Where would I be if I hadn’t decided to freelance?

Years ago I decided I wanted the freedom of working for myself. For one thing, I had started teaching at a local art school and I really enjoyed the interaction with the students, the spark that it gave my own work and the whole atmosphere of a college.

It also gave me the freedom to choose my own clients. At one point, when I was working for a very large direct mail agency, I had been given an account that was very prestigious. It was not simply a local or even regional account. It wasn’t even simply a national account. Instead, it was international. But the company we were doing the work for was in a legal battle over something that had been done in (and to) a third world country. I had to sit back and think about whether or not I was willing to do work for a cooperation that acted in ways that were in conflict with what I, myself, believed.

I had made up my mind to speak with my creative director and tell him that I wished to be taken off the account. This could have meant any of a number of things. I could have been given another account. They could have told me to work on it or else. Or I could have been fired.

The last one made me stop . . . but only for a moment. I went in to speak with the CD and he told me it was taken out of my hands. The client had decided to settle their lawsuit with whomever it was that was taking them to court because of the issue I was concerned about. So I needn’t have worried so much about it. But it did bring me to a revelation about myself.

When I decided to become a freelancer, that account from years before came to mind. I wanted to be able to do work for companies and corporations that I respected. Ones that had a conscience and were a fair dealers in the world of commerce. To date, I have been successful in doing just that.

I have had the privilege of working for corporations, nonprofit agencies and small to mid sized companies that are fair to employees, respect our environment and lend a helping hand to the less fortunate among us. What else could a graphic designer wish for? Money goes a long way but not nearly as long a way as integrity.

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