Interview with freelance Illustrator Alana Scott
No matter how good her jobs were, Alana always found herself daydreaming of starting her own business. Now she's on the path to making illustration her full-time profession with her design studio Zingara Zingara. Her favourite words of wisdom come from funny man Ricky Gervais. Read on to find out what that advice is and learn more about Alana's freelancer journey in our latest interview.
Tell us how you ended up here as a freelancer? Where did it all begin?
I’ve been very fortunate with some of the full-time jobs that I’ve had in the past but no matter how good they were I always found myself daydreaming of my own business and how I should plan the ‘next step.’ After a while in these jobs, I would always find myself feeling frustrated, unfulfilled and feeling ‘trapped’.
I hated the lack of decision making and control I had and didn't like being told how I should spend my time. I didn’t like coming home feeling exhausted and unfulfilled. I’d rather spend my time on something I’m passionate about and then coming home exhausted … but fulfilled :)
What inspired you to start freelancing?
Originally I never actually had any intention of freelancing. I just started doing projects in my own time because I was restless and these projects interested me. I then found that I was getting requests from friends and family to keep doing these projects and found that I really enjoyed the process and it just went from there!
What was your last 'real job' and how did you move away from this and start working for yourself?
I’m still in that process! Currently, I’m juggling my freelance work and am also working part-time as a graphic designer for a fashion shoe label. I know it's one of those things you have to stick with and constantly build on. It's not something you can create overnight (unfortunately).
In three emojis, describe your life as a freelancer...
What was your biggest fear before you started freelancing? Any tips for overcoming this fear?
Worrying about what other people think has always been something that I’ve struggled with. Over the years I’m slowly starting to realise that it affects no one else except me. I feel that it will be something that I will always have to work on and persevere through - but it will get better over time. Perseverance will get you anywhere.
Walk us through a typical day in the life of you?
Normally my alarm will go off around 6am and this is closely followed by two cute Burmese kitties jumping on me to demand cuddles and food. I’m training myself to become a ‘morning person’ and making sure I get some time on the mat in the morning and do a yoga class. This is then followed by a nice strong cup of coffee, check emails and write out my list of things to do for the day.
I always try to break down projects into smaller, more manageable tasks and then prioritise them. I love keeping organised with my Asana app (has the cutest little graphics that fly across the screen when you complete tasks!). Before I know it my stomach is grumbling for lunch and I’ll take a short break. I’ll check emails again and work through to around 5ish. After dinner, I'll spend time with my partner and do some drawing in front of the tv :)
What do you love most about freelancing?
I love being more in control of my time and being able to make my own decisions. I find myself getting so involved and passionate about what I’m doing that nothing else really matters. It makes my days fly and I feel happy and fulfilled.
What sucks the most about freelancing?
The uncertainty can be hard to handle. You don’t know where your next job is coming from or how much income you’re going to get. You have to be organised and always anticipate things - good and bad. However, in saying this, I find that this helps push you to try harder and be more organised. That’s why you have to be crazy in love with what you do because it’s hard work.
What three qualities do you need to succeed as a freelancer?
Passion, a strong support group and most of all - perseverance.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Get clear about what you want and just go for it. Life is too short.
And finally, the best piece of advice or pearl of wisdom you've received?
"No one else knows what they’re doing either" from Ricky Gervais. I find this quote to be humbling and makes me realise that everyone is in the same boat and just trying to work things out themselves.