Tag Archives: freelance

Happy 2016!!


Helloooo in 2016! I’m excited to start the new year, “Phase 2” as I call it, of freelance life. It will officially be one year of this crazy adventure on January 16th and I can’t wait to see what the new year brings!

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The Best of 2015…


This past year has been extra special for so many reasons… it’s the year I quit my job and decided to pursue my dream of having my own business… it’s the year I opened my online shop, launched my collaboration with Casetify, participated in my first Renegade Craft Fair, illustrated over forty looks during NYFW, caught the attention of some of my favorite brands, hosted my first trunk show, celebrated my second wedding anniversary, launched my illustrated calendar… and the list keeps going!

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Behind the Scenes…

behind-the-scenes-1-joanna-bakerHappy Tuesday! I’ve been busy working on prepping for the fair but thought I’d take a moment and share a bit about the behind the scenes stuff… the stuff that happens when you quit your full time job and take a leap of faith…

I can’t believe it’s been four months now since I left my corporate fashion job. There have been so many emotions that have gone along with it and getting used to a new way of living and working is still a work-in-progress. I feel like I’m far from figuring it out but I do know that I’m headed in the direction of something that makes me happy!

Some of my favorite things so far about freelancing:

1. Being able to prepare and eat healthier meals — this seems simple but having the time to grocery shop and plan to eat a proper breakfast, lunch, and dinner makes a huge difference in my overall well-being!
2. Setting goals and having the freedom to work at my own pace to achieve them — I’ve always worked best when I understand what’s expected of a project, know the deadline, and then am left alone to prioritize and get the job done. Freelancing definitely feels right in that sense.
3. Having the flexibility to schedule things in the middle of the day — this makes going to doctor and dentist appointments so much easier!
4. Taking on more custom illustration projects that make me happy — my greatest joy so far in all of this is getting to work with lovely new customers to create unique pieces of art for them. I love packaging up an original creation and sending it off to it’s new home knowing that someone is super excited to get it on the other end or send it as a special gift!

Some of the things I’m still getting used to:

1. Not having a team of people to bounce ideas off of — it’s been an adjustment not having someone else to turn around and ask a question or see what they think about something… I do ask Junebug a fair amount but she doesn’t seem to have too many opinions about my work or business goals =)
2. Feeling connected to coworkers and working towards a shared goal — there is definitely something to be said about everyone working together to get something done. Freelancing is often a one person show and it can be isolating. It helps to reach out via e-mail or in person to other artists and freelancers. Even making a simple connection through Instagram helps to keep that human interaction alive.
3. Not knowing who/what/where I will work next and taking opportunities as they come — this is all still new to me and right now I’m getting a feel for the amount of work, type of work, and how to keep more consistent work.
4. Having to advocate for myself 24/7 and consistently putting myself out there — I feel like I’m either actively working on or thinking about some aspect of my business every waking minute. When it’s all up to you, figuring out how this will all work consumes your thoughts. This is both really exciting and really terrifying! I try to balance out these thoughts with a healthy dose of perspective, getting out, going for a walk, running unrelated errands, etc. but I’ll be the first to admit that these thoughts are a beast to wrangle with.


I have to remind myself that some amazing things have happened in these past four months. I’ve had some wonderful Instagram features from Essie, Birchbox, Copic Markers, Carolina Herrera, and Bergdorf Goodman, I have built and launched my own online store with brand new illustrated stationery and gifts, I got accepted into Renegade Craft Fair and will be debuting all my work for the first time ever in public on June 6th. (So excited for this!!) These things may seem small, but it’s the little things that eventually add up or lead to bigger things. And even though I don’t know what the future looks like exactly, I have to continue leaping and know that what I’m doing will add up to something great!

I hope you have a wonderful, productive week and if you’d like to see more behind the scenes photos, be sure to follow me on Instagram =)

~Joanna <3

A Fresh Start…

I finished up my last day of work at my corporate job on Friday and now I am officially a full time freelancer! It’s hard for me to imagine what it will feel like to get so much time back in my week for exploring new things, experiencing the city in a whole new way, working in my studio space on new projects… I need a step-by-step plan for a fresh start. A plan that will keep me moving forward.

I was talking with a friend about quitting full time to go freelance a few weeks ago and we both decided that if we were to quit our jobs the first thing we’d want to do is deep clean our apartments… like really deep clean…. like clean behind the refrigerator clean. That sounds amazing.

This will be step one of the plan.

Step two. Visual goals. I’ve been thinking about quitting for awhile now and it’s taken me a long time to make it official. I would have days where I’d think “you can TOTALLY do this” then that would immediately be followed by “you are INSANE to think this will work.” To keep that last thought at bay, I’m making a {pretty} framed list of my goals to hang in my studio and remind myself that these are completely attainable as many an entrepreneur before me has been able to achieve them. And when doubt starts creeping in, I have plenty “Quit Your Day Job” articles bookmarked on Etsy.

Step three… a new daily routine. This is probably going to be the biggest one. My routine for the past four and a half years has been pretty much the same. I’m really going to miss seeing the muffin man on the corner street cart by my office every morning. He always saved me a lemon poppyseed. But this is my chance to start fresh and actually start making healthier breakfasts! I want to create a daily check list of everything I need to do in order to start the day.

Step four… projects. I’ve lined up a few projects, both personal and work-related so that there was something to work towards the second I left my job. This is a deal breaker for me. If I’m not busy working on a project in the beginning stages of all this, I imagine I’ll have too much time to think about things and question my methods. Where am I going? What does this all mean? Why did I do this? NOPE. Not going to keep questioning it, I just need to keep moving forward and trust that I will figure it out!

This is where I’d love to hear your ideas… did you leave a full time job to work for yourself? Did you launch your own company on pure determination and will power?  What does your daily to-do list look like? I’m so curious!

~Joanna <3

A Big Reveal in the New Year…

Happy New Year!!! I know I’m a bit late in revelling, but I wanted to wait until it was official. I’m saying goodbye to 2014 and looking towards the new year with anticipation, excitement, and I’ll admit a bit of anxiety. But the excitement definitely wins over!

The big reveal is finally here… I have decided to quit my full time fashion job and pursue freelance illustration and design!!

I have been dreaming and planning this for what seems like a lifetime. And it wouldn’t even begin to be possible without the unending support from my family and friends. Ever since I started this blog, the idea of someday using it as a lifeline to my ultimate dream (working for myself) has been in the back of my mind. The relationships I have made through my full time job and my blog and the opportunities to work on a variety of custom illustration projects over the past few years have been amazing. I feel so fortunate to have been given little moments of validation in 2014 enough for me to realize I need to give myself the chance to make this work.

There’s no better time than now to start fresh, give it everything I have, and believe in the best. I was talking this over with one of my oldest and dearest friends a couple months ago. I told her I was so nervous about making the leap and she told me “You will figure it out. You always figure it out!” So this is my motto for 2015… and it’s in bold colorful letters over my studio so I can remember it during those ups and downs that are sure to make up the next year.

My dear readers… some of you whom I know, some I don’t, some of you who have left comments and messaged me, retweeted, regrammed, favorited, and liked my work; you all have kept me going and given me that boost of confidence to take this risk.

When I came to New York to study at Parsons nearly six and a half years ago, I had no real plan of how I was going to make a living after design school, I just knew that I wanted to pursue beauty and make beautiful things. And now I can continue that pursuit everyday when I sit down in my studio and draw what makes me happy. Here’s hoping 2015 is a year of self discovery, ambition, inspiration, excitement, adventure, and at all costs the gumption to figure it out!

I once again thank you for staying with me thus far and I invite to come along with me on my entrepreneurial journey. I can’t wait to share with you more of my life and document my adventure over the next year, I have so many projects, ideas, and dreams to explore! Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year!

~Joanna <3