Work Related : First 30 days in Reckless Life 2.0 as a Freelancer

March 31, 2016

I started as a doodler several years ago in 2010.
I worked myself up to be a self-learned graphic designer and a freelance illustrator since I was still in the university - majoring in IT. I love the fact that I learned so many things along the way, and I explored paths in the creative world as much as I could possibly take while working permanently with companies. 

So it's time for an experimental phase again.

Here I'm sharing with you, what it's like to be a noob full-time freelance illustrator. What the days, nights and sometimes weekends look like since I left the 'office' work. I used to get around RM 5k per month as a senior designer + freelancer before this. I left that stable life for a flexible working environment just so I can find meaning to my working life again.

This is a long post that I've been updating everyday for the month of March ;

First week :

Tuesday (1/3) :
  • Illustration - Brownies Packaging + Mockup. The client wants something cheeky and cute in my stroke. So I did something like my personal project - Macaron, and added more items like : brownies, vanilla, almonds, butter, and those little things.
  • Colouring - Brownies Packaging x 4 options 
  • Behance - Bfab Branding posted on Behance


Wednesday (2/3) :
  • Photo Editing - Wedding Izah. She got married early this year but Af has been procrastinating, so I took the job for the full editing + touch-ups.
  • Test Printing - Brownies Packaging (Failed - refer Pantone colour code for printing). It didn't came out as planned. I realized that everything on Mac looks way nicer than on desktop pc/printed, so the printing result usually goes different that what I see on my screen. I need to re-do the colour and do several more test-print :


Thursday (3/3) :
  • Packing - Etsy stuffs + Tokyo Guide - not much of buyers this month as before. And I also posted the Tokyo Guide book to the next borrower :)
  • Packing - ESKP car stickers. I custom made the envelope from our hundreds left-over wedding card envelopes. 
  • Illustration - 2 templates (15 x Washi Tapes and 15 x Paper Crafts projects ). :


Friday (4/3) :
  • Photo Editing - Wedding Izah
  • Colouring - 2 templates
  • Illustration - Didikan Sakura - redo old illustration :


Second week :

Monday (7/3) :
  • FA Printing - Stickers for Aja's birthday
  • Mockup - 3 templates illustrations fro Didikan Sakura
  • Illustration - 1 template (Reading projects - 15 items) :
Tuesday (8/3) :
  • Cutting - Stickers for Aja + ESKP mini :
  • Illustration - Japan travelogue Map (4 items)


Wednesday (9/3) :
  • Illustration - Japan travelogue Map (5 items) - PTSOne
  • Potential client : Cakenis

Thursday (10/3) :
  • Illustration - Japan travelogue Map (5 items) + Detailing - PTSOne
  • Colouring - Japan Travelogue Map started - PTSOne
  • Freepik - First exam (due 15th March)
Friday (11/3) :
  • A meeting with new potential client : CelebrateTV
  • A meeting with the old lawyer
  • Colouring - Japan Travelogue Map - PTSOne

Saturday (12/3) :
  • Finalize - Japan Travelogue Map - first draft - PTSOne :


Sunday (13/3) :
  • Video Shoot - assist Af at the wedding :D But I only recorded the voice while they were giving out their speeches. Ha.
  • Illustration : Cakenis's first draft for illustrated tutorial. She sent me this ! But I don't really wear shawls, so I haven't wear it out yet. It is supposed to be the easiest shawl to wear. Here it it :
  • Example of this week's schedule & to-do list :


Third week :

Monday (14/3) :

  • Illustration - 4 designs for Freepik's first test (spring, love, anniversary, shop). I managed to complete all first drafts in 1 day, submitted at 3 am the next morning, while having the dateline that 7 am :F 

Tuesday (15/3) :
  • Compiling : Travelogue Japan, sent the first draft to PTSOne
  • Compiling : Cakenis's Tutorial - Illustration
  • Freepik - I'm finally in !! :D


Wednesday (16/3) :

  • CelebrateTV : Wushaf's Illustration (1/18)

Thursday (17/3) :

  • CelebrateTV : Wushaf's Illustration (4/18) - submitted drafts and timeline visual. Comment from them : make the stroke thicker and cuter (?)
  • This is the initial ideation and solid stroke illustration that I sent to them :


Friday (18/3) :
  • CelebrateTV : Wushaf's Montage draft (x3 options) - Very odd random options that I did. I personally like the third one, but after a while it feels very amateur, even though they did specifically requested something cheeky and cute :

  • Update : They really like the second one. They asked me to something like that and meet them up for a meeting on Sunday, at Chawan.


Weekends (19+20/3)
  • Sketch for the latest Freepik tasks
  • Help Kadok (KL > Semenyih > Shah Alam > Home)
  • Freepik - Task 1 can be downloaded for public in Freepik ! :

  • Meeting with CelebrateTV team, brainstorm from the sketches and drafts at Chawan, Bangsar. They want more test illustrations :


Fourth Week :

Monday (21/3) :

  • CelebrateTV : They opted for the sketchy illustrations. So I had to re-do the whole things and additional character as well. Another draft & tester sent :


Tuesday (22/3) :
  • Freepik Task 2 - in progress (5/10)- I was so packed with the #wushaf project last week, I didn't have time to do this task. Today I tried cramming these illustrations task. I promised not to take too much time to start on tasks after this T^T

Wednesday (23/3) :
  • Freepik Task 2 - in progress (10/10) + amendments. I managed to submit that night, but only 6 of my assigned task were approved before my Art Director went on a 1 week holiday =.= The other 4 remained on-hold until he comes back.  I worked from 10 am - 1 am for 2 days straight, my shoulders are in uncomfortable strain.
  • One of my favorite illustration came from task 2. I used this style before finalizing to much more modern clean 1-stroke style. This looks like Af :


Thursday (24/3) :
  • Freepik Task 2 - All of those 6 illustrations were submitted and compiled. My assigned art director is currently on leave until the 30th.
  • CelebrateTV - Wushaf updated content. Discussion with the assistant director through Whatsapp, I was too busy with other things and can't afford to meet up.
  • Freepik Task 3 - Assigned (0/10).
  • Update PTSOne : Travelogue Japan, put on hold. They need to wait for the writer to keep up. April project : Travelogue Turkey. 

Friday (25/3) :
  • CelebrateTv - Illustrations for the first few scenes. 
  • Cakenis - I think I'm failing this. I submitted the updates illustration to Keknis. But I don't think I'm reaching her expectation. She responded with more improvements to be made on the illustration, especially about the style. 

Sunday (27/3) :
  • Product photography : Shooting at BeadsNBorders - Assisted AF. We took the whole day for around 130 little items. Our back, and thigh were both in pain by the time we got back. It was such a tough little thing, we definitely weren't expecting that. 


Fifth Week

Monday (28/3) :
  • Aisy Abaya - Photo editing to add size measurement in IG picture.
  • BeadsnBorder - Minimal editing for scarfs lighting. Needed to share the raw files to the client by tonight
  • CelebrateTv - Wushaf illustrations to be submitted by the end of the day. I submitted half of the scenes in the afternoon and another half at night. I worked from 7am until 10pm, almost straight the whole day. It was such an exhausting day. My back was still in pain because of the photo shooting the day before. This is what they sent me from the production team afterwards :D Exciting ! :


Tuesday (29/3) :
  • CelebrateTv - Tiny amendments for the submitted illustrations and another extra additions.
  • Zanubah - Amend the logo to fit the new label structure.
  • Freepik 02 - (1/10)

Wednesday (30/3) :

  • Freepik 02 (6/10) - I sat in front of the iMac for the whole day, from 5 am - until 7 pm. I actually woke up around 3.30am, when Af was about to go to sleep after he did his freelance works *because now we shared the same iMac - until I send my MBP to the doctor =.= 
  • CelebrateTv - There were some new illustrations they needed me to do while shooting. New addition, I had to cancel my working out session and finished it up in an hour. 
  • Today was the shooting day. I couldn't join because I was too busy finishing up my Freepik task. So they sent me this :F Too bad I can't watch the whole process :


Thursday (31/3) :

  • Freepik 02 (10/10) - All freepik tasks finally ready and submitted to be reviewed by my Art Director. Wuhuu ! I am so relieved ! :D


Summary :
  • I did several types of projects in this month. Some of my clients/bosses were : Brownies Packaging, PTSOne, Didikan Sakura, Cakenis, CelebrateTV, Aisy Abaya, my Mom and Freepik. 
  • Scope of works : Mostly illustration, some minor designing, photo editing/retouching, and product photography. 
  • The thing I hate the most is meeting with clients, because I am forever awkward. The second thing are preparing for invoice and ask for payment.
10 comments on "Work Related : First 30 days in Reckless Life 2.0 as a Freelancer"
  1. Wow ok that is a lot of work. It must be very exhausting.. but it will be surely paid off when the clients love our work, right..?

    Btw, how do you get those clean lines in Photoshop? What tool do you normally use? Is it pen tool? (sorry for the many questions lol)

    1. Yes, they were. I loved some of the projects, and I didn't really like some other projects. Biasa la, experimentation kan :D

      Clean lines? I usually use normal brush, and then I erase like using the brush tool as well, to make the line tajam and clean :)

    2. Aha yes of course. There's always room for improvements.
      Thanks for the tips!:D

  2. This post is so cool Azreen! Suka follow. I love the CelebrateTV works (from the 3 options I "chose" the middle one too, acah2 jadi client :P).

    Keep it up, may Allah put barakah in your work and help you enjoy all the stuff involved. ;)

    1. Hahaha, I often wonder how freelancer works dulu2. So I'm sharing my experience for curious people like I once was :D Thanks <3 <3 Aren't you a freelancer too, Aneesah?

    2. Hehe I freelance for only one organisation! Don't have the energy for anything else. -_-

  3. I enjoyed reading your blog Kak Reen. Help me to improve my English, hehe.

    1. Thanks for still reading :D I remember you Osmhana !

  4. I enjoyed reading your blog too Reen. :D