While it might just seem like nuanced nomenclature, I want opportunities to collaborate with companies / agencies / individuals, not just work for them. At this point in my career, I'm not good at being the executional arm for others' ideas– I prefer to understand decisions vs executing in a vacuum. Design is a complicated and subjective realm, and I want to work together by bringing my design perspective and experience to find the best solution for the business need at hand.
Since I'm relatively new to freelance, I'm still sorting out what my best offerings are as a solo-freelancer. As a full-time employee, my strengths have been in crafting art directions and articulating content strategies to solve broader business problems. This meant regularly owning different phases of design from research, concepting, execution, and oversight (as needed).
While that has been my sweet-spot, I'm curious to understand what I can offer as... and I hate the phrase... a 'full-service independent 'studio'. My work has largely been done within a broader agency paradigm, so specialization and more focused roles are the norm... but I also spent most waking hours outside that doing other forms of creative work. Now that I'm operating outside that, I feel there's an opportunity to more cohesively offer various services to either launch or re-boot brands/campaigns... some unison of branding + content + interactive design + development.
I'm still very new to freelance, and I'd love to establish a small network of people, companies, and agencies with whom I collaborate with on a regular to semi-regular basis. I believe that continuity is an important (although ultimately non-essential) ingredient to creating the best work. There's a certain level of honesty, trust and fluidity achieved through continuity that serves as a healthy foundation to create the best work upon. This approach also keeps me designing more instead of writing emails, networking, selling myself, not getting paid by random/unknown clients, etc. etc.
For the foreseeable future, I will be looking for remote opportunities– for both short and long-term engagements. While I won't rule out the option of being on-site for kick-offs, it's not realistic to take on work that requires me regularly be on-site. Considering my current location, the travel curve is steep and I don't think that amount of travel is anyones interest. The current plan to is to be rather mobile regardless of how long I'm in Hawaii, and pick-up remote work along the way.
As I've gone freelance, I'm going to undoubtedly find myself with some free-time. While I'll be able to keep myself busy with personal projects, its fun to mix things up with others. In general, the people I hope to work with won't be decided based on budget, exposure, etc– I ultimately want to continue expanding my horizons. I really hope to work with people of different skill-sets to create an output we couldn't have achieved independently. How much of this work I can take on of course is going to be a balance I'll have to sort out, but I hope for this to be a substantial chunk of my time. At the end of the day, I'm ideally looking for projects that are with good people, sounds fun and I have an opportunity to positively influence design of the project.
At the moment, I don't have a concrete plan for my photography– it's currently my unadulterated creative outlet, and I'm rather protective of it. I'm currently shooting for several photo books, prints, and potential shows while continually refining my craft. While I've primarily focused on landscape/travel/random stuff to this point, I'm planning to introduce more lifestyle and authentic portrait work. This is both to expand my horizons in subject-matter while becoming more commercially viable– with a strong emphasis on the former. If you think you fit anywhere within these plans (agencies, models, other photogs in these areas), I'd love to chat.
I'm actively seeking out a photo agency to help me expand my network, reach, and facilitate photo-related projects (books, shows, etc). At the moment, the photo world is entirely new to me, so I have few connections and limited understanding of how it all works. That being said, I'm also not looking for representation to focus on getting commercial/client type work (unless it fits some rather specific criteria). Photography is it's own independent thing that I want to keep from being compromised by too much exterior direction, so shooting for others would have to be on my own terms... which I realize makes things difficult. Basically: my design is for use by others, and my photography is art for myself (and whoever else gains enjoyment out of it). If there's a way to change that, I'm definitely all ears.