you all know about the struggles I had found blocking my path these past months. I have a Bachelor in Design and also worked as one for two years now – until I lost my job. So what now? I was super critical with my own work and what I wanted to do with my future.
Anna Nunez is an inspiration for me Design-related and Lifestyle-like for some time now and I was super excited to get this super personal interview with her. She helped me guide my way into self-employment. Because of Anna Nunez and Sabrina Felizitas, I found the courage in me to make this big leap into a different life!
How to be A Designer
a lot of people design things for a living nowadays. But how do they do it? And would someone be open to answering all the picky and noisy questions to help me grow my own business?
I asked Anna, and she said yes to my interview proposal, so may I present: Anna Nunez, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Did you start your freelancing, when you were still working in another company full time?
I started freelancing when I was still at University, a year before I was about to graduate. I took an internship with a branding agency in my hometown (about two hours away from where I was going to school). I moved home during that summer and learned so much that I know today from the two women that run the agency. They are still my good friends, and I would say that most of what I know in freelance Design has been generously shared with me from them or other friends/experts in the field.
Did you have customers immediately?
I did not have a steady list of customers immediately by any means. But I did get my first customer within a few months of beginning to consistently share my design work on social media. I would say that my list of clients has grown pretty steadily with each year that I’ve been doing this since 2016.
Are most customers coming from your Instagram following?
I used to get almost all my clients coming in from my Instagram following, however, today I would say that the majority of my clients today are either referrals from past clients or people who found my work on Pinterest. My Instagram is still a part of it and a very helpful tool, but it’s no longer where most of my clients come from. Part of that could be due to algorithm changes, or a lot of that could have to do with the fact that I share a bit more design work on Pinterest these days than I do on Instagram.
Did you have help or tips, before starting to work for yourself?
The most important advice I could offer someone about to start working for themselves is that it’s okay to learn as you go. You don’t have to have it all figured out, you just have to have the boldness to start putting yourself (and your work) out into the world consistently (via sharing on social, Pinterest, paid to advertise, etc.), patience for clients to come, and then the hard work to not give up.
Can you make a living from that? And how hard is it? (I know that’s probably too personal)
Not too personal at all! Freelance design is definitely something that you can make a living from. There are ways that make it harder than a lot of other jobs, I would say primarily due to my irregular paychecks and perhaps the fact that I’m always accountable for the jobs that I bring in. I have been freelancing for about four years now, and I would say that last year was the first year that what I do really took up the time of a full-time job (with overtime), and gave me a legitimate full-time salary that could support my husband and I. So although it is possible, it is a gradual process that requires dedication in order to make a living.
Do you recommend working for yourself as a fellow designer?
I recommend working for yourself if that’s something that you really want to do and are willing to work hard for it! I personally couldn’t imagine not working for myself, but I’m also an extremely driven, motivated worker.
Do you have more local customers or more international ones?
Most of my clients live within the United States, although I have worked with a small handful of people from other countries, and people within my hometown.
Which do you think is the best platform to share your designs on, if you want to reach more people?
I think it would be great to be sharing your work consistently on both Instagram and Pinterest – and perhaps even on a design portfolio website as well like Behance or Dribbble (if you can get an invite for it – it’s weird haha).
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from a lot of different sources – places online like Instagram or Pinterest, but also from art books, typography on old labels, magazines, nature, patterns, and fashion.
Do your clients have clear ideas about what they want you to design – or is most of you from your imagination?
My clients usually have a vague idea of what they’re looking for when they come to me, but we arrive at a finished brand completely together. I have a very in-depth step and step process that I walk them through from the time that we begin working with one another until the day that we finish up their branding project. It’s a very collaborative system and I love that about it.
Do you do an advertisement for your brand?
I do not – but I’m starting to consider it.
Would you make this decision again with the knowledge from now?
100%! I really love what I get to do for a living.
It was thrilling to talk with you Anna. Thank you for your openness and generosity. Your story gave me hope and courage to go one more step into the direction of my dreams!
You want to get to know Anna better, or follow her footsteps from the beginning? Make sure to read her new Blogpost “How I got started in Freelance Design”
I hope this interview might help someone as much as it helped me!
If you have any questions left feel free to leave a comment and I’ll pass it back to Anna 🙂 Did you like this different kind of a blogpost? Let me know!