At Safrea we love to get to know our fellow freelancers and who better to meet than the two winners of the recent Safrea Rates Survey. They were randomly selected from all the participants of the survey and won a year’s free Safrea membership. Let’s introduce Suzani van der Merwe this month.
Describe yourself in two sentences.
A logical thinker with a love for narrative illustration, calm colours and simple layouts. I love what I do, although I love my dog and the sea more.
Please tell us more about what you do and how long you’ve been a freelancer.
I am a designer and illustrator, working in the digital space across advertising, branding, and UI design. I started off freelancing on the side (as all designers do!) to supplement my sad junior designer salary in 2014, and haven’t looked back since!
What does a day in your life look like? Where/how do you find inspiration?
I am not a morning person in the slightest, so I have a chilled wake up; go for a run or walk with my dog, and then start working around 09:00. I usually log off at 18:30, and take my dog for another walk (rain or shine, light or dark outside) – Wolfie is the only thing that gets me out of the house these days! I get inspiration from nature; having Table Mountain and the sea as my backyard definitely helps. I also get inspired by the work of others; browsing photographs, art and illustration on Instagram or Behance. Some of my favourites are James Gilleard, Casey Weldon, and Studio Muti.
What advice do you have for other freelancers?
Learn when to say no. You’re allowed to say no! And take a break.
Why did you participate in the Safrea Rates Survey?
I am always eager to build and add to our industry, and have found a lot of value in the Safrea Rates Guide in the past, so this was an easy way to give a little back.
What is your work/life motto?
Be kind! View things in context, always stay calm, and help where you can