Lessons learned from 10 years of freelancing—A chat with Danielle Podeszek

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Meet Danielle Podeszek, a freelance Graphic Designer based in Buffalo, New York. Danielle specializes in logo and apparel design with a simple and bright retro style. Her clients include Buffalo Bills, Pepsi, TNT, New Era Cap, and the University of Kentucky. Outside of design, Danielle is passionate about sports and running ultramarathons.


Tell us about your journey into freelance. How did you land your first freelance gig?

I have been freelancing for ten years now. I picked up my first few jobs while in college. I believe I found my first gig on Craigslist which was a logo design project for $25. I was also submitting T-shirt designs to websites like Snorg Tees and Shirt Woot. Freelance was always how I spent my evenings while working a full-time design job. It was just within the last year that I was able to leave my job and freelance full-time.

How do you attract the type of projects you want to work on?

  • Create the type of work you want to attract: I love creating designs for the outdoors, sports and food industry. Most of the work I’ve shared on Dribbble are designs I just created for fun. I think honing in on my style has helped as well.
  • Reach out to the businesses you want to work with: Sending a quick, personalized message expressing interest in working together has landed me some quality clients.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve learned from throughout your career?

Don’t sit around and wait for clients to come to you. Sure, you can get a few inquiries here and there, but if you want consistent work, sometimes you need to make it happen.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be coaching basketball. I hope to start coaching again now that I work for myself.

Fast Facts:

  • Favorite design software: Adobe Illustrator
  • Coffee or tea: Neither! I like to save my caffeine consumption for ultramarathons.
  • Favorite font: Combat by Visual Mind Rockets
  • What you listen to while you work: Lots of GaryVee lately.
  • A designer you’d love to collaborate with: Too many to name! Here are a few: Allan Peters, Elias Stein, Kendrick Kidd, Steve Wolf, Jordan Mahaffey, Doublenaut, Scott Fuller, and Lauren Dickens.

Want to keep up with Danielle? Find her on Dribbble and at daniellepod.dunked.com.

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