I lovvvvveeee freelancing and I also really enjoy working in a design studio. If you were to tell me to choose one over the other I honestly think I wouldn’t be able to (at least at this point in my life). Both have taught me so many things and keep me busy like never before.
Freelance is the shit 💻❤️🔥
Freelancing is every designer's dream. You get to work for yourself, manage your own hours, and brand yourself however you want. But there are many difficult things to it, especially without any agency, studio, or out-of-college design experience.
One thing I learned quickly after graduation is that my classes never taught me key things when it comes to freelancing in the design industry. For example, “how much should you be pricing yourself”, “where does one find work”, “how to time manage and stick to budget” and most importantly “how to stand-up for yourself and work”.
Just like with any job there is a learning curve to freelancing. The hardest thing about it, in my opinion, is managing my time to fit within the budget I set for myself during a project. There have been a few projects I’ve lost money on because I went over the time I allotted. Not only does this suck, but it’s frustrating to know that it could have been avoided.
Freelancing is a lot of trial and error, but I really enjoy it because it’s nice to have a sense of control over your life and not having to rely on others to make an income.
Pixel Bakery is bae 🤤💋
I was lucky enough to start working at PBDS during college that quickly transitioned into a part-time position after graduation. The thing I really like about Pixel Bakery is that it is a smaller studio. I am able to know all my coworkers and get to be really hands on with all aspects of running a studio. My title may say multimedia designer, but I get to do and learn so much more.
Not many are so lucky to have an opportunity like this right after college, but either way I think one should seek some sort of agency or studio experience (even if it is for a short time or if you know you want to be a full-time freelancer).
Sometimes it’s not all about the knowledge you gain from a job at a studio/agency, but rather the networking and community building that takes place during. I have found it very helpful to have a solid group of designers to lean on, chat with, and ultimately learn from one another. Not to be cheesy af, but I wouldn’t be where I am in my career without the people I met throughout college and Pixel Bakery. I have learned so much from PBDS like how to price projects, find work, manage time, and ultimately be proud of the work I make.
If you are starting a new design job right out of college, it will be a huge learning curve to work in a studio or agency, but one that is important. You will learn all of the things that those “fake” projects at school could never teach you.
Okie so what’s the point of this 🙉✨
Jumping right into both positions (freelance & PBDS) right out of college is something that I haven’t truly wrapped my head around. I am more than thankful for the opportunities I have been presented with. I want to accomplish many things as a designer and I know by surrounding myself with amazing people will get me to where I want to be.
If you are to take anything from this blog post it would be to explore what the world of design has to offer. Don’t limit yourself. Get out there, meet people, and keep challenging yourself.