The truth behind being a Freelancer


As a Freelance Illustrator, Artist, Graphic Designer… Doodler, I am often asked the following questions: How do you find a balance between work and play? How do you juggle everything? Don’t you get Lonely? The truth is, many freelancers face these challenges and I openly admit that it can be difficult sometimes. I personally overcome these challenges by embracing them as part of the game and keeping my head held high and focusing on the ultimate goal of “why you started?”

It’s almost been a year since I decided to bite the bullet and take the leap into freelancing life and start working for myself as Kate Illustrate. I thought that it would be incredibly straight forward and that I’d just be sitting in my cosy studio scribbling up pretty pictures and playing with fancy stationery. Even though this is a good 40% of the work, I didn’t factor in everything else that makes a business (e.g. Finances, Admin, Social Media etc etc) and sometimes I would question whether it was all worth it or whether I could even handle it. 

The truth is, we aren’t socially prepared to work for ourselves. It is assumed that after graduation, we will work in some kind of workplace. But for a growing number of us, this is not the case and this isn’t enough. In my case, I personally wouldn't want to work for somebody who can take credit and make money using my work. I personally don’t see the benefit of this and don’t think it’s worth the work just to add a name onto my CV.

I’m blabbing a little, but if you want me to talk about the pros and cons of Freelancing/ Working for yourself, I’m more than happy to share my experiences and opinions with you.

 To revert back to the questions I opened this blogpost with:

  • The best way to overcome loneliness as a Freelancer is by changing up your workspace (find a coffee shop every now and then) and by forming friendships and groups using social media with other freelancers who have a similar job/ working day as yourself. That way, you will never feel alone and you can always reach out to someone who knows exactly what you’re going through. I find this really helpful as I don’t personally know anybody who does anything remotely similar to me other than the girls I've met through social media (you know who you are, @northernmadeco, @lailalettering, @nicideesigns) 
  • To find a balance between work and play you need to make sure you plan, plan and PLAN! I am not the most organised person (unfortunately) and I have the memory of a fish so, with the help of fancy planners, Apple Notes and Apple Calendar, I am able to see exactly how my day, week and month pans out. So, if I have a free weekend or a day that ends early, I won’t feel guilty meeting up with a friend.

Being a Freelancer isn’t the easiest but what is these days? With difficulties there comes great rewards (I don’t know whether that’s the right saying but we’ll roll with it.) In order to be successful as a Freelance Artist, Graphic Designer or whatever, you have to be passionate and determined enough to make it work. I am incredibly proud of my journey so far and I only hope that Kate Illustrate flourishes into something amazing. 

Love, Kate 


Kate Mottershaw