I’m Amy Purdie, a graphic designer based in South East Northumberland – but I work with clients anywhere in the world.
I help businesses to stand out, look good all the time and help business owners feel confident about their business image.
How long have you been freelancing, and why did you start?
I started in February 2010 following redundancy whilst on maternity leave. I wanted the flexibility to work around my daughter and because I was made redundant about a fortnight before I was due back at work I needed a job pronto! So I grabbed the opportunity and haven’t looked back 🙂
Let’s talk about the start of your day – are you an early riser, or a night owl?
I try to get my daughter to nursery for 8.45 – I usually fail – it’ll be interesting how this works when she starts school! I’m definitely naturally a night owl, but I need to fit in around her schedule so I normally get up around 7 (or later once I’ve hit snooze more times than I should have!), eat toast and yoghurt while trying to wake her up (she’s not a morning person) and then we manage to fling everything together and rush out the house by about 9.
What time do you start work?
I work in my parents’ house which is about 15/20 minutes drive away so it’s usually around 9.30.
Do you work from home?
No. I work in a spare room at my parents’ house which is fantastic. I have an office that isn’t in my house, I don’t pay rent or any other bills, I get to see my parents either before they start work or when they come home most days and I get to eat Mam’s homemade cake! It’s perfect. Sometimes they leave me notes saying lovely things like “crumble in the fridge” or “you’d like this book” and during the school holidays when Mam is home she makes me lunch. I love it, and it means I can leave everything behind me when I go home – although I can always open up my laptop and be back at work on the dining table in the evening… I try not to do that though and I’m getting so much better!
[themify_quote]I find the drive really helpful – I write blog posts in my head, I make lists, I draft emails, I have ideas.” [/themify_quote]
What’s your working routine before you start work?
Once I get up and have breakfast I get my daughter and I ready – sometimes my husband helps – drop her at nursery and drive to work. I find the drive really helpful. I write blog posts in my head, I make lists, I draft emails, I have ideas – driving is really useful, it’s the same on the way home! Then when I get to work I’m already in work mode so I just need a drink and off I go.
Do you take a lunch break?
Sometimes I do – and I definitely do when Mam’s at home – but most of the time I’ll use the time to watch a TED talk or read a newsletter or check Twitter or just to make a list. I love a good list!
How do you tend to spend your afternoons?
Much as I spend the mornings – on a current project. So I could be designing a logo or a website or putting some brand guidelines together. I try to arrange meetings for the mornings as I’m much more productive in the afternoons so I’m usually in the office working on something – and loving it.
How do you keep motivated? Do you have any particular techniques?
If I lose my oomph then I’ll hop onto Facebook and look at pictures of my daughter for a bit and then it comes back! Or I’ll take a look at my vision board or just change the project I’m working on. I work on more than one thing at once so it’s easy to chop and change for a bit.
What time do you tend to sign off for the day?
I pick my daughter up from nursery at 6 so at 5.40 I’m usually rushing out the door to make sure I’m not late. If I need to go shopping I might leave a bit earlier so I can tackle the supermarket on my own – on a Friday it’s Daddy day so there’s not such a big rush to leave but I try to make it about the same time.
[themify_quote] There’s always something new to learn or something challenging to try and I love hearing about what other people do and how their businesses work.” [/themify_quote]
Tell us – what’s your favourite thing about freelancing?
The people. I have met so many interesting people in real life and online – who have really helped me since I started. There’s always something new to learn or something challenging to try and I love hearing about what other people do and how their businesses work.
And your least favourite thing about freelancing?
Not switching off. Sometimes I feel that all I talk about is work – but it’s always on my mind! I’ll think of things I need to do, or ideas for a project or something I should blog about at really inconvenient times and then I’ll disappear into my phone or my laptop and that’s not great for my family. Although I think they mind more than me! Sometimes my husband goes out for a child-free coffee while I “should” be working and I find it really hard because I feel like I should be back at the office, even though I set my own timetable!
What tools/apps/gadgets/things could you not live without as a freelancer?
My diary. I have a paper diary, I can’t get away with popping things in my phone. I love it.
Notebooks – I scribble a lot, I write tons of notes, I’m always referring to my notebooks, tearing pages out of them to go in the client files and doodling ideas and making lists. I’d be lost if I didn’t have a notebook. Or a pen for that matter!
Social media – this has been a huge help for my business ever since I started. Tweeting and breastfeeding worked really well together in the first year and now I find that Facebook is more successful for me.
Also my iPhone and my iMac. Essential!
Where can we find you online?
To achieve Design Success you can get my free Design Success Toolkit packed full of checklists, tips, questions and ideas to make your business image work.
The Big Question – What’s the secret to your success?
Ooo… I think it’s Very Hard Work and being open to learn and implement those changes.
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