So in the last week of November I decided to make the move to become a freelancer. There is probably no great time to make that leap, but a month before Christmas probably wasn’t one of my best ideas. But actually, it turned out to be a really good month for me. Times were busy as there were a lot of pieces of work that needed finishing before the holiday season began.
Fortunately while I’ve worked at the Neighbourhood I have always tried to get down to the networking events in Manchester to learn as much as I can from others and with that meet a lot of interesting people. Through that, I’ve made quite a few contacts over the years and when they heard I was going freelance a lot of them offered me advice and helped where they could. This really means a lot to me when starting out as it was all a bit daunting at first. In particular the guys at Process Moving Image, Centre Screens, Mighty Giant and BBC Sport have been great so I just want to say a massive Thank You! And another massive Thank You to Shirley Sarker, Ricardo David, Adam Taylor, and Jack Woodcock for all of your help and advice too, it’s really helped me get off to a flying start.
I continue to be quite busy in January, which was a shock as I was expecting everything to dry up. This week I have spent time introducing myself to some studios I haven’t previously been in touch with in and around Manchester which has hopefully created some new contacts and friends in the industry. This is something I want to keep doing so I get to work with a wide range of people on a variety of different projects. It has already been great seeing how other people work and how they organise themselves, and it’s great from my point of view as I can transfer those skills into what works best for me. That was one thing that really interested me about freelancing. We have all heard that there is no right way of doing things but, by exposing yourself to different ways of doing things, you can discover what best works for you.
From all this it has shown me how important networking is. I’m lucky as I’ve always enjoyed doing it. But if you are a designer and you haven’t been to any meet-ups or local events then I really do suggest that you go. I have found over the last few years that the Moving Image industry (especially in Manchester) has become quite a close community, and meeting other like minded people at these events has given me ideas, inspiration as well as some of these recent opportunities. Plus you never know when your paths might cross again. You may collaborate one day or you might be looking for that certain someone to join your team. So building up your network is very important, I think, when you are starting out.
So all in all, it has been great so far and I’m loving it and hopefully that continues. Thanks again to everyone who has helped me out in my new venture and I look forward to the months ahead.