Introducing Ian Barry - freelance graphic designer, finished artist and illustrator.
FF: Hi Ian,
How did you start out as a freelancer?
Ian: After 15 years of working in newspapers and magazines with strict and short deadlines, the stress factor was getting to be too much. So the idea of freelancing was attractive. Freelancing lets you have more and better quality time to produce a higher end product. It lets me take more control of my life and have more time with my family - which is the thing I like the most.
How long have you been freelancing?
This is my second time. The first was between '91 and '93. At present, I have been freelancing for 2 years in the Ipswich area. The market place here is very strong, because of the competition between the local newspapers fighting for market share. This has been helped along with a strong industry and military presence in the city for the last 10 years
What do you specialise in?
My strong point is research and problem solving. And I like to think my computer drawing with Adobe Illustrator is of a high standard. Also my computer skills are good across a range of industry programs.
But what really helps my work is having a license for Adobe programs, which helps me take full advantage of the Adobe database giving me access to new and improved techniques, that I constantly explore and download from Adobe to get the most out of the programs. So when I am looking for a formula to a problem I can get the answer quickly.
This is another advantage of freelancing - it allows time for this. Plus having subscriptions to industry mags like Layers, now Photoshop User and Mac World keeps me up to date with the latest trends. It's money well spent!
Also I have two hand illustrations that I like doing. One is dot pointillism for black and white illustrations using tech pens. The other is coloured ink pens and fine art colour pencils worked over with white, grey and black colour pencils - this gives the illustrations a hand rendered airbrush effect.
How does freelancing affect your lifestyle?
Well not having advertising sales reps over your shoulder waiting for jobs on the spot and having to deal with the poor material (or lack of it) makes me sleep a lot easier! Now I can be there for the kid's birthdays and be involved in their lives. That pressure cooker atmosphere is not one of my problems now. Working from home is much more relaxing and I don't mind working nights and weekends with a freelancer lifestyle. Sometimes I even get out for a game of golf on a weekday.
What has been your career highlights?
The first time I freelanced in the early '90s and made advertising campaigns for building societies, new car yards and an airline and got boardroom presentations. A degree of success came out of that and got myself back in to full time work. And one off jobs like Coca Cola - where I made a point of sale signage for a special deal which involved a hand illustration.
And a car parts manufacturer, where I came up with the design that could be used on a lot of different forms of packaging used Worldwide.
And simple things like, when a client really likes their ad and repeats it. To just seeing my work out in the market place is pretty good.
What other interests do you have?
My interest outside family and graphic design would be golf. I try to play every Saturday in competition events. I also like to travel, especially in the outback on 4X4 trips. Taking trips to Sydney is also a favourite place for me to go.
How did you find out about FF?
After looking on the web for freelance sites and seeing graphic artists selling themselves short from other countries - I found the Freelance Factory was more realistic in its approach. With FF you get more avenues for interaction with other people in the advertising and publishing industries. The concept of the site in its structure is very user friendly with no hard selling. With other sites with a large all round freelancing base you're just a spec in an ocean and scraping for pennies.
How do you usually source freelance work?
I use my contacts from the golf club and golfing community to give me referrals. And repeat work from clients. Business cards are a good source and signage on the back of the car windscreen.
But the best is to have a sister that owns a men's barbershop in the middle of town - where I have my business cards on her bench. With the Freelance Factory connection, I hope to get work from around Australia.
FF: Thanks for your time Ian!
It's great to have you on board.
Ian is available for work - Australia wide.