I’ve always been inspired by the creative process. Growing up, I was constantly finding new ways to express myself, whether it was designing magazine cut-out collages, putting together mixed CDs for friends, or writing an autobiography in high school, I enjoyed defining myself through creativity.
As an adult, my mediums and technologies within which to be creative have changed, but that has allowed me to be even more innovative with expression. I have had many unique and varied endeavors, including publishing a craft beer lifestyle magazine, writing product copy for Nike, designing and producing jewelry and leather handbags, and dabbling in real estate--all of which have given me the opportunity to explore my passions with freedom and vision.
Being a freelance writer and editor lets me use my skills and talents to help others express themselves, their passions, their businesses through words. I love that I get to work in inspired spaces, whether at home, in my favorite coffee shop, outdoors or across the globe while traveling. One of the best aspects, though, is getting to collaborate with clients to bring their vision and goals to life. Oh, and not waking up to an alarm in the morning is pretty great, too.
P.S. Read Megan’s blog post “72 Hours in Sedona & Hike to Devil’s Bridge”
One of my favorite things about freelance work is the ability to work from wherever feels the most inspiring. I’m currently in a temporary living space and therefore don’t have a real dedicated “office” right now. I like to get out of the house and find a quiet corner of a coffee shop when I need to do some real writing. Even though the surroundings might be a bit more distracting than my dining room table (where I often work from when at home) I like the background buzz of activity to give me a sense of liveliness and energy. When I get stuck or feeling uninspired, I will often scroll Pinterest, Instagram, or even utilize Google search (one of my favorite key-word searches right now is “minimal design”), to get my creativity flowing again. I also am a big fan of the Later.com blog, which keeps me up to date on all things Instagram; as well as DesignWeek.co.uk for more general design inventiveness.
Inspiration is the foundation for design. My inspiration for design comes from various creative avenues from magazine ads, to color and patterns found in the pages of interior design catalogs. My favorite places for inspiration are the color palettes found during my travels.
The beauty of working remotely is the freedom to create in any space which has allowed me to pull inspiration from new and foreign places. Something as little as the bright color of a door or shape of a metal railing can spur new ideas for a project.
While finding inspiration can come from anywhere, I find motivation must come from within when working as a freelancer. To stay organized and efficient, I utilize planners with reminders as well as programs to track my work. The freedom and flexibility of a freelancer has been incredibly rewarding and motivates me to stay organized and meet deadlines our clients.
What causes creativity to spark, peak or fade? I find my inspiration many ways: browsing through well-designed marketing materials, reading colorful Pinterest boards, paying attention to nature. New ideas can even come from something as simple as a restaurant floor tile. I’m never sure when and where creativity will be sparked, but if I stay open and aware, it’s amazing what the mind captures.
When I sit at my desk, staring at a blank screen, knowing all the elements I need to incorporate, I sometimes find myself asking, Where do I even begin, or the exact opposite happens and I can’t stop the ideas and design from flowing. What I’m saying is that creativity is a process, and no two days are the same. Personally, I’m a big planner and I love checklists. I organize my week into specific days. For instance, I have a business development day, accounting day, design day, etc. But, as much as I try to plan, the key is to stay flexible and allow my mind to determine what I am best at today. And at the end of the week my ultimate goal is to make sure that everything I’ve promised to clients has been delivered.
So, as with most things in life, timing is important, a space in which I can focus is vital, and being able to continually put a project down and reevaluate is a crucial step in my creative process. Design is not about how much you can get done, for me it’s about how well I can utilize my talent and design skills to interpret what a client needs to help meet their goals. I also love and value the freedom that freelance design allows me. Being able to work from home or while traveling, and collaborating with my awesome team, feeds my spirit and fuels my creativity. I cherish my work, I appreciate it, and I encourage everyone to find their journey to balance.