I’ve been dappling with freelance designing for the past few months. I’ve been waiting for replies to my job applications, and anyone who has been on the same boat as me knows what a lengthy and laborious process it is. Sometimes they take up to four months to reply.
Anyway, it doesn’t make sense to let your skills stagnate, so I took to freelancing.
There are a few advantages to freelancing, like the hours, or the amount of freedom you get. However, sometimes things don’t work out, and then you’re just left with these concepts and amazing ideas, that just go to waste.
Earlier this month, I thought I landed a project. The brief sounded right up my street, and it seemed like the perfect type of project for a casual freelancer. No challenge, just lock yourself in a room and sketch your heart out. However this particular client wanted to see some sample concepts to judge whether I was up to the task. Normally, that’s a deal breaker for me. I’ve known about companies that test prospective interns, telling them to design lighting solutions, or model product accessories for them, and on the basis of their work, they would judge whether the kid is the right mind for the internship. Sounds like it makes sense? No.
Think about this. L.G. (or any other huge OEM) hosts a competition, with a brief. Design for a kitchen in 2050 A.D. They select a winner. One winner. But they’re also left with the concepts of a million other participants. Which they’re at liberty to use, because they mentioned it in the terms and conditions, which you didn’t read.
Anyway, call me a cynic, but ethically, conceptualising for free is a complete no-no for me. If you can’t judge my skills based off my portfolio, then that’s your problem. However, I thought of stepping out of my comfort zone here, and this is what happened. I created three concepts (a difficult task for me, because the brief was literally one word), and just when everything seemed to be going according to plan, I get a memo saying that the client wasn’t going to require my services to design their product.
This post changes nothing. This post is just about not letting those sketches go to waste. Let them hibernate here. I can just hope that they trigger some inspiration in a designer far far away, just like people browse Pinterest, Behance, or Coroflot in search for cerebral fodder.
I plan to keep this series alive and make an archive of unused concepts. By no means am I trying to portray a grand image of every idea my brain churns out. No. Some of them are probably going to suck. Maybe these ones do too. But that’s what’s so good about this field. It’s all subjective.