Ask a Freelancer

Hey I’ve got a question for you freelancers.

I’ve got it in my head that freelancing is this wondrous thing where I get to work my own hours, and more importantly, live where I want to. I dream of living in a shack in the woods on a lake, or on an island somewhere, or just traveling around like some kind of gypsy nomad. Can you do that kind of thing (obviously dependent on internet availability) or do you need to stay closer to your big clients? Does all of your interaction with your clients happen through email/video conference/phone calls or do you meet face to face?

If you can live where ever you want to why did you choose to live where you do now?

5 thoughts on “Ask a Freelancer

  1. In theory, it’s possible to live anywhere and work whenever. I haven’t met 99% of my clientele face-to-face. I haven’t even spoken on the phone with maybe 40%. As long as the work looks great and I meet their deadlines, they’re happy.

    In practice, it’s harder to pick up and leave. I think you’d have to become a bit of an ascetic and mentally detach from ‘having stuff’. If there’s a significant other in your life, they would need the same career flexibility. You’d need a reliable, consistent link to your clients; internet can be shoddy in other countries. And then there’s the life/work balance… so much to see, so much to do in a new place!

    I’m sure people have done it, but personally, I’ve found it hard to detach from the ‘home base’.

  2. says

    I also have never meet any of my recent clients. I can do entire jobs and not even use the phone! I have a few clients that like to come and hang out in the studio and talk motorcycles, race cars and alter sketches but that is becoming a thing of the past. I still do rely on Fed Ex and UPS quite a bit for getting product, samples and finished items. Other than that go for it!

  3. says

    I moved to an island, but this one has a fantastic fiber-optic backbone…. Japan. I do almost all my exchanges through email, with the very occasional phone call needed. The physical distance (so far) hasn’t proved problematic. The time difference can actually work to my favor at times, being 14 hrs ahead.

  4. I do agree that we can get freelance work completed anywhere and the majority of my clients I too have never met. However, I’ve actually found that residing in a largely populated area has also helped me gain long term clients that I may not have had otherwise.

    There have been some industrial clients that I have worked with locally that allow me to go to site to use components as reference and to meet on a regular basis when the scope of the project is very large (ie. 50+ illustrations). Although the work could have still been completed by someone non-local, the client appreciated the added value I brought to this long term project and our on-going relationship.

    In that regard, I believe freelance location is key, depending on how you choose to market yourself and the type of illustration clients you prefer to deal with.

  5. says

    Good stuff to know, thanks. My current full time job that I got through freelancing relied on video conferencing twice a week to really learn the product, it was a major project though, not just a few illustrations. It would have helped tremendously to be close to the client to iron out all those details but still doable from 2000 miles away. Actually being able to connect to their polycom through my mac was the most difficult part.

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