Whether you’ve just landed your first gig or have been freelancing for years, there’s always room for new and exciting ways to keep your skills sharp. Here are seven ideas for getting out of the office and into the world:
|1. Experiment with new design styles and techniques.|
|2. Create personal passion projects to fuel creativity.|
|3. Collaborate with fellow designers for fresh perspectives.|
|4. Attend design workshops and conferences for inspiration.|
|5. Design humorous or unconventional graphics for fun.|
|6. Refresh your creativity by taking breaks and walks.|
|7. Explore diverse design challenges to broaden skills.|
|8. Engage in design-related hobbies outside of work.|
|9. Incorporate storytelling elements into your designs.|
|10. Design for a cause or nonprofit organization.|
|11. Create self-promotion materials to showcase expertise.|
|12. Participate in design competitions for motivation.|
1. Write About Your Process
What do you like to write about? If you’re not sure, that’s fine. Just think of something that you’re passionate about or something that interests you. Maybe it’s a hobby, or perhaps it’s a topic related to your career. Maybe it’s even something silly and unrelated (but still important) such as the difference between sweet potatoes and yams!
There are all kinds of different things that people write about on HubSpot’s blog from customer service tips to marketing strategies, from content marketing ideas to social media updates so there’s no reason why you can’t write about whatever floats your boat!
You don’t have to stick with just one thing either; if we were in this together then I’d be happy writing just about anything from how much I love coffee (and maybe some other beverages) all day long!
If possible try not only coming up with what kind of topic makes sense but also how much research is needed for the piece before writing anything down.
Because research helps inform our opinions which helps us better understand what makes sense when discussing an issue publicly online rather than just talking out loud within ourselves like normal people do when they get bored while watching TV during dinner time.
Embracing creativity through quick art projects can have a positive impact on your mood and mindset. Explore our article on a 15-Minute Art Project to Improve Your Mood for a fun way to boost your spirits.
2. Teach Something New
Teaching can be a great way to stay sharp and relevant in your field, not to mention the confidence boost that comes from being an expert on something. If you want to teach, it’s important to know what you’re teaching before you start.
Think about your strengths, areas of expertise, and what kind of students would benefit from learning from you. There are several ways to educate others: online courses are great for those who want flexibility but aren’t able to commit full time;
Workshops and classes are more intensive but allow for hands-on learning, or one-on-one sessions where students come directly into our studio can be beneficial if they have specific questions or issues they need help with (like designing their own website).
3. Create A Youtube Channel
YouTube is the second most visited website in the world, so you’re not alone if you haven’t considered creating a YouTube channel. But as graphic designers, we know that video is an incredible way to share our work with others and build relationships with potential customers.
And according to Forbes magazine, approximately one-third of all content on social media is a video which makes sense when you think about how much easier it is to consume information when it’s presented in this format!
It’s also a great way to build your portfolio because clients often want to see examples of your past work before they commit and what better place than on your own channel? You can even use YouTube’s built-in analytics dashboard (not sure what that means yet? Don’t worry! We’ll show you how.)
Curious about how to make the leap into the world of freelancing? Discover the story of how I decided to become a freelance designer and gain insights into the journey that led me to this exciting career choice.
4. Start A Podcast
Podcasts are a great way to get your name out there, especially if you’re interested in doing more than just graphic design. Podcasting is a great way to share your voice with the world and have some fun while doing so!
If you’re new to podcasting, start by inviting a few friends or colleagues over and asking them if they’d be willing to record an episode with you. Use a free program like Audacity on your computer or phone (or even YouTube) for recording audio files for distribution online.
Once that’s done, use an app like Anchor. FM which allows users access to other podcast hosting platforms such as Spotify or Apple Podcasts (and more).
5. Observe Others In Your Field
“Watching a master at work is like going to a restaurant and watching the chef prepare your meal.”
It’s true! When you watch someone else do what they’re best at, it inspires you to do better. The more you learn about how other designers work, the better equipped you’ll be for your own projects.
When I was first starting out as a freelance designer, I would spend hours on Dribbble looking through all the great designs that colleagues were sharing. I learned so much from seeing all of these different styles and formats in one place!
It was especially helpful because if someone had posted their logo design process on Dribbble (and many did), they’d often include other examples of their work in their portfolio or website which meant that I could see what else they were doing besides just logos.
In addition to just looking at others’ designs on Dribbble or Behance, there are also several groups where people post links to things they’ve found online:
6. Teach Your Dog A New Trick
If you have a dog, then this is the perfect time to teach her or him some new tricks! You can teach them a single trick or several it’s up to your dog and what they’re interested in learning.
Some dogs might enjoy learning how to “sit” or “shake hands,” while others may be more interested in running through an obstacle course or having fun playing fetch with you. Teaching your dog something useful like opening doors or picking up items is also an option!
Navigating decisions as a freelance graphic designer is essential for success. Explore our guide on how I make decisions as a freelance graphic designer to learn about the strategies and thought processes that guide my creative choices.
7. Learn Calligraphy
Another great thing you can do is learn calligraphy. There are plenty of courses online, and it doesn’t require a huge investment in materials; all you need are some pens and paper.
Calligraphy is an excellent way to practice your handwriting and also looks impressive on stationery or cards. If you have the talent, it’s also a good source of secondary income for freelancers looking for ways to supplement their income.
8. Find A Perfect Coffee Shop With Good Lighting To Work In
Finding a coffee shop is as easy as typing “Coffee Shops in [city you live in]” into Google. But if you want to find one that’s perfect for freelancing, it’s important to know what to look for.
The first thing you’ll want to look at is the lighting. If there are too many windows and the sun is shining through those windows, your screen will be difficult to see (and this will most likely make you feel more tired).
You also don’t want any glaring lights shining directly at your workspace the best coffee shops have soft lighting so that all of their patrons can focus on their work and get things done quickly.
9. Visit The Best Public Library In Your Area And Read Something You’ve Never Read Before
Reading is a core part of the graphic design industry. Whether you’re searching for inspiration or tracking down obscure resources, there’s no substitute for the written word. And while many freelancers already have libraries filled with books they’ve read and re-read multiple times, it’s always worthwhile to venture outside your comfort zone and explore new titles.
The best way to do this? Visit your local public library! No matter what town or city you live in, there’s bound to be one nearby and if not, start by using Google Maps’ “find a library” feature (click here).
Once you’ve found it and checked out some books even if they’re not related to graphic design at all you’ll soon find yourself inspired by new ideas and perspectives that can help improve your work.
10. Take A Break From Social Media And Notice How It Makes You Feel
Make sure to take breaks throughout the day to do something fun or interesting. You’ll be more productive and focused, plus you’ll have more time to read or watch something fun at the end of the day!
Don’t let social media take over your life; make sure to spend some time away from it each week so that you can reconnect with family and friends in person instead of just online.
Looking for freelance opportunities that align with your design skills? Take a look at our list of 14 best freelance options to find projects that match your expertise and allow you to showcase your eye for design.
11. Pick One Day A Week To Do Absolutely Nothing At All
One of the biggest challenges of being a freelancer is having to do everything yourself. You need to be able to successfully manage your own time and workflow, which can feel overwhelming at times. The best way to take control over your schedule and get things done is by setting aside some days for “do nothing” days.
These are days where you don’t work on any client projects, but instead spend all day doing whatever you want watching Netflix, going for a hike, or just hanging out with friends.
Get up early and drink coffee! Most people love waking up late because they think sleeping longer will make them more productive (it doesn’t). Waking up early allows us to start our day off right by getting into a routine that we’ll continue throughout the rest of the week.*
Network with other graphic designers on social media and engage with their work and their insight, even if you don’t know them personally yet.
Networking is a vital part of your career, and it’s important to engage in conversations with other graphic designers on social media. Looking at their portfolios and engaging with their work can help you learn new techniques and gain inspiration for your own projects.
You can also draw from their expertise when you’re stuck or need advice on a particular project.
Also, don’t be afraid to reach out and introduce yourself! Many freelancers are more than happy to talk shop if they see that you’re trying to improve as a designer.
It may feel awkward at first, but most graphic designers are willing to help others grow in the industry if they have time for it (and if doing so doesn’t take away from meeting deadlines).
12. Take An Online Course In Anatomy To Improve Your Drawing
You can improve your drawing skills by taking an online course in anatomy. This will help you understand how to draw the human form, which is important for all graphic designers.
There are many different options available for learning about anatomy, but it’s important to choose one that fits your needs and budget.
Freelance graphic design comes with its own set of lessons and insights. Check out our article on 11 things you learn as a freelance graphic designer to discover the valuable experiences and knowledge that come with a career in design.
If you want to learn more about the design process, check out our guide on how to create a logo. If you’re looking for inspiration, we’ve got a list of some of the best resources out there. And if you’re ready to get started on your own business, read our article on how to start as a freelance graphic designer.
Thanks for reading!
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Freelance Graphic Design Resources and Inspiration: Dribbble offers a collection of resources and inspiration for freelance graphic designers, including design trends, case studies, and helpful tips.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Way To Find Freelance Work?
“If you want to be a graphic designer, it’s important that you know how to properly market yourself and your services,” says Bryan Travis, founder of DesignCrowd. “Find out which sites or apps are popular among freelancers.”
Where Should I Go To Find Freelance Work?
There are many websites where designers can share their portfolios and connect with clients who need design services. Some of these include Behance, Dribbble, 99designs, and Elance.
You can also make connections on LinkedIn by joining groups related to your industry. For example, if you are a designer then join groups like ‘Freelance Graphic Designers’ or ‘Graphic Design Jobs’.
“What Are The Best Ways To Get Work As A Freelance Graphic Designer?”
There are many ways to find new clients, but the three most popular methods include:
- Networking with people in your industry (at conferences, events, and meetups)
- Using social media like Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups
- Posting on freelance marketplaces like Freelancer, Upwork, etc.
“How Can I Get Better At My Graphic Design Skills?”
Practice makes perfect! The more you practice doing graphic design, the better you’ll become at it. If you want to improve quickly without spending too much time learning new skills every day (which may not be realistic).
I recommend focusing on one area at a time until you’re proficient enough there before moving on to another area. For example: if you want to be able to create great headers for websites then focus only on working with headlines for now – don’t try anything else yet until this skill is mastered first! Y
You’ll have a lot more success when everything comes together nicely (and trust me – there will be plenty of frustrating moments along that journey too!).
What Is The Best Way To Learn Calligraphy?
Calligraphy can be a tricky skill to master, especially for those just getting started. There are plenty of ways you can improve your calligraphy skills. Here are some tips:
- Practice often! The more you practice, the better your calligraphy will become.
- Find other people who also like doing calligraphy and get together with them to practice together. This will help you to stay motivated as well as give your work more variety.
- Learn about different kinds of pens and inks that exist so that when you’re ready, you’ll know what kind of pen or ink would work best for what kind of paper or project you’re working on (iPad vs cardstock vs watercolor paper).
I am a content writer, and I love what I do! Writing makes me feel like the words are flowing through my fingers, and then onto the keyboard, like magic. My experience as a writer has taught me that writing makes me feel good, as well as helps others to feel better too!