The Dos and Don’ts of Freelancing as a Creative Arts Student

Five top tips by student blogger Henrietta Howling.

03 May 2017

Ok, so we all want a chance to put our degrees to use, scope out the industry and add to our portfolios. Our work is our passion. We’ve spent countless years perfecting our craft, so freelancing should be easy, right? Well the answer to that is yes and no.

Work is most certainly out there — the creative industry is growing at twice the rate of any other industry in the wider UK economy! However, when taking up freelance work, especially as a student and a new designer, you have to have your wits about you! If you follow accounts such as @forexposure_txt, you’ll know that employers that aren’t familiar with your trade often may not handle it with the same respect as other creatives. With that being said, my advice would be to follow these guidelines when picking up freelance work as a student.

If your work is getting in the way of your degree, you should cut back a little. Try not to take on more than the equivalent of two days a week as you don’t want your university work to suffer.

If your employer comes to you and wants you to do something outside of your skillset, don’t be afraid to tell them your limits. Better to be upfront than to do work that the client doesn’t want.

I cannot stress this enough. It is always a good idea to take half of the payment upfront and stick to a firm hourly rate. Be firm with your payments and set a deadline for pay… Otherwise you may be chasing up someone who’s phone mysteriously stops working and will not answer your calls.

Like you would any other job, record your time so you can be paid the right amount. Good scheduling leads to efficient work! Your skills are valuable so remember to give yourself credit and don’t shave off hours.

Remember, your employers are hiring you because you have the skills and creativity they do not have. Own that. Have confidence in what you can do. Go forth and create!