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Getting 2022 off to a good start!

Hello! I’ve been wanting to start my blog for a while, and seeing it’s still January, and I had get this goal to get this off the ground before Feb, here goes nothing! So here is my first post: a week in the life of a Freelance Designer. Up until now I’ve been focussing on my social media profiles, but I have been told repetitively by many other freelancers that the best plan for long-term growth is to create my own independent space. I’d already built my website last year so I just needed to add a blog section, and here it is!

Setting up my first online shop

This week started off with setting up my shop on Displate. I’d heard about them through an acquaintance and after reading they plant a tree for each artwork sold, to say I was keen is an understatement! Just FYI, to date they have planted over 16 million trees! Whoop!

As with any platform a designer joins, Diplate have their own specifications your designs must comply with in order to be published. Once uploaded, each design is individually approved by a curator to ensure quality prints are available for sale. So after jumping through a couple of hoops, my work went live! It’s pretty exciting to see!

Celebrating the humble carrot with this quirky offbeat vegetable pattern. Illustrated digitally & designed in an allover repeating pattern. Bright orange carrots with green stalks, on a cream background.
Quirky Carrot Pattern by DesignerMim, now available for sale on Displate

New collab!

As the week went on I then (very unexpectedly) got a mail from a printing company wanting to revive a collab we had started last year. I am very excited about this opportunity and really hope it gets off the ground this time! If so, 9 of my patterns will be available to be printed onto natural fabrics (linen, cotton, jute) as well as onto wallpaper! The range they wanted me to build is suited to kids (of all ages) as it is very playful, naïve and of course fun! My Simple Rainbow Pattern is one of the prints they chose.

Simple rainbow pattern in calming colours, designed digitally for kids. Crisp white base with a muted palette for a minimal aesthetic.
Simple Rainbow Pattern designed by DesignerMim

Still Life Challenge

Next up this week was a challenge I accepted from another Cape Town-based freelance Illustrator. I’d sent her an image that I thought looked like a composition she’d enjoy drawing, and she turned it around and invited me to the challenge! I’m not one to back down and I love learning so of course I accepted. And you know, I genuinely loved it!

Have a look at my instagram video — showing you the various layers, sections, and colours. Please do tell me what you think — I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Digital illustration by DesignerMim. Several different flowers and prices of  fruit in an eclectic array of vases. On a lilac/periwinkle background.
Still Life 27 January 2022, DesignerMim

Learnings for the week

Being a freelance designer means I do pretty much everything for myself. Read: loads of admin! This means that I don’t get as much time to do the things that make my heart sing (like, designing!). I felt such joy illustrating the still life! I realise that I need to carve out more time to keep practicing my craft and honing my skills.

Since (re)starting out as a freelance designer last year I have learnt so much, much more than I did while in a fixed corporate job. I find each week I have to learn something new that challenges me and forces me, yet again, out of my comfort zone. It’s tiring but it’s also seriously rewarding when things go well! I mean, I built this website didn’t I — who would’ve thought!

I wish you a fantastic 2022; full of learning, boundary-pushing, outdoor adventuring, good food, and of course a whole lotta love. Please do keep in touch.

Thanks for reading!