Lady Gabe - Illustrator

Lady Gabe (Hannah Gabriel), is a freelance Designer and Illustrator based in Cheltenham, UK.

Inspired by the universe, fuelled by pizza and brought to you with love.

How 'Free' is Freelance?

How 'Free' is Freelance?

Now, I don't really have much of a right to comment on this yet, after all, I am barely 2 weeks into being self employed as a freelance Designer and Illustrator. I've been a sole trader since 2014, so I thought I knew what I was in for upon leaving the comfort of a full-time job and a regular wage.

Even though it is early days, I felt compelled to write and share some of the initial experiences while they are still fresh in my mind. Being freelance is not very free at all. Not to start with anyway!

I had this tragically optimistic view that I'd be in the gym every morning, meeting friends for coffee and lunch. I'd be able to set out a really strict routine to work by and could monitor orders easily and walk away from my desk without a backwards glance at any time I pleased.

Gosh, I was so wrong!

Reality is, I have not stopped! However, I am the happiest I have been in a very long time.

My days currently consist of a 6:30am alarm, which I am awake 5 minutes early for every morning. I excitedly doodle in my bed, sort emails and schedule posts for social media. I then do some quick lunges and push ups to be active and ready for the day! 

I've not made it as far as the gym yet, but the rest of my day is mostly me running back and forth to the post office (5 miles of walking completed today alone), paying money into the bank, dashing out to grab last minute packaging I'd forgotten or rushing to the supermarket for something to eat as it seems feeding myself has fallen way down the priority scale!

That being said, I am slowly creating a better and more sustainable routine as I go. I am happy and excited most the time, even if I am flapping about silly mistakes I have made in a rush, or stressed about a problem with my website when I am out and about. 

Now I have the freedom to let my imagination flow, I am seeing how I can make this a long term reality to survive and ultimately thrive from financially. I know it won't be easy, nothing worth it ever is. In fact I am enjoying the obstacles as I feel I can gain a lot by learning from them. My mind is set and I am determined to bring my ideas to life, whatever it takes and however long it takes.

I won't share much of my long term plan here, not just yet anyway. I'll just say that my overall goal is to help bring something truly positive to the world, to create in a way that allows people to feel free to giggle and let go of their worries for a little while. 

The most unfortunate thing about this freelance adventure is that I am an extrovert. I am an extrovert that has chosen a career that can be quite isolating at times. The isolation is needed to brew some of the ideas I have, but to make them a reality, I really do need others to bounce off of! Here's hoping I get to connect with more of you as I go through the motions of this adventure. 

Therefore, I am on the lookout for sociable part-time work opportunities, and any excuse to be active and amongst inspiring people. I'm open to volunteering as well to build a stronger network, so if you want to chat or know of any opportunities along these lines, I'd love to connect with you and see what possibilities are out there!

In the meantime, I'm signing off with a smile at 5:32pm on a Thursday evening, to feed myself (pizza of course) before cracking on with the hand painted commissions I've got to finish ahead of Christmas. Wish me luck!