Read Now: “Creative, Inc.”

On 2 January 2013 by Alisa Damaso

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Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business
Meg Mateo Ilasco, Joy Deangdeelert Cho
Chronicle, 2010

[F]or passionate freelancers, money isn’t the only goal. It’s the happiness derived from a sense of purpose and excitement that comes with the challenges of every new project.                                                                   — Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho

If you’re a skilled creative thinking about going into freelancing, this read is for you. Creative, Inc. is a comprehensive guidebook aimed at giving you the confidence, skills and knowledge you need to start your own business in a creative field. Established freelancers may also want to take a look at it if they’re looking to grow in their industry.

The book, laid out in fun designs and illustrations, is a quick and easy read. There are super detailed sections on setting up shop, marketing, working with clients, managing payments, bookkeeping, balancing work and life, and basically anything else a budding entrepreneur should know.

The authors, creative entrepreneurs Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho, also interview several successful freelancers who offer their personal advice on focus, collaboration, self-promotion, and more. There’s even a small section at the end of the book filled with helpful resources — lists of professional organizations to join, links to job boards and suggested administrative tools.

It goes without saying, Creative, Inc. should only be a starting point in your research. You’ll need to depend on your own smarts and resourcefulness to gather additional information that caters to you and your line of work. As Ilasco and Cho write, “Freelancing takes vision, dedication, hard work, organization, business savvy, and, of course, a true love of your art.” It won’t be an easy road ahead, but the reward of being your own boss may well be worth it all.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “As an artist, you may love creating your art so much, you’d do it for free. But as a businessperson, you have to assign the appropriate monetary value to your time and talent, if you want your career to flourish.”
  • “Like any successful friendship or marriage, clients require love, dedication, and trust to foster a long-term, happy relationship….You’ll have to develop customer service and communication skills to clearly express your creative vision and achieve client satisfaction…happy clients will be more likely to pay you on time, hire you again for future gigs, and possibly refer you to others for jobs.”
  • “Skipping the occasional family dinner or missing a friend’s birthday can quickly snowball into a bad habit of overprioritizing your work life. Setting goals and efficient work habits and allowing yourself more ‘me time’ will keep the ‘workaholic’ label at bay. More important, you won’t slight the relationships that matter most when both your business and personal lives share a healthy and happy coexistence.”

Have any thoughts on this book or any other great resources for freelancers? Share them in the comments below!



Alisa Damaso

Alisa Damaso is an illustrator, graphic designer, and writer based
in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys the magic of the outdoors,
watching campy horror movies, and singing songs about food getting
stuck in her teeth. Her hand is married to a pencil and she never leaves
the house without a sketchbook.

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