Is a long run-up bet­ter, or can a push be a bless­ing in dis­guise? Ju­lia Sagar explores four dif­fer­ent paths into self-em­ploy­ment

Computer Arts - - Front Page - IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS: Michelle Thomp­son www.michelle-thomp­

How to make the leap suc­cess­fully, from care­ful pre-plan­ning to deal­ing with a sud­den re­dun­dancy

En­ter any de­cent co-work­ing space or trendy cof­fee shop and you’ll see them. Armed with a lap­top, mo­bile and very lit­tle else, an army of free­lancers is qui­etly rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing the cre­ative in­dus­try.

Ac­cord­ing to the De­sign Coun­cil’s 2015 De­sign Econ­omy Re­port, 27.1 per cent of de­sign­ers are self-em­ployed, which is al­most twice the UK av­er­age. Within graphic de­sign, those fig­ures are even higher, with a whop­ping 48.1 per cent of peo­ple self­em­ployed. In the US, the num­bers are higher still.

The gig econ­omy has never looked bet­ter but try telling your­self that when you’re con­sid­er­ing mak­ing the leap. The fear of the un­known can be crip­pling: will you be able to find work, pay the bills, stay mo­ti­vated? Are you too old – or too young? How should you pre­pare?

Here, we take a look at four routes into free­lance life. We speak to de­sign­ers and il­lus­tra­tors who have taken th­ese paths and har­vest their pro ad­vice to en­sure you en­ter the world of free­lance suc­cess­fully – whichever route you choose.

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