Paris + freelance life


A LITTLE BACKGROUND STORY
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I've studied jewellery design, been the manager and jewellery designer at a jewellery store for 2 years, studied photography, webdesign and finally got a BA in graphic design. Also know as my 20s. 

Because I studied for the most part of my life and never traveled much, I've always said that I wanted to live in another country before I turned 30.
I finished my BA in June 2013, moved to Paris on August 14th - 6 days before my 30th birthday. Mission accomplished!

(check the "about" section for more info) 

PARIS & WORK
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I never intended on being my own boss. I also never really wanted to design logos. Not that I didn't like it, but my passion was elsewhere. I wanted to design magazines and books. But then life happened I guess. Or one specific email actually.
I had been looking for a job at a graphic design studio in Paris for 1,5 months, when I received an email from a French bag company that wanted me to design their logo (the little deers above). This was my first real job after finishing my BA and the first of many. I've been quite fortunate to receive a lot of these emails and that's how my plans changed. Within a year I had designed a handful of logos, invitations, business cards etc. And then suddenly my work was published in Los Logos 7 (pictured above) and I felt like the decision to move to Paris had been the best decision ever!

Though, as amazing as this sounds, there's also another side to it. Figuring out how to do your taxes, sending out invoices, making contracts, making clients pay those invoices on time, figuring out the right price for your work, having to negotiate that price at times and on and on... 
Then there are months where those emails don't fill up your inbox with work and you have no clue when your next payment will come. Then comes stress and worries and some sleepless nights.
What has gotten me through those hard times is my support system and my will to succeed.



BEING WITHOUT FRIENDS AND FAMILY AND CREATING A NEW SUPPORT SYSTEM
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I moved to Paris without knowing anyone. I had no friends.
A friend of a friend moved here to study, her friend came to visit, she moved here, I contacted a girl I was following on instagram, we became friends and her friends became my friends.
Almost everyone of these girls are freelancers like myself. Right there is a mutual understanding of the ups and downs you go through. They understand when you have to cancel on them because you need to work. Because if you don't finish the work, you don't get paid.

It's critical to have good people around you who can support you and who you can support. It will make you feel less isolated and make you feel like part of a community.

I've pushed myself in different situations in my life to overcome my biggest struggle - being shy. 15 years ago my face would turn red if you talked to me! I've moved to new places/schools where I didn't know anyone. Not necessarily to get a fresh start, but to push myself to approach people I didn't know. 
I think that's why I have this feeling now that everything will work out. I don't fear the unknown - whether it's a new city or a new project where I don't have the right skill set - then I'll learn it. 

A friend of mine asked me the other day how many hours I work during the day... I've never counted. I wake up, sit down at my desk and sometimes stay there till I go to sleep. But I love what I do, and wouldn't want to do anything else. 

MY ADVICE

  • Be fearless, but smart
  • Surround yourself with people you admire/look up to
  • Get in touch with like-minded people through instagram/social media
  • Don't be too stubborn to ask for help
  • Do what makes you happy

1 comment


  • Alice

    Hello Maria,
    I’m following you on Instagram for more than a year and I really love your work !
    You gave me some advices recently about pencils and eraser on Insta (bleugaluchat) and that’s so kind of you ! Now, “mono zero” is one of my favorite ahah :)
    I’m dreaming of a work like yours (I studied law during 5 years and cannot find a job !! Then I’m thinking about a reconversion in my passion), but that seems even more difficult actually :D Keeping hope !

    All of this to say : thank you to share all your work and give us so much inspiration ! Hope you will do some exhibition in paris at some point :)

    A bientôt à Paris peut-être !

    Alice


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