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Last edited by olivercartwright; August 27th, 2011 at 06:18 AM.
I'm almost in the same boat as you are but am trying to turn things around to focus more on illustration and less on design since that can distract me away from my true objective goals.
Looking at your site, the use of photography is excellent as I can see you have a good network of photographers assisting you in the projects. Especially the women. Lovely models, they be.
Although, most of your work is visually abstract by design and geared for a different audience. What kind of clients have you been chasing? Are they corporate or individuals? I suspect that if you changed directions and focused on a specific market that clients would appreciate your work, it may help.
Do you deal with clients internationally since overseas, it is much harder to enforce such compensation for your services? Or are you getting them locally in your UK area?
Most importantly, try not to sell yourself short because you would want to charge them more than $20 for the project(s). Are you getting them through other "shady" websites such as www.guru.com? Because if you're being forced to 'lowball' yourself to keep clients, it's time to dump them or re-structure your pricing but don't let clientele put you in the position of low-balling your service offerings.
There are manipulative clients out there and you have to have a nose of a bloodhound to smell BS from them far ahead in advance to avoid them. Do your best not to work 'on spec' if you can because that's one thing you want to be conscious about when clients attempt to use you 'on spec' (you can find info at www.no-spec.com).
I would suggest you branch out to other forms of media such as drawing, painting, photography (if you can do this yourself professionally, you have more leverage), animation, etc. Your portfolio seems strong with many themes categorized which is a good thing to show flexibility, but on the other hand, specializing in one area might make you more attractive to a niche market.
I'm in a similar situation, too whereas most jobs locally demand web designers and other design positions 'in-house' that I've never done as freelancing was something I've done for years. EDIT: the local jobs for production in publishing are very rare here and hard to find but most require in-house experience, unfortunately to say. Web design is something that I don't do professionally but I've nothing against those that do and have respect for their digital craft, especially Flash or CGI animation.
It's extremely frustrating. I've learned to smell shady clients around the corner from experience and will know it if they try to screw me. It's one reason why having an agent would have been a huge benefit for me, not for marketing purposes, but also to screen out clientele since I'm deaf and won't have to put up with phone tagging games. I have to work that much harder to be my own PR (public relations) person to get around more often and re-develop my portfolio which I'm slowly doing due to other distractions.
You can find my web URL in my profile anyway, if you're curious.
So, hope this helps your case to restructure your direction.
Last edited by Pilgrim1099; April 8th, 2010 at 10:34 AM.
There's a connection. Fact is, the client who pays $20 is not a professional and therefore doesn't act professionally. This means not only do you have to deal with being financially fisted, you find yourself spending even more of your time trying to get them to do their jobs and urging them to toss you the pittance you were promised.
You've only been working for one year and you're complaining already? It takes 4 years for people to even hear about you in any meaningful way. Did you expect to get clients to take a chance on an unknown designer just because you're "out there"? There's like, a billion other people like you out there. And half of them have even gone to graduate school specifically for design.
This is a hard industry. It takes patience and perseverence. Advertise, get your name out there, do solid work, and try not to waste time on freebies, and eventually you'll get the work. But not by freaking out already. It's a longevity industry, not a "get rich quick" one.