If you’re a famous and well-established designer, you probably have loads of work lined up and clients calling and emailing to give you more. Congratulations. But if you’re just a little fish starting out like me, the term “client famine” begins to take on its original meaning sans client, and you start wishing you charged a higher fee for that logo project you wrapped up three weeks ago. I am grateful I have a semi-regular job doing a monthly magazine’s design and layout for a group online. It helps pay the bills, but who wouldn’t be grateful for more design work coming their way? It gets to the point where you’re seriously considering applying for that $30 “quick logo job” on Craigslist.
Brandon Moore, on my previous post left a comment saying he takes chances at Crowdspring when work slows down. It is indeed very tempting to go the spec direction when one is desperate for work, when bills are piling up and there isn’t any money on the way. I can’t blame him. A lot of potential clients hang out on design contest sites, and so do a lot of amateur designers whom we are sure we can easily beat.
But having overcome that spec temptation, I prefer to spend any downtime reading up on design, learning to draw, learning to blog, sending emails and generally learning new things. I believe all these will pay off in the long run anyway, and so much better than if I worked for free on spec.
Not that I’m wishing you the same fate (Heaven forbid!), but I’d like to think that I’m not the only designer who goes through dry seasons so I ask, have you ever run out of jobs or clients? How do you spend your time during periods of joblessness? Go ahead and tell us all about it in the comments.