How do you hire a freelancer?
We realized early on that we were at a bit of a disadvantage in the art department.
JP and I split most of the responsibilities required to make ycdi•di. We both coordinate and participate in interviews, have a hand in editing the podcast, and post things to promote the show. We’re both technically proficient people, but neither one of us is an artist per se. With that in mind, we set out to hire someone to design our podcast art.
Where to find a freelance designer/illustrator
If you don’t currently know any designers or illustrators who are accepting freelance work, listen to our podcast sometime; we interview them regularly. You may also be able to find some online through the following services:
Deciding who to work with
Typically, when looking to hire a designer or illustrator:
Look for someone whose work you love
Have a budget — and be willing to break that budget or politely decline
Find someone who will work well with you
It’s important to note, most advice tends to say, “don’t hire a friend.” While we tend to agree with that advice, we considered it worth the risk to work with someone whose work perfectly matches our sensibilities… and we are exceedingly happy with how it turned out.
When we first imagined our artwork, I immediately wanted to hire Maret Bondorew. Her whimsical style, balanced approach, and witty implementation were a perfect fit for ycdi•di.
Getting in touch and making your pitch
Do some prep before you make contact:
Get to know their work, discover if they do what you’re looking for (if not, move on), and write down specific examples of what you like and why you like it.
Write down a clear and concise description of exactly what you need. What form does the end product take? For us, it was podcast art (square art), to be delivered in a digital file, with our podcast name on it.
If they have a website, are there hourly rates listed or minimum billing for projects? If they don’t post rates, what does someone in their line of work typically make an hour? Write down a realistic budget for your project.
You really should write all this stuff down because it helps you make your pitch. When we reached out to Maret, we had the luxury of a casual conversation where I shared the following…
JP and I are starting a new podcast soon and we’d like to hire you to make the artwork. The podcast will be us interviewing creative people about stuff they’re doing. Basically, the concept for the art is our logo surrounded by objects people use to do things — various hobbies like knitting, drawing, cooking, bee-keeping, cycling, etc. We’re looking for something celebratory, colorful, vibrant, and not too polished; similar to the band poster you did recently.
Our budget for this project is -redacted-. Is that something that could work for you?
Thankfully, Maret accepted our offer, but whatever happens in your conversation, make sure to keep it civil and stay humble. Freelancers receive requests regularly, and while many will do their best to understand your request, not everyone will want to work with you. That’s ok! Politely move along and try to find someone who will.
Working with an illustrator
We gave Maret our design brief in writing and agreed on a deadline for an initial sketch. Illustrators go through multiple revisions to get something that feels right; it’s all part of the process.
The draft Maret shared with us was exactly on track with what we were hoping for, so we let her know we loved it so far, and set a date for the final deliverable: a square digital file we could use for ycdi•di.
She delivered — we use Maret’s art for every episode of our podcast, and all of the art in this post is hers! We couldn’t be happier. If you think Maret would be a good fit for your next project, you can reach out to her through her website.
You can listen to our episode with Maret right here on the website, or subscribe through iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.