Creatives shouldn’t have to support themselves in other jobs in order to gain experience in the field. It is a toxic trait of the industry that has trickled down from oldschool companies. If you are an emerging creative and looking for opportunities, please don’t do free work. Your time and value is higher than that.
Also, I learned that I had been undervaluing my design services when I was at university. I hadn’t felt confident and was almost too shy to ask for more. When I told my colleagues at The Mill what I was offering for my freelance rates, they were shocked and said I should be asking for double if not triple the price. Of course, the rate motion designers offer should align with their experience and skill set. But don’t be scared to negotiate your fee with the client. What's there to lose?
For more information on handling design and business, I recommend The Futur’s YouTube channel.
How important has social media and self-promotion been for your career?
Social media has been key for enabling clients to find my work, especially Instagram. It’s a great tool for networking and finding inspiration. I initially used Instagram for my little experiments within Cinema 4D but now I use it as my portfolio. I show it to clients because they can quickly see all my work in one place.
I wouldn't say I am a social media guru. Sometimes, I still don’t know how to use hashtags correctly (or even if they work) but I am learning as I go. I use my design Instagram to solely follow people in the design industry and keep it separate from the shenanigans in my personal life.