Ever wondered if you could take your graphic design skills and turn them into a freelance business? We caught up with Kelsey Layne, a London based freelance graphic designer, to chat about how she’s done just that. Kelsey’s worked with some pretty cool brands, has had her work published in a book (goals, anyone?) and her Instagram is a colourful collection of cute cutout paper food that we just can’t stop looking at.
Here’s what Kelsey had to say about her desk life:
Hey Kelsey, you’ve recently launched your new website and freelance graphic design business! How are things going?
Things are honestly really great. I managed to score my dream job working part-time yet freelance for a chain of bars straight away, so I’m very fortunate and grateful.
You’re so young but already you have a thriving business. Tell us about your background in graphic design?
*laughs* Thank you! Well my design life started very young. From the moment I started collecting and subscribing to all different kinds of magazines (that I still have and can’t tear myself away from), I fell in love with layout design and photography, and knew that I was going to be a designer.
I studied photography at the Arts University Bournemouth, and studied graphic communication at the University for Creative Arts, where I gained my degree.
What made you decide that now was the time to go freelance?
For me, I wanted the freedom to be able to work on a diverse range of projects, as this is what keeps my ideas fresh and exciting. I realised that working freelance would be the best way for me to do this.
Have you enjoyed the process of setting up your business? Or have you found it to be stressful?
I have actually really enjoyed it and haven’t found it stressful, yet, shall I say. I fell into a steady freelance roll straight away.
What is your favourite thing about the freelance lifestyle?
Every day is different. I do not cope well with organised routines such as working in the same office on the same desk every day!
Would you say you have a good work life balance now, or do you find yourself working more than you perhaps should?
Definitely. I would say that I now have a good balance, as I can choose how much work I want to take on. It’s great.
What are some of the struggles you’ve come across so far as a freelance graphic designer?
Worrying about if I will have enough money every month. Each month’s pay is different.
What tools or programs would you recommend freelance designers know about?
I’m quite old school and prefer to jot things down and keep things handwritten, so I would recommend multiple sketchbooks. I have my favourite weekly ‘do this’ notepad, and of course a MacBook.
Have you had to specialise in a specific area of design for your business?
Hmm, not really. Every day tends to be quite varied, as design is such a broad area. I find it’s nice to make myself available for as many different kinds of projects as possible.
When it comes to design, what is your number one passion project?
I love branding design, particularly for the food and drink industry.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
Seeing all of my menu and poster designs distributed across 16 pubs, as this was always a dream of mine.
What advice would you give to a designer who wants to start their own design business?
Make sure you have enough experience, and create a killer website/portfolio. If you’ve been thinking about it just go for it! Take the plunge.