I’ve been freelancing for over 18 months now and it still surprises me how lonely it can be.
When we think of loneliness and what that means, most of us probably think of being physically alone and not having people around us to chat to or hang out with.
I’m an introvert, so spending a lot of time alone isn’t difficult for me and it’s not working independently every day that makes me feel isolated.
Instead, it’s not being connected with people who truly understand me and my situation.
My family and friends, whilst they support me and my position as a freelancer, don’t recognise just how difficult running a freelance business can often be.
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It comes with many challenges that are hard to deal with. It regularly involves stepping out of your comfort zone, learning new skills and battling self-doubt.
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Not having colleagues to go through those struggles with is tough, so it’s important to connect with other people who get what you’re going through.
Finding your people online
One solution is to find other freelancers online. I’ve made friends on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, and it’s helpful having work friends again who I can chat to via DM.
It can take time to build up these relationships though, and sometimes sending a few messages back and forth doesn’t quite solve the loneliness issue.
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One of the quickest solutions that does work for me is to watch fellow freelancers on YouTube.
Video is an intimate medium that makes us feel close to the people we’re watching. It’s like we already know them, somehow.
Watching other freelancers share their journey helps me to beat the loneliness and feel connected to people who get it. It’s also great to get tips from my peers and learn more about the freelancing world.
Here are 8 freelance vloggers and video creators who make my own freelance life less lonely:
Holly Exley is a freelance illustrator based in Derbyshire, UK. She’s been on YouTube for 3 years and has around 20k subscribers. She’s positive and introverted with a quiet nature. I find her videos very relaxing and calming.
Holly shares studio vlogs, where you can watch her working; how-to videos around illustrating and freelancing; as well as general tips and advice for artists and illustrators.
She’s also vegan. Holly talks about veganism regularly on her channel and it’s something that heavily influences her work.
Visit Holly’s channel or watch this video:
Steve Folland, host of popular podcast series Being Freelance, where he’s interviewed over 100 freelancers, also creates a weekly vlog of his own freelance life.
Steve’s a freelance video and audio producer living in the south-east of England. He’s been vlogging for around a year now and his weekly videos consist of general freelance chat, updates on his own journey and the odd tip he’s picked up along the way.
Steve has a good sense of humour, a relaxed, playful attitude, and he doesn’t take things too seriously. His vlogs, which feature both cats and cake in equal measures, are a breath of fresh air after a long hard week.
Visit Steve’s channel or watch one of his vlogs:
Melanie Chadwick is a freelance illustrator who produces studio vlogs and how-to style videos. She’s been creating videos for around a year now and she’s amassed over 19,000 views in that time.
Melanie’s based in Cornwall, England, and there’s a real English seaside feel to her vlogs – a treat if you’re looking to escape somewhere peaceful and idyllic for a little while.
Visit Melanie’s channel or watch one of her vlogs:
Ran Segall (Flux)
Ran Segall is a freelance designer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. He creates daily vlogs about design, freelance life and running a company.
When it comes to design, Ran covers topics like UX, logo design, webpage layout, product design and wireframing. He also makes a lot of content around working as a freelancer and a creative. He’s made videos on things like goal setting, creating briefs, turning down clients and charging more.
Ran’s videos are short (they probably average around 5 minutes), so they’re a fun way to take a quick break from whatever you’re working on.
Visit Ran’s channel or watch one of his vlogs:
Roxanne Coble (by bun)
Another freelance artist and illustrator, this time-based in Los Angeles, is Roxanne Coble (also known as ‘by bun’). Roxanne creates vlogs, Q&As and ‘artwork tours’, where she shows off her work and talks about her influences and techniques.
Roxanne’s been creating regular YouTube videos for around 2 years now and her content has had almost 340,000 views in that time. Roxanne’s work has been featured on the cover of Art Journal Magazine and she recently appeared as a guest artist on the PBS show Make It Artsy.
Visit Roxanne’s channel or watch one of her vlogs:
Another freelance illustrator (YouTube seems to be a popular creative outlet for artists and illustrators) who creates regular YouTube content is Fran Meneses.
In terms of views and subscribers, Fran’s is the biggest channel featured on this list. Her videos have had almost 9.5 million views in 4 years and she currently has over 175,000 subscribers.
Fran, who’s Spanish but lives in Hastings, UK, also runs a popular Etsy store and earns over $4,000 per month via Patreon – a platform that allows viewers to sponsor their favourite creators with a small monthly financial contribution.
Fran produces vlogs, how-tos, tips and advice for artists and illustrators, as well as behind the scenes insight into how she runs her business and manages her Etsy store.
Visit Fran’s channel or watch one of her videos:
Brent is a freelance graphic designer based in Ohio. He’s been on YouTube for around 5 years and, whilst he doesn’t publish videos all that regularly, his channel does have some interesting and useful content.
He’s made videos on using freelance job sites, standing out online as a graphic designer, and the importance of having values in your freelance business.
Visit Brent’s channel or watch one of his videos:
Last but not least is Dann Petty, a San Francisco-based freelance web designer and host of ‘The Dann Petty Show’.
Dann produces a weekly chat show where he talks about the latest news stories in the design world. Past episodes cover topics like healthcare for freelancers and chat about design features and techniques.
Dann is also the creator of freelance.tv, an interview series that gives freelancers the opportunity to open up about their daily lives.
Visit Dann’s channel or watch one of his videos:
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