Top 5 Tips for Freelancers in Quarantine by Maciek Martyniuk

Maciek Martyniuk — aka Yomagick — is a freelance designer and artist based in Barcelona.

As workers around the world are being told to stay indoors, a drastic change has been presented to freelancers and their often nomadic practises. To meet these challenges, check-out these thoughts I’ve had to help me WFH while quarantined in Catalonia…

1. Stay Active…

A big thing, especially for freelancers, and creative freelancers at that — is to stay active during this lockdown. This does not necessarily mean putting unneeded pressure on yourself to create the next great masterpiece, but can take simple forms. Staying active on social media, for example, could be the best thing to do, or simply going over your past works and casting a retrospective eye over your output can help you keep working.

2. Stay inspired…

With the creative impetus of being able to go outside taken away, I have found you need to find new ways of staying inspired. For me, this has meant becoming more active in research at the moment. I tend to look more into old artist and designers and study their work. A plus point of this strange situation we are in, if positives there are, is to see how other contemporary artists are dealing with it too. There are new topics of conversation, so new means of narrating these stories in design and art are arising all the time.

3. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself…

Due to the current health emergency commissions and work have dried up to a large extent. I actually don’t actively search for commissions at the moment. I stay focused on my personal work and the development of my style. If something comes that’s great, otherwise I focus on research and understanding how to create my own products. I feel that this is the best way to deal with the current, ever changing, circumstances.

4. Use this time to keep improving…

I think Patreon is quite a cool tool right now for self-improvement. It’s a digital platform to share skills and learn new things from others. Learning new crafts is definitely a way to go. I have this idea to bring the outside — inside, so I would like to iterate that for some time and see what comes out of it. As part of this I would like to find an artist that works with hand tufted wool on one of these platforms.

Setting yourself attainable goals is key to trying to keep improving. For instance, another of my goals is more admin based — trying to expand my online shop. My shop on Big Cartel let’s me sell posters, but I would like to expand it to handmade interior design. Maybe some limited edition pieces. So this is also a subject of my research right now.

These are just two small ways that I am trying to use this time to better myself.

5. Don’t be afraid to engage with the circumstance…

At a time of such a crisis, which is affecting so many lives, it is hard to know how, or even if you should get involved. I believe designers and artists definitely should especially where any practical need for that arises. I think we all have to remind ourselves about safety and risks, so this is one potential in, but it is also important to uplift the people and maybe find ways to be more respectful to nature and try to reconnect to nature in design.

These have been my top-5 tips to inspire freelance designers in this unique period. I hope they help you through. Stay safe!

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