Lessons I Learned from Taking on a Last Minute Project
When I saw the ping from Apple in my inbox that said “Time-Sensitive Inquiry” I was SHOOK. Not only because Apple was on my dream client list and I didn’t expect to achieve it soon, but because I already had around 8 projects on my plate and I had no clue how I was going to get everything done. But one thing I definitely knew was that I could not say no to Apple!
The project included creating 3 static illustrated quotes and1 animation to promote Glory Edim’s book, Well Read Black Girl . All of the assets were displayed on the Apple Books App and the Apple Books Instagram page. Since the project was so last minute I didn’t even make sketches, instead I went straight to final artwork and hoped for the best. And since Apple is on the west coast and I’m on the east, lots of same day revisions were made in order to meet their deadlines.
There’s definitely some things I would change about these pieces, but I’m pretty happy about how everything turned out. Here’s a few things I did to stay sane / learned while working on this last minute project:
Breath & don’t freak the fuck out: Which is generally pretty hard for me because I tend to let my mind travel and think about all of the things that could possibly go wrong. Once I reeled myself in and jotted down an action plan, I realized that I could get everything done in time and all would be well. Whenever I’m in a freak out I ask myself “Whats really the worst thing that can happen?” My answer is always something that’s minimal in the grand scheme of things, which always motivates me to keep pushin’.
Forget about the rest of the world and cut out distractions: I ditched Instagram, stopped texting memes back and forth with my friends and really just zoned in. I was able to get into a nice flow and the stress slowly started to melt away. Focusing on only a few things at a time helped me out tremendously and reminded me to just do one task at a time.
Only take on projects your 100% passionate about: This has been a reoccurring lesson that I‘ve been learning the past few months of freelancing. I’ve learned that if it’s not a “hell yes!” then its a “hell no”. Meaning, If I’m not genuinely excited/interested in a project or I’m just doing it just because, then I shouldn’t take it on. If I would’ve followed this principle, I wouldn’t have had to juggle multiple other projects that I really wasn’t passionate about while trying to do my very best for a dream client. It ultimately made me feel a sense of resentment and the work and my mental health ended up taking a hit. It’s not fair for anyone.
Book Cover by Alex Bowman
All in all, don’t take on last-minute projects unless it’s absolutely worth it. For an average project I normally don’t take anything with a lead time less than 2-3 weeks, but always do what works best for you and your process.
Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.