Busy busy busy!

coffee

Ooh pretty!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks and I honestly forgot I hadn’t done my weekly post … and I was doing so well with keeping up with my New Year resolutions too!

For the past two weeks, I’ve driven across to the closest metropolis (a 2.5 to 3 hour drive each way, depending on how many trucks/road works/caravans or how speedy you are) to do a 3 hour course. Yep, drove 6 hours to do 3 hours of learning. Twice.

However, learning to Barista is a skill I have always wanted to gain and since the course was there (and not here – nor would it be in the foreseeable future), I figured it was worth the small inconvenience.

Of course, you can’t just be a Barista with only 6 hours of playing with the machines and making pretty froth pictures under your belt. It requires practice, practice and more practice. Honestly, I had no idea of the great number of variables that can make or break a great coffee! Beans ground too fine/course; beans out too long; milk too hot; not frothed enough in first few seconds … the list goes on and on.

But now I have a small dilemma – what do I do with this training? Are these certificates destined to remain two pieces of paper decorating the walls of my office? Or do I go out and see if I can get casual work in a coffee house?

But if I do … will that kill the romantic notion that working as a Barista would be a fun way to earn a few dollars and feel useful when graphic design work is slow?

I only hesitate because I already work every second weekend and whilst I really enjoy it – I get paid to talk, essentially – it already means I have to swap with the other person if I need that weekend off.  I really don’t like doing that.

I don’t like being tied down or having to ask permission to do something I want to do.

What if I get a job and I’m so awesome, they want me to work full-time?

What if I suck?

Hmmm … I think I have a problem with over-thinking things.

And commitment.

I definitely have issues with that.

 

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Joys of working for yourself

Clown

Clutsy the Clown would like to get paid. Please.

Otherwise known as the “Cashflow Blues” …

Don’t get me wrong – I’m still a fan of working from home and being my own boss. Getting to be creative on a variety of jobs from a real mix of clients is great fun. Getting to do it in comfortable (i.e daggy) clothes and no makeup plus getting those mundane household chores done as part of your working day is a real bonus as well.  I can take a long weekend and head off somewhere if I so choose, or stay in bed all day if I’m not well.

Theoretically.

In practice, I can’t really take that many long weekends because the sad reality of modern society is that you need money to do that. Money that I get sporadically at best. And surprisingly enough, I don’t seem to have as many sick days anymore …

But back to the green stuff. I’ve become a compulsive checker, looking at my work bank account daily (sometimes twice daily) to see if by some miracle people have actually paid me.  I mean, I have a deadline to work to. My invoices should be treated in the same manner.  But by and large, they aren’t. Sigh.

I’m currently studying Design Industry at the moment and this week is about contracts.  Now, they suggest doing up a full contract outlining how many hours; what equipment; who holds intellectual property; whose arse gets kicked if certain project markers aren’t met and ensuring you as the graphic designer can use the completed work in your portfolio as future promotion.  There is even suggestions of getting a down payment before any work is done to avoid cashflow problems.

My ears pricked up at that.

The trouble is that I work in a rural area. Now, I don’t know if you’re familiar with the way things work out here but most things are done on a handshake. It would seem strange to go through a five page contract BEFORE any work started, with a hokey little ol’ graphic designer who’s working from home and more than likely gets business because she’s a known entity. It’s a small town. People are very trusting. I am never asked to show a portfolio. It’s very humbling, to be honest.  I’m also cheap and get the job done quickly.

I know it’s in my best interests – protects my finances, ensures intellectual property and makes the deal very clear on paper. But I’m not sure if it would work out here. And to be honest, I’d feel a little uncomfortable doing it. Seems … pushy.

Having said that, I do have a nest egg that allows for the bills to be paid when cash is not flowing inwards so it’s not like we’ll starve or lose the house … but the tightarse in me really really hates using it.

Oh yeah, and that’s my clown. I sketched him then scanned him in and used that as a background so I could use the Pen tool in Illustrator to build a digital version of him. I feel rather pleased with myself.