Danny Owens

Workshop: The New Freelance Economy


I recently had the privilege of hosting a workshop on "The New Freelance Economy" at General Assembly in Seattle. It was a sell-out event, with 100+ RSVP's. The event featured a presentation, a panel which included Kaleb Willis of Kaleb Norman James Design, Danny Owens, and Ankur Kothari of Olive & Goose and audience Q&A. The workshop was geared towards technology/commerce + art. The attendees when surveyed, were an equal split between art and tech. It was great to see all of the interest and anticipation around the topic of the new freelance economy. The workshop was a clear sign of a shift which is taking place in the economy both nationally as well as locally. There is a desire for artists to learn to operate as entrepreneurs, and for technologists to learn to better market their individual brands.

For more details about the event, and a link to the presentation (which includes startup/entrepreneur and marketing/social media resources), please read below.

Event Details

The Freelance Economy is truly booming with two-sided marketplaces providing the platform for freelancers to connect with employers from around the globe.

Join our panel as they share the ins and outs of freelancing: what it means, how to do it part or full-time, how to price yourself, how to develop your portfolio, where to look for potential projects and what it takes to become an independent contractor.

Learn how you can hone your talents, market them to potential clients and communicate your project goals clearly to channel success. The strategies discussed in this event work for programming, design, marketing, writing and many other concentrations.

The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks and networking.


Come away with new ideas and tools that will help you run your freelance business more efficiently and learn how you can always keep your pipeline full of great clients

  • Develop a game plan to begin working in your field independently
  • Better market your services to potential clients
  • Navigate online and offline resources for freelancers
  • Understand key pain points and for freelancers and how to deal with them such as taxes, insurance, and time management

Link To Presentation

No. 01 - Uncommon Collaboration: Matt Broussard and Danny Owens


“We are not our brother’s keeper.. in countless large and small ways we are our brother’s maker.” - Harry and Bonarvo Overstreet, Originals I first met Seattle cook and Instagram influencer, Matt Broussard (@cooknamedmatt), via a comment on Instagram, followed by us inboxing each other that “we should collaborate” at the same moment. When I met Matt a few days later at Elm Coffee Roasters, I appreciated how down to earth he was. Since the meeting, we have worked together on a series of projects, which many of you have seen on Instagram. Now I want to share the story of how these collaborations started and how they continue to evolve. I firmly believe the collaborative model in one that you can apply in your city for greater traction and exposure as artists and entrepreneurs.

Typically, when I first meet an artist or business, I do a quick assessment (many times this happens before even consciously planning to), I look at their appearance, their social media aesthetic, and engagement, as well as their website, and any products they might be offering/selling. I am drawn to problems that need to be solved and collaborating with individuals and companies who are working outside of the mainstream, who are scrappy, who have a product with potential, and who are working their asses off to make their dreams come true (not just waiting for success to come to them).

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Matt I have learned is someone who seriously knows how to hustle. He works long hours at Palace Kitchen before coming home to cook, write recipes and blogs until 2-3am. His work ethic is a great example of dedication and discipline. When I first reviewed his social media and website, I could see that he was consistently producing, which I believe is a crucial key to success. It is somewhat easy to be captured by a spark of inspiration, but to always put out work is a whole different story. Many artists and creatives struggle with the ebb and flow of inspiration, and therefore find it challenging to keep producing and create momentum. When we get producing down to a discipline, the immediate challenge we face is upping our level of excellence (we must produce at an elite level to compete). For many passions are a side hustle, and they have to be careful about the time and financial investments that they make. But the reality is that even though many of us wear multiple hats, there is someone who can either help train us to take what we are producing to the next level or who can partner with us, in a mutually beneficial way, to get to the next plane.

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Now you may be wondering where Danny Owens comes onto the scene?! Danny is a client of mine who is a photographer and creative director. I knew that Danny was looking to do more work in the food industry, and from our discussion, I knew that Matt could use some help with the photography he was creating to go alongside his recipes. I made an intro and set a date to collaborate. A week later we woke Matt up a little earlier than he may have liked, but he whipped up a mouthwatering steak with macadamia butter, fennel, beet cream, chorizo oil. Food is perhaps the best way to begin any new partnership. Stay tuned for more stories about collaboration.

“As people innovate and learn faster, they help to generate new waves of performance improvement for everybody while progressing toward their own higher goals.” - The Power of Pull, John Hagel III

If you need content for your website, social media, or an upcoming product launch please feel free to email me at esther@uncommoncartography.com and I can make sure to connect you with cost efficient resources that will capture your products story and showcase it in a compelling way.

Images By: Esther Maria Swaty and Danny Owens