For the last 3-ish years, I've been designing products and websites for multiple organizations through Ships Company and independently. While working on my own, I spent the majority of my time continuing the work I was already doing with Ships Company and taking on new client work. It got to a point where I was completely burnt out and wasn't able to make any progress on my personal business.
With the pandemic and the unpredictable state of the world, I've taken this time to bring my ideas to life and build the next iteration of my website.
The next phase of my business will include me bringing some of the many product ideas I have to fruition. To start off with, I am creating a collection of paper goods aimed at helping other creators with focus and efficiency. By solely focusing on client work previously, I was helping others bring their ideas to life, while all of mine stayed in the backlog.
Even though I will be making room in my schedule to make products, I still want to work with others on projects. Designing for others helps me investigate and solve problems from a different viewpoint than working on only my products does. I won't be offering full product design services anymore though. I will start small with website design and interface design. Doing full product design as an independent without a design team takes too much out of me.
Currently, the majority of my online activity lives on Instagram. For many reasons, including the hope to one day leave Instagram, I want my thoughts and experiments to live in a place I can call my own. I also want to expand on my posts without being limited to Instagram's format. It might get weird here, but I believe weirdness and silliness are the fuel for creativity.
Finally, I started a Ko-fi page. A part of what I'm putting out into the void is the knowledge I have about art, design, science, nature, and food. Platforms like Instagram and this blog lets me provide that information for free. I've been seeing others give and get support through ads, sponsorships, Venmo, Cash App, Patreon, etc. for their work. Ko-fi will give others a way to support me with a one time contribution, monthly contribution, or by purchasing from my store (coming soon). I could go the common route other designers take with primarily selling artwork, but I want to explore this avenue and be more accessible with my prices.
As I continue to carve my own career path, I hope to keep evolving and explore how far I can stretch my creativity.