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LA-based freelance concept artist and illustrator, Shreya Shetty, shares her insights about handling and organising finances as a freelancer, so that it no longer feels a daunting task.

Working as a freelancer means you have a wear a lot of hats. Being smart about your finances will allow you to continue to operate smoothly. Here are some ways to help you through the ups and downs of the freelance life.

1. Know Your Worth

Charging a below par rate is going to hurt you, over time. Talk to your peers and know the general rates. Sources like ArtPact, Glassdoor, etc. help find out the hourly and per piece rates for illustrations and such.


2. Budget for Taxes

Freelancers pay at a higher tax rate. Consider this when you quote your prices, and budget for this when you have expenses. Virtually, all work related expenses can be written-off as business expenses. Find out all possible allowed business expenses that you can claim as a freelancer. Be sure to keep your personal and professional spending separate.


3. Consistent Clients

Try to have consistent clients so you know that you will be making a certain amount per month. Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Try to have a couple of different clients, so even if one stops commissioning work, you won’t be out of work.

4. Invoicing

Be prompt about sending in your invoices as soon as the job is done. Most of the bigger companies have fixed billing cycles so if you are late and don’t send your invoices in by a certain time, it might take up to the next cycle to get paid.


5. Passive Income

It’s always great to supplement your commissions with passive income. This means that you can generate revenue with minimal effort, based on the work that you have already done. Examples of this would be Print on Demand (POD) services for prints, licensing; selling content like tutorial videos, brushes, and so on.


6. Plan Downtime

Plan for the downtime and try to save up at least 3-6 months of your basic living expenses. When you start out keep your overheads low, embrace the frugality till you know you have saved up enough to not panic if the work dries up for a while.

Published in Issue 37

The issue includes interactions with Preeti Vyas from VGC on ‘How to pitch for clients or retain the existing one’ and Ashish Deshpande from Elephant on ‘Challenges of working with a startup’, along with some best freelancers like Archan Nair, Shreya Shetty and Paul Sandip, sharing their knowledge of working with various clients. Also, Sachin Puthran from Thatzit.com gave a 10-point no-nonsense guide for studios to handle their finances. A must read, if you are planning for the financial year ahead or worried about your handling your money matter.

 

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For most people, starting alone is daunting; Anjali DSouza explains how she feels about the entire concept of being a freelancer? Read on to know what a young designer should know before jumping down the freelance path…

World of freelance
COLOURED BLISS
GRAPHIC GREETINGS

Dealing With Real Problems

For most people, starting alone is daunting; however, for Anjali, the entire concept of freelance was a welcome challenge. In order to create a lasting impression and stamp her mark on the global level, she has worked hard and tried to put herself in the shoes of her client. Earning the praise of clients and critics alike, this designer knows the emotions of design problems enabling her to arrive at a solution.

THE NEW CASSETTE
THE NEW CASSETTE
World of freelance
THE NEW CASSETTE

Perseverance Pays

Being a designer in India is not easy, competition is tough and her mantra is to work hard and believe in oneself. Creating your own distinctive style that sets you apart will always help you move forward; for Anjali, Indian folk tales combine with bold colours and expressive line work elevating her above the rest. After understanding the problem, adequate research is required to move ahead and execute the solution and this is exactly what makes Anjali DSouza click!

World of freelance
DESIGNING DEWARISTS

“For Anjali, Indian folk tales combine with bold colours and expressive line work elevating her above the rest in freelance”

World of freelance
THE CLASSICS RE-IMAGINED
THE NEW CASSETTE

Young Designer should keep in Mind

Being a team player is integral, working with strong-minded individuals can help shape a fresh career and provide opportunities to learn from other designers. Another important aspect is to connect with the client so as to find a common point and further a healthy process of working together. Lastly, in order to ‘grow’ as a designer, one must be open to working hard and accepting both praise and criticism

PLAYFUL PUPPETS

Published in Issue 32

If you are a recent graduate or about to finish your college then this issue may have answers to many of your questions. Like, how to get the best placement or the internship? How to present best in front of the interviewer? Which studio or agency to choose to start your career? How to work in a team or choose to be a freelancer? This issue has advice from many experts such as Ashwini Deshpande and Gopika Chowfla who gave the secrets of choosing the right intern for their well-known design teams. And on another hand, Rajaram Rajendran and Ranganath Krishnamani advise young designer to gain multiple skills and be the best at them. Also, recent MIT Post Graduate Vinta Jakkal shares her secret with which she grabbed the great opportunity of joining the Elephant Design, Pune team to start her career.

 

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