November 18, 2011

Create a collective

Keith Bowman and Tonwen Jones

Author: Steve Gordon, Jr.

"Building a creative network is key to being able to take on a project instead of passing because you don't possess all the necessary skills needed for the job," notes Bowman.

"I am fortunate in that after graduating from my MA course, several of my classmates and I decided to rent a studio space together and one came up at the right time," says Jones. "Workhaus already had other freelance creatives on board, including furniture, Web, and product designers, so it was great to become part of a creative collective. I share my studio space with a packaging and graphic designer, so it's a good way of getting feedback on your work, especially when you hit a brick wall."

She adds, "We also have a system where we pass work over if we have too much work. Every now and then, we collaborate on projects if appropriate."

Sure, there will be times when you just need to bring in another designer, perhaps an illustrator, or someone with skills in animation to help out on a project. But instead of doing this only when you find yourself creatively cornered and desperate, how about setting up a standing collective of trusted and talented creative types who can call on each other anytime? No one has to give up their studios or clients, but everyone agrees to recommend and use one another's specific skill sets as needed. Kind of like a group of session musicians. You can even give yourself a name and introduce each other to clients.

Source: 100 habits of successful freelance designers