asking for trouble

Four Years of Freelancing

It’s Leap Day today, which means it’s four years since I worked my last day of full time work. It’s been a really good four years of freelancing and I have never regretted my decision once. If you’re thinking of doing the same thing, here’s a few things that helped me.

Find some regular income.
There are few, if any, freelancers who don’t have some fixed income whether it’s a part time job, a teaching gig or just some long term regular clients. With freelancing you’re constantly looking for the next job and knowing you can pay your bills either way is a great comfort.

Save your money
Savings are crucial for the first few months until you get to grips with your new life –  save as much as you can while you have a fixed income. Try to curb your spending too – the less money you spend, the less money you need to earn!

Find your niche
This can take a while but playing to your strengths really pays off. Since I changed my portfolio site to be colourful and kawaii I now only get enquiries about fun jobs. I get to work on fun stuff and my clients get a designer that understands their style – win-win!

Keep being creative
Essential to building your career. Don’t take on so many jobs that you never have time for personal work, especially if you want to keep things interesting. If your portfolio is all logo design, it’s unlikely anyone will contact you about book cover illustrations. If that’s what you would love to be doing then start making some for fun to show people what you can do.

There are a million more tips I could post, but I’d be here all day. Maybe I will do a zine of some kind, if I can find the time to write it! And if you’d like to see what I’ve been working on lately (or hire me!), check out my portfolio site.


Hello! I’m Marceline Smith, the designer and owner of Asking For Trouble. I create illustrated stationery, accessories and gifts using my cute characters inspired by Japanese kawaii. This is my business and personal blog where I write about my creative doings, inspirations, travels, Japan trips and daily life. Read more »

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All text, photos and illustrations are © Marceline Smith 2007-2024 unless credited otherwise. You may repost my images with full credit and link. However, do not reproduce full posts without my permission or use my images or writing for commercial purposes. Thank you!


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