The story is the same everywhere you look: Designers are struggling to make ends meet, especially freelancers, independent consultants, and small firms like mine (we have two employees: my younger and oh-so-talented brother, Alex, and me).
We’ve been trying desperately to make a living for quite some time now, without much success — perhaps we charge too little, maybe we’re just not salesmen, or it could even be that we don’t like working with clients who don’t appreciate good work when we give it to them, no matter what they pay us — we spend so much time on projects (again, probably not making enough money on them…) that we don’t leave ourselves with enough time to produce any self promotional materials (one day, I will write a book about being a web development firm without a web site: see the Webgraph, Inc. Corporate Website for more informa…oh wait, there’s nothing there). We would really like to be able to put some money in our pockets, fix our car (that’s correct, “car” as in “singular”) or maybe even get one each. Heck, we’d love to collaborate remotely on projects with other designers/programmers (we have a few projects we’re trying to get funding for just so we can work with the likes of waferbaby, IconFactory, and perhaps even Zeldman himself, budget permitting) for the experience, the extra name recognition, and the money, of course.
A problem I’ve run into over and over is that of having standards which seem to be too high, yet I can’t bring myself to compromise those standards just to make a buck. A few years ago, I freelanced for a local company for a few weeks, and was even offered a job (their clients liked my work better than any of their full-time employees’ :-) but I couldn’t take it because they insisted on allowing sub-standard work to pass for “completed” and I just wasn’t up to the task of putting half-assed work out in public (I turned down a very decent salary too). I still see a lot of their work on a regular basis, and it’s so bad I want to tell them where they can put it… But they’re making millions a year, and we can’t scrape together enough to fix the windshield wiper motor on the car, so who am I to judge?
To get to the point (finally), if anyone out there needs work, or help on a project, at any level, please drop us a line — we’re very reliable (how can you beat two Eagle Scouts?) and we’re always willing to learn new skills and work with new people. But hey, if you’d rather keep the work for yourself, we understand :-)
This item was posted byon Wednesday, July 9th, 2003.
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