WHAT DO YOU DO?
My creativity, holistic approach to content and experience in social strategy come in a neat little package ☞ me!
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I originally went to to university for fashion studies and hold a BFA in Fashion & Textile Design. After interning on a production line and holding a position within the fashion industry where I was able to attend a lot of high level events I quickly realized the culture and the industry attitude wasn't for me. I still had a true love for the architecture of clothing and I found I was able to apply that love, respect and inspiration into fashion illustrations. Although I had always been a hobby artist, I began to illustrate whenever I had spare time and it was bringing in jobs as I honed my craft. When I started I was primarily a Fashion Illustrator but as I continued on, I adapted my style to be able to work with a range of clients.
From the position I was in, I fell into working with a well known Canadian influencer - writing for her blog, illustrating and doing design work - and she taught me the ropes of marketing. She introduced me to a lot of influential people across a wide span of industries and from this I began combining both my illustration skills and marketing skills to offer packages to people I had met and who had come to me from word of mouth.
I took a leap 2 years after that and I have been a full-time freelancer for 3+ years now without a worry. When people ask "how do you become a full-time freelancer", I am not quite sure how to respond! There's no magic equation, I just walked through doors that opened for me and worked to open others! Network and work hard. My work is split 60/40 between Social Media Marketing & Illustration work.
How do you stand out in your field?
I like to say I'm a Jill of all trades, but it's definitely not piecework - my style is cohesive. I often hear that no matter what I touch, stylistically it's easy to tell it's mine.
I struggled for a long time to figure out which direction to go, but I finally figured out my niche is applying my artwork to the marketing industry, where collaborations and content creation reign king right now. It's much easier to be an accomplished artist when you're not exclusively trying to sell yourself as one. There's plenty of budget for marketing departments and more illustrators and artists should look towards collaborating with brands because it's beneficial for both parties and consumers are truly interested in narratives and experiences right now.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
Currently I'm working on rebranding and expanding my online shop. This past year I've exclusively done commissions and brand projects and now it's time to spend some TLC on my own brand.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Eclectic, colorful, crisp. I am really stimulated by colors, interesting shapes, beautiful things no matter the context - I'm basically a Magpie.
I am constantly struggling with whether I favour minimalism or maximalism. I love the simple and sleek work of old architectural drawings but I also have an obsession with the colors, shapes and awkwardness of items designed by the 1980's Memphis Group. I love fashion illustration because I can work in either one of these contrasting philosophies depending on the designer.
One of my favorite projects from this year is a sculpture I painted for The Brain Project - a large-scale outdoor exhibit that brings awareness to diseases like Alzheimer’s. It's 3 dimensional, colorful, odd - a mixed bag. I also enjoyed collaborating this year with Lorette Lingerie, a Parisian lingerie brand whose goal is to allow women to revel in their feminine individuality and self-confidence.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I wish I could go back to my roots and spend more time on textile and surface design. I used to love natural dying, weaving and screen-printing.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
As I mentioned, I haven't done a single personal piece this last year and I would love to have the time to spend on diving into the creative process and rediscovering my style. I'm at a bit of a crossroads with my style.
Being busy with work as a freelancer is not something one should complain about, but it would be very nice to have more free time to do what I do for pleasure.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I recently hired a virtual assistant which added hours to my life. If I could hire a real assistant for that much to run errands for me (and you know, potentially be my clone in meetings), I'd be set!
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
"Every time you add a slash to your title you divide your overall talent at those things." Early on in my career I was basically saying yes to anything a client needed. Website? You got it. Graphic design? Sure, I can manage that. Signage? Bueno. Paid? on it. I really only started contributing the value I wanted to clients and my projects when I focused in on my services and cut out ones that weren't helping me hone my core interests and talents. It's good to have multiple skills when you need them, but it cheapens you to be the Ikea of Freelancing.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I know I work in marketing as well, but it would be so nice to gain some external insight into my personal brand and have someone outline a dedicated plan for growth with the goal of landing more full-filling collaborations.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I’m always interested in collaborating with other creatives and working one-on-one with companies. I've been wanting to do mural work for a while but have not yet gotten the opportunity.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
The ideal client is communicative, realistic, respectful and contracts services knowing my style is what they're here for. There's nothing worse than when someone comes to you with a job and shows you references of other artists work that is so far-fetched from your own style and wants you to Frankenstein it up.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
My pricing is on a per client basis. I'm happy to work with each client on their specific needs, timeline and budget.
My illustration work is based on usage, placement, permissions and scope.
My social media marketing services are offered on a monthly retainer and pricing is based on scope of work, number of channels, and if content creation is needed or not. Consulting by the hour is available.
Generally speaking, my current hourly is $50-$60/hour and my illustration work can run from $150-2500 depending on the job and application.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
You can reach me at email@example.com and tell me a little about yourself, your project, timeline, concept and budget.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Stop to smell the air, look up often, books books books, Billie Holiday always.
This member profile was originally published in October 2019.