6 tax tips to help designers starting out in self-employment

Design Week

It may not be the most glamourous part of being a self-employed or freelance designer, but tax is an ever-present part of the job. Changes to the tax system can feel daunting, especially for those who have just started out as self-employed.

15 for 15 award finalist

Emmeline Illustration

I've been selected as one of the finalists in the 15 for 15 award for self-employed businesses. I find that often freelancers and self-employed people are overlooked in business. I'm so impressed that the 15 for 15 award (supported by ipse ) is recognising that, and I'm so humbled to have been chosen to represent one of the 15 ' brightest and best self-employed people' working in the UK now. ipse news self employed self employment


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IPSE Magazine Cover Illustration

Emmeline Illustration

This one's extra special as I was commissioned to create an illustrated self-portrait (always tricky!) artist be free to create cover emmeline pidgen freelancer freelancer of the year illustration illustrator ipse ipse awards jim cassidy magazine national freelancers day news process self-employedHeyo! I made the cover of IPSE magazine! to celebrate my Freelancer of the Year award in June. Exciting.

I won Freelancer of the Year!

Emmeline Illustration

A lot of people have asked what I'm going do with the £5000 prize money, and my main plan is to allow it to give me the self-permission and mental space to dedicate my time to working on projects I feel truly passionate about. As with all self-employed people there’s that constant pressure to push your business, pay the bills and grow, grow, grow whilst maintaining every role of a company as one person - and it can be exhausting. news self-employed tom rosenthal winner

Fluid, Abstract and Futuristic Typographic Design by MOCAGE

Design You Trust

I studied graphic design from 2017-2020 and made myself self-employed in January 2020 and now working with clients around the world.” “Hey, I am Moses aka MOCAGE from Germany.

How I started my 3D miniature business

UX Collective

I’m now completely self-employed and work from home, on my own schedule. Continue reading on UX Collective ». design entrepreneurship marketing startup business

Practical advice for creatives affected by the Covid-19 emergency

Its Nice That

The UK’s Creative Industries Federation has collated advice and guidance for self-employed practitioners, business owners and others, from official bodies, to help during the emergency.

Desk space

David Airey

Resources Self-employmentA quick look at some of the kit I use and recommend. I’ve worked from home since 2005. The home’s changed six or seven times — one reason why a minimal approach is helpful — but there’s some standard gear that sticks around, and I definitely find it easier to focus when the desk isn’t cluttered. BenQ PD3200u.

Surviving 2021: How creative freelancers can weather the storm

Creative Boom

Self-promotion not only needs to be done loudly and confidently, but it also needs to be done regularly. Specifically, HMRC has launched a helpline for freelancers and the self-employed suffering during the crisis at 0800 0159 559. Image licensed via Adobe Stock.

The challenges of going freelance (plus a plate full of cake!)

Emmeline Illustration

freelancing going freelance ipse national freelancers day news NFD NFD17 self-employedSo you might have noticed I've been taking some huge leaps in terms of my on-screen presence since my Freelancer of the Year win with IPSE last year. Seriously, if you'd asked me a few years ago how comfortable I'd be with half of the promos and panels I've been doing over the past few months I would've had a reaction-gif-worthy look of horror on my face.

“Don’t Trust the Truth”: The Superb Graphic Design Works of Sebastian Onufszak

Design You Trust

Since 2009, he starting out as a self-employed creative in the fields of print and interactive and motion media. Sebastian Onufszak is an award-winning illustrator, designer and art director based in Augsburg, Germany.

What they never tell you about becoming a freelance creative

Creative Boom

The need for self-promotion never ends. Self-promotion isn't something you need to do at the start of your freelance career but throughout it. Art director and designer Kirsten Murray adds that self-promotion not just about finding new clients. "It

“I’m very aware of how vulnerable I am”: how freelancers are facing the pandemic

Design Week

Earlier this week , the London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance revealed that a million people may quit self-employment in the UK because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Taaryn Brench on freelancing during the pandemic, and the change she wants to see in the creative industries

Creative Boom

I struggled with transitioning from full-time to self-employment. When I first started out, I was crippled with self-doubt and anxiety and I always felt like a fraud. The self-employed and the arts have been left behind during the pandemic.

Featured in Graphis Journal 363: Jeff Foster’s Vintage Illustrations


Jeff Foster is an American self-employed illustrator who has been making unique retro and vintage designs and packaging since the ’80s. His exemplary illustrations have won him awards in Graphis competitions, including Gold in the Poster Annual 2004.

Eight unexpected ways to get freelance design work

Creative Boom

There are many of you venturing into self-employment for the first time, too – having returned to work, only to find that you've been made redundant. The life of a freelance designer is a great one in many respects.

Growing Up Travelling: Photographs that reveal the inside world of Irish traveller children

Creative Boom

When American photographer Jamie Johnson visited Ireland for the first time in 2014; she immediately felt connected to the Irish travellers living there. She spent the next five years going back to Galway, Limerick, Cork and Tipperary, taking portraits of the communities, particularly the children.

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Matt Murphy on switching creative careers, playing with light and shadow, and surviving harder times

Creative Boom

But we were all perfectly placed; most illustrators have been self-isolating for years.

Sketches for Keyboard Kahuna Logo Design – The Sketchbook Secrets Series

Logo Smith

KeyboardKahuna is one of my older logo design projects, and one of the first I designed as a newly founded self-employed logo designer.

Daniel Lloyd on carving out a successful creative career away from the big city

Creative Boom

After graduating with a degree in media communications and journalism back in 2014, I stumbled into becoming self-employed, at this time, primarily as a social media manager. I think being a self-taught designer comes with a lot of challenges of its own along the way.

How to become a freelancer in the UK, according to those who've done it

Creative Boom

That said, becoming an independent practitioner can be a scary prospect for anyone used to having an employer take care of you. So how could I self-organise and structure my days around pitching for new work, doing the work, and then the admin and invoicing?

Six financial tips to help freelancers struggling with coronavirus slump

Creative Boom

This week, the Government is considering ways to extend its new wage support scheme to the self-employed despite the significant technical challenges. In the meantime, HMRC has set up a helpline for businesses and self-employed people who are concerned about paying their tax due to Covid-19. There are two million freelancers in the UK, and it's estimated that they contribute £125 billion to the nation's economy.

Get Your Illustrations on Products with This Online Class

Illustration Age

Within 2 years of quitting her in-house design job, teacher Anne Bollman was able to create a six-figure self-employed salary as an illustrator using this method. It’s always so exciting to see your illustrations on real 3-Dimensional products that you can actually use, hold in your hands or even sell! That’s why we couldn’t resist sharing this great new online class to help you do just that.

15 Famous Calligraphers to Follow on Instagram

Template Monster

Mr. Johnston is a self-taught letterer and designer from Canada. Dima AbraKadabra is a self-employed graphic designer and lettering artist from Russia. In one of our previous articles published on MonsterPost this week, we were talking about vintage fonts for logo design.

Freelancers finally given government coronavirus support – but it comes with a catch

Design Week

The UK’s self-employed and freelance workers are to have 80% of their average monthly earnings paid for by the government during the coronavirus pandemic , chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on Thursday. Sunak says 95 per cent of self-employed workers will be covered by the scheme.

Viktorija Semjonova on surviving as an illustrator during challenging times and why kindness will save the day

Creative Boom

I think being through a financial crisis and working from home before is helping with the current situation and self-isolating. Now I'm working (quite well) at accepting these lull moments and using them to work on self-initiated projects and trying new things.

Freelance designers: Can I still get paid if I’m affected by coronavirus?

Design Week

The UK’s freelance and self-employed workers have not been given nearly as much financial reassurance, and what has been promised hasn’t been said in the clearest of terms. What sick pay rights do freelance and self-employed designers have?

Making the Leap To Full-Time Freelancer: 6 Vital Pieces of Advice

Just Creative

That being said, reaching full-time self-employment is not always a simple feat. Unlike the leap from one regular job to another, the transition to full-time freelance employment doesn’t have to be an immediate one. This article has been contributed by Patrick Chism.

The freelancers' guide to pensions

Creative Boom

With a self-invested personal pension (aka SIPP), you're given the choice of where to invest your funds, from shares to commercial property. Pete Hykin is the co-founder at Penfold , which is the FCA-regulated pension provider created solely for the self-employed.

How to go freelance, your step-by-step guide

Creative Boom

In terms of making things official, you'll have to register as self-employed with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if you're a sole trader and you'll have to pay income tax and National Insurance contributions. There are many reasons why you might want to go freelance.

The government’s latest business safeguards still leave freelancers in the cold

Design Week

However, as pointed out by a number of industry bodies and advocacy groups, they once again fail to give peace of mind to the country’s freelance and self-employed workers. The government says it is still working on a strategy for the self-employed.

Keeping On Top Of Things: Creativity, Wellbeing and Business with Monica Davidson, Founder & Director of Creative Plus Business


Before starting Creative Plus Business you worked as a self-employed writer, performer and filmmaker.

Freelancer campaign targets “inadequate” coronavirus government support

Design Week

Chiefly these holes have been identified in the government’s provisions for the country’s five million self-employed and freelance workers. “They also aren’t using the latest trading data for self-employed people.”

Design Week’s most popular news stories of 2020

Design Week

But for freelancers and the self-employed, it’s been an even more complicated journey. Dyson creates engineering challenges for kids in lockdown.

One million people still falling through gaps in Government aid, say MPs

Design Week

This is for a combination of reasons, including not being in employment at the designated cut-off and not having made more than half their income from self-employment.

Take our latest coronavirus business impact survey

Design Week

For the last six months, Design Week has been covering the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic on UK designers.

7 Ways Freelancers Can Separate Themselves From Their Competition And Win Clients

Just Creative

With the government forming new protections for freelancers like the right to collect unemployment benefits, people are looking toward self-employment as a means to cut their ties to traditional corporate work more than ever. This article has been contributed by John Ross.

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Hande is a “playful take” on hand sanitiser

Design Week

It also aims to create living-wage jobs for people in the local community, who have been financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic including the self-employed and those working in hospitality. IYA studio has created the identity for a new hand sanitiser brand, Hande.

Illustration Pricing Survey 2019: THE RESPONSE. A realistic look at illustration fees

Lisa Maltby

It’s not rocket science to conclude that unless you can complete a number of projects in one day this is not a sustainable income for a self employed worker. What does £150/day work out at as a yearly self-employed income? However, as we all know the self-employed don’t get paid holiday so we need to deduct this time. less time may be spent on self promotion and more on communication once you have a reputation and more enquiries).

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Business

Creative Live

The emotions I place leading to or at the conclusion of an event are often the strongest because they’re idealized…it was important for me to take my perfected ideas of being self-employed and juxtapose it with reality. I got to thinking about a few things I wish I knew before starting my business. Yes, I wish I knew more about the technicality of photography ( wait, so you’re telling me f-stop and aperture ARE THE SAME THINGS?!?