Q&A: Giulia Hartz: the Berlin based Illustrator on being freelance

A Q&A with Giulia on how she finds working as a freelance illustrator and her tips for becoming freelance.

As my final term of university swiftly approaches, I feel like a deer in headlights in what I am going to do after I finish my studies. Becoming freelance or being self- employed or being able to make galerie de aims magazine my full time job is the ultimate dream and hopefully one day that will be the case! As some of you who follow the galerie de aims mag instagram, quite often illustrations are showcased to promote designers and freelancers, most of them so far have been by Giulia Hartz, a Berlin based freelance illustrator and she spoke to galerie de aims magazine on everything you need to know about being freelance and her tips.

Over to Giulia,

What made you go freelance? 

I’ve always been drawing and that’s the very reason why I applied to Product Design for my bachelor. I started illustrating more or less for fun during my master course and I’m fully self-taught. After my Master I started working in an agency where from time to time,  I could use illustration as a skill in projects and that’s where I really experienced the power of such as a storytelling tool. After work, I used to bike home and still illustrate until late at night. At some point I realised that illustration was really something I wanted to do on a regular basis – so why not trying to freelance!

Here and how do you source work being freelance? 

I mostly put my energy into showcasing my work with a special attention to the jobs I liked doing and that I would like to do again. I communicate consistently and I mostly happen to receive clients request from this. I also proactively email clients or stakeholders I would like to collaborate with – but to be very honest that takes time and a lot of luck. Recently I also got an agency – so I’m trying that way too at the moment!

What are your favourite thing about being freelance? 

Freelancing comes with risks but also a lot of freedom – that’s what I love so much. I can work until late night for days or taking a day off if I need it. 

What have you been able to do being freelance that you haven’t in a typical 9-5 job?

While freelancing I get to choose what I want to work on and manage everything myself, it’s challenging, but it pushes you into a constant journey of learning and growing.

How did you get into illustration and what tips would you give someone considering illustration as a career?

While I still was on my 9-5 job I started receiving enquiries for freelance illustration jobs, so of course that gave me a bit security in front of the decision to quit. I would not recommend not quit out of the blue, but rather show your skills and see if anyone valuable reaches out – which is always a great feedback towards your work. Freelancing comes with a lot of risks

I love your illustrations and I share them a lot, what inspires your designs and where do you get inspiration when you need it? 

The main inspiration comes from the stories I live, reminiscences from my childhood, from the conversations with my friends or from the dreams I have – where actually all of this is reflected. The best ideas come when I’m not at my desk – doing grocery, riding my bike or right before sleeping. So I need to immediately type the idea on my iPhone notes and then get back to it in my work time.

Finally, what are your biggest tips for becoming freelance?  

On a practical level don’t jump into freelancing without having some savings that can cover your next 3/4 months, you never know what can happen. On top of this, when starting it’s important to set yourself a direction and few goals you want to stick to. Freelancing can push you to broad projects or sometimes make you experiment moments of confusion, don’t lose your focus. 

A big thank you to Giulia for this lovely feature.

To see more of Giulia and her beautiful illustrations click here


Instagram/ @galeriedeaims

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