Charles Peters

Designer / Developer


I don’t know where to find work as a freelancer.

That’s a potentially hazardous notion as a someone who makes their living as a freelance web designer. But it’s true. Most jobs I’ve ever gotten have been from talking to people and following up with those leads or having people come to me with projects.

I have no faith in or respect for 99designs or Elance or anything of the like. Networking (business fairs, mixers, taking off my headphones in public for any extended period of time) doesn’t come naturally to me to be a viable enough option, but I can work on that. Plus, there’s only really so much cold calling you can do in a day.

So naturally there’s a nice ebb and flow of paying work. This isn’t bad or wrong; it gives just the right amount of downtime.

But what do you do when those projects don’t come?

I hit the pavement. I look & I ask around. I expand my skill set and watch tons of videos on JavaScript. I let my personal projects come out of their cage for a minute. I spend an inordinate amount of time on Dribbble. To me, the most important thing is what you do with the downtime when you’re working for yourself.

There’s this really dumb idea I got from New Age spirituality and listening to people ramble on about SEO. It’s that if you’re working on a certain type of work and talking about a type of work and are excited about that type of work, you’ll generally find that people come to you for that type of work.

And no, I have not read The Secret nor do I think I will.

But it makes sense, right? If you wanna do lettering, you’re going to spend a lot of time in Adobe Illustrator and with a notebook practicing/perfecting your craft. Since that’s the thing you’re filling your time with, that’s what you’ll usually be thinking about and subsequently talking about. And if you’re talking & sharing about that one thing you’ll most likely find work coming to you or surfacing near you that involves lettering.

The doing, the work, the craft in and of itself is the biggest part of pounding the pavement.

That’s my hunch anyway. I don’t want figures, stats or market research to confirm my suspicion. I just want to find it be true.