1. How did you get started in Freelancing? How did you land your first customer?
Once I had started to create digital art, I posted it on forums and communities etc..my first customer saw some of my earlier works, and thought I could create something for one of their websites, so they got in touch with me and I did, we were both pleased with how it turned out, and I realised that it was easier than I thought and had fun doing it at the same time, I just had got paid for something I enjoyed doing..surely that’s everyone’s dream job. If one customer liked this, then i am sure other’s would too, so that’s when I started to take designing a little more seriously, and set up a website to showcase my artwork..
2. When you started freelancing, what were your goals? Do they differ to what they are now? What conscious decisions did you make to reach your goals?
I had several goals on the road to freelancing, I think most of all I wanted to enjoy what I was doing, and what I was working on, I set goals like to evolve my work, and make new websites, set up projects and do more networking too. I dont think differ too much now, although at the beginning I was less picky and took pretty much most jobs, even with low budgets just to broaden my portfolio as I was breaking through into the industry.
3. What was the most important thing that allowed you to grow your business?
The most important thing I think was setting up my website. This was a key factor in looking more professional and getting more clients. Most of my clients now email me from finding my website actually. My business definitely grew from here, and now I will set up a website for each project, and always update current one’s to keep things fresh.
4. You have also created an ecommerce shop (Funkrush), could you tell us how that came about?
Funkrush originally started out as a hobby as I was developing and bringing myself into the creative industries. I had made a lot of contact with illustrators and designers via networking and in person. So I got friends to design shirts, found a printer and set up a quick website and started selling! Born and bred in the online ghetto, it features designs by some of todays most recognised contemporary illustrators. Funkrush produces a variety of products, mainly focusing on tshirts but also zip up hoodies, socks and even prints.
I tout Funkrush as being urban apparel but it’s more of a mixture of urban infused graffiti street art mixed with cool, funky, and unique characters. We use the tagline “clothing that makes you smile” for the business, and it’s a very accurate take on our products. It has developed ever since and is now stocked all over Europe, I have more plans to develop it too!
5. How do you balance your time between selling tshirts and Freelancing?
Well to be honest, I think its about 50/50…although recently I have started designing more and have spent less time on Funkrush. Ideally I will get people to run Funkrush for me so I can concentrate on designing more and not have to worry about things like order fulfillment, which is actually starting to annoy me, however sales have grown its still enough for me to handle. It would be great to market and advertise Funkrush more, actually..im pretty busy, so organising time between the two is pretty hard, but I am a pretty laid back kind of guy so I dont let it stress me too much.
6. What are your plans for 2010?
Relaunch my personal portfolio (which should have launched while you are reading this – www.peteharrison.com), also relaunch Supercombo, I have a lot of new products for it, I was going to build a new Funkrush website, which not only stocked Funkrush but other brands too, like supercombo..so I can start to combine my projects and things will be easier to handle! I want to upgrade my stockroom, print a bunch of new tshirts, and get some nice clients design wise. I also want to upgrade my studio, and sell a lot of stuff I have that I don’t need..perhaps do more traveling too!