Time is Money: Balancing Passion Projects

Online side projects may cost next to nothing in terms of cash, but they certainly take time. We asked a few designers, known for their standout side gigs, to weigh in on their preferred platforms and how they juggle “just for fun” projects with billable work.

To find out more about these designers with stand-out side projects and others, read the feature “The Accidental Promoter” in the September 2011 issue of HOW.

Jessica Hische: www.jessicahische.is; www.dailydropcap.com
“I usually save blog posts for big news or to announce new projects, and use Twitter for day-to-day sharing. Because much of my 9-to-5 revolves around managing e-mail, talking to clients, posting to social media and answering interview questions, I tend to be most productive with actual client work in the evening. I don’t believe in Facebook as a marketing device for work. I know many people love it, but it feels too personal to me.

“Twitter is a much better medium for sharing news and connecting with people professionally, in my opinion.  It was important for me to have at least one social network reserved strictly for friends and family, and Facebook became that. I stopped hating it as soon as I quit and rejoined with a private profile.”

Courtney Eliseo: www.designworklife.com, www.seamlesscreative.com
“DesignWorkLife is really only a small part of what I do day-to-day, but it does require a large time commitment, so I have to be pretty disciplined about how I work. I try to schedule posts in advance, and if I’m organized, I can pull together all of the posts for the week in one 10-hour work day. That doesn’t include the time I spend reading and answering e-mails, approving comments and doing general maintenance. I don’t spend a ton of time on other social media sites at this point, although I do use services that automatically update Twitter and Facebook for me.”

Joel and Ashley Selby: www.thispapership.com
“Realistically, social media takes up about a third of our day! We try to update our blog at least once or twice a week, although we’d like to eventually do it daily. We also upload our work on Flickr and Dribbble daily, maintain our online shop on our site and on Etsy, and update our statuses on Facebook and Twitter with links to new work, studio news and the occasional silly message that reminds people that we’re just a couple of normal, nerdy artists. On top of that, we’ve worked hard in the last couple of years to gain credibility in the design, illustration and photography communities, so we spend a good deal of time talking to our professional peers on Twitter and commenting on the work that we admire on Flickr and Dribbble.”


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