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Learned from Emily Poulin

Emily didn’t know she was a designer. I was teaching at a local college and this girl showed up chatting in the side of the class. She mentioned she was exploring art and starting to get into design. I saw her work and she showed promise. She was lacking direction, but packed with perspective and drive. It was a perspective so different from mine and I wanted to learn from her and grow with her.

I knew that someday, she would be creating the future I would be living in.

For the entire beginning of my career, I had been focusing on me. I wanted to create my future and hit my goals and become the best I could be. That can be important and appropriate to a point, but eventually creativity can’t thrive without collaboration. …


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Learned from Jordan & Kelli Ayotte

I have a weakness for chocolate donuts and moscato white wine. I know it’s an unlikely combination, but somehow, for me, it’s become the marker of an accomplishment or celebration. I have two long-term friends who have been with me through my full time job, the transition to starting an agency, and my transition into full-time freelance.

They were always there for late night talks on the couch as I freaked out about how I would make it or if there would be enough work to sustain my dreams. …


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I’ve talked about posting this and have told this story a few times to friends and other freelancers. It has always been met with the opinion that sharing my experience could look bad to potential clients or scare them off from working with me. But, in a world where ‘the client is always right’, I think it’s important to call out when they are just downright wrong.

This lesson came from a terrible experience with a local agency. I had worked with them for a while, doing odd jobs and branding work here and there to help fill some money on the side. I was grossly underpaid, but at that point, I didn’t think my work was worth more than $500 for a brand. …


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Learned From: Amy & Jennifer Hood of Hoodzpah Design

I’ve always loved creating in a certain niche style, but it almost never got me work. Caught in a loop of self doubt and impostor syndrome, I was always feeling like I should be showing/doing other work, but I couldn’t seem to get away from the style that I love.

I was creating not to be liked, but to be understood and it seemed that people were having a hard time understanding.

There’s a great musical called ‘[title of show]’ that has a line that became my mantra: “I’d rather be 9 people’s favorite thing than 100 people’s 9th favorite thing.” That’s all good and inspirational to read, but it’s terrifying in application. It’s the creative equivalent of standing in the rain and screaming into some online void of other designers, “Pick me. Love me. …


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If you’re reading this for a quick fix to your freelance problems or a strict guide of what to do, this series is not that. The most I have to share is my perspective. It’s unique to me and the experiences I’ve had, but there are lessons to be learned that may apply to you. My hope is that you won’t read this as a roadmap, but as travel log. See where I’ve been, figure out where you are, and hopefully my perspective can help you find your right direction. …


For the past 8 years, I’ve been working as an in-house designer at Sandals Church. About a month ago, I decided to join some of my favorite collaborators and start my own creative company. Working at Sandals Church was one of the most rewarding and incredible experiences where I’ve grown and cut my teeth as a designer.

I’ve learned workflow and creative process, but more than anything, I’ve had to learn to create unique contexts with limited content. In my time there, I managed 75+ series looks, 20+ campaigns, 3 organization wide rebrand initiatives, 8 micro-brands & 2 full sets of rebrands of those 8 micro-brands. It’s been a brandstorm.

One of the most interesting parts about working as a creative in ministry is that your content never changes. For the last 8 years, I had to tell the same stories in new and different ways. …

About

Andrew Hochradel

Creative For Hire // Adobe Mentor

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