One year as a freelancer – time for a summary

Time for summaries have come to an end, but I decided not follow the rules and do my round up now.

This year was very special for me. My first full year as a freelancer. I was working as an independent designer since I started my journey with graphic design in 2007. But it was always something that I would do on the side, without big plans and expectations. End of 2017 was the time when I decided to bite a bullet and start full time freelancing journey.

I went a long way to be where I am right now. It’s not perfect, there are a lot of struggles and there is definitely still a lot to learn, but i feel i’m on the right path.

I would like to share few highlights of my year. Maybe you can use it as an inspiration for your own decisions and plans.

Learning new things

I pay a lot of attention to develop my skills and learn new things. Realizing that internet is such an amazing source of knowledge, full of smart, experienced people ready to share what they know, was a mindblow for me. It was one of most important discoveries of 2017. Since then I learn something new every day. One of my favourite things to do is listening to podcasts. I also signed up for the courses ( including UX and SEO ) and follow few interesting YouTube channels. How exciting!

Establishing goals

Little more than a year ago I was going through crisis. I didn’t know what to do with my career. Ha! It wasn’t the first time. The same crisis had happened before and I still didn’t know how to deal with it. But a bit later, thanks to some amazing mentors like Chris Do from Futur, I understood that everything depends on me and I have a choice. I decided to change my reality!I started with setting up goals. It helped me to see the light in a tunnel and make me believe that better times are soon to come.

Finding my place

Since I left Poland in 2013 I haven’t stayed in one place for too long. I lived in Germany, UK, Thailand, Laos. I traveled in countries across Asia and Europe. At some point I decided to spend time in Portugal. After few additional trips I decided to come back and settle down for a bit longer. Beautiful city of Porto become my home far away from home.

Knowing my direction
As a graphic designer I wear many hats. I’ve worked for publishers, agencies, NGOs and fair trade companies. I freelanced for clients from all around the world and from many different fields. I loved every single opportunity, but I knew if I wanted to grow more I had to find out what I enjoy the most.

I started working for agencies because they give me variety of projects where I can spread my wings and test my skills. I focus on branding and web design because it is where I can show my analytic skills and love for comprehensive projects planning.


I am very happy that I managed to spend a lot of time traveling last year. The highlight was my 2-months trip to Balkans. I started in Budapest, next moved to Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia. I learned a lot about myself and the life of a digital nomad… but this is a topic for separate article ;).

I have to say that I’m not a sporty type and I always avoided my PE classes at school. As an introvert I hated perspective of playing team games and be exposed to bigger crowd of people. But one of my favorite activities is cycling. I used to use a bike as a mean of transportation. I love freedom and a unique perspective that bike gives me. But since Porto is not a great city for cyclists, i had to come up with other idea. I focused on short workout routines and started to run 3 times a week. I feel stronger and happier than ever.

I feel like my journey has just began and I am very excited what 2019 will bring. There is so many things I want to do. I am sure this year will be even better than the one before!


Hi, my name is Magdalena. Freelance graphic designer with a passion for creative thinking, travels and coffee. I'm inspired by new challenges and every day life. I observe, read and listen. That's how I learn and gain experience to use it in my works.

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