah, blah for my kids… You get it. There’s never enough “free time” to get everything done. But with a freelance job you are adding a new, large task to your already full plate.
Note: Most of my design happens in the EARLY morning or late evening. Because, you know, kids…
Five: I am good at what I do.
I went to college. I took classes in graphic design. I use professional programs. I have a lot of natural art talent. I read a lot about graphic design (and lots of things, because I love reading). I watch tutorial videos for fun. Just because I do my work at strange hours in my pajamas doesn’t mean that I am not good at it.
There seems to be this idea that being a freelance artist means that I don’t know what I’m doing, it’s not a real job, and I work from home because I couldn’t get a “real job.” The truth is that I work from home because I chose it! I chose all the difficulties that go along with it because I want to stay home with my kids while they are young. They are my current priority. But that doesn’t diminish the time and energy that I put into your designs. I just do it with a toddler sitting on my lap. 🙂
Even with all of these troubles, I really do love my job! I feel blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids while they are young. But I also am looking forward to a day when I can work with adults again. Thank you for supporting me with your kind words or your business! I really do love being home with my kids! Also, share my business with your friends if you don’t mind. 🙂