Freelancing and the future

Adrian Cartwright

Adrian Cartwright

Technical illustrator since 1990

The last few years have been off the boil to be frank. Perhaps moving to a home studio from my city centre studio or the global pandemic. There’s been a lot going on, or should I say not going on… the effect of Covid-19 pandemic has hit many very hard, especially “guns for hire” freelancers. Let’s be honest, freelancers often take on the overflow from studios or simply do the work others can’t or don’t want to do. Don’t get me wrong, I specialise in difficult illustrations, that’s my thing.

Back to the Future… Is freelancing as we know it going to exist…? You see during the pandemic many people worked from home, and perhaps a few of them thought….” um, this is convenient, I don’t have to queue in traffic or get dressed up for work” and so on. Since the lowering of covid restrictions some people have gone back to work in a heartbeat, but others are comfortable working from a home office or studio. This situation begs the question how many of those workers will be prepared to quit their full time jobs and freelance. Now having the comfort of a salary will stop many, but there’s a percentage of professionals, who know their stuff, have contacts with clients, and know who to turn to when they need 3rd party services. Will they go Freelance? On the other hand, some might simply Moonlight, and have the security of their full time job, and work the evenings in their home office.

Ultimately, I predict an upsurge in freelancers entering the market, perhaps replacing the freelancers who wilted and gave up from lack of business during lockdown. The situation will bring a higher than normal percentage of inexperienced freelancers eager for commissions and possibly tripping up considering their inexperience, and causing frustration with the relationship of freelancers and business.

I’m sure it will settle down after a year or so, when some will learn from their mistakes and others will look for full time employment. 

I hope you liked my thoughts on the future of freelancing, and it’s help draw the possible situation for your benefit. Please feel free to comment and share my blog… more insights into illustration on its way.

Adrian Cartwright working at his desk
Freelance technical illustrator

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