Kaleb Norman James Design

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. 03: Uncommon Collaboration - Taco Tuesday

Taco Tuesday 2
Taco Tuesday 2

“When people chase what they love, they will inevitably seek out and immerse themselves in knowledge flows, drinking deeply from new creative wells even as they contribute their own experiences and insights along the way.” ― John Seely Brown, The Power of Pull

Our fish taco collaboration was decided upon because we had some fish leftover from another client shoot. Unfortunately, by the time we got around to using the fish the freezer had attacked it. Let me just take a second here to highlight how wonderful it is to collaborate with people who are not easily frustrated or stumped when facing challenges. The team immediately engaged a new plan and was able to find some fresh fish at a nearby market.

Taco Tuesday 3
Taco Tuesday 3

In addition to being well networked, active on social media, and flexible, our collaborations seek to include individuals from different fields of expertise. This diversity is encouraged in Steven Johnson's book "Where Good Ideas Comes From":

"The entrepreneurs who built bridges outside of their islands were able to borrow or co-opt new ideas from these external environments and put them to use in a new context." - Steven Johnson, Where Great Ideas Come From

Taco Tuesday 4
Taco Tuesday 4

By bringing together people from different industries we are able to not only challenge and encourage each other, we are also able to share edge ideas from our unique fields which others might be able to adapt to their own businesses. Our collaborators exchange information around marketing, technology, photography, video, and so much more! This free exchange of information is fostered by the fact we each have the mindset that we are hustling to put Seattle on the creative map. So the next time you meet someone from a different industry, see them through the lens of connections, there is treasure hidden in the person who stands before you. Also, I would encourage you to not be reluctant sharing ideas and information. Don't be fearful of competition, because the way I see it, the more you give the more you grow.

"But that secrecy, as we have seen, comes with great cost. Protecting ideas from copycats and competitors also protects them from other ideas that might improve them, might transform them from hints and hunches to true innovations. " - Steven Johnson, Where Great Ideas Come From

CollaboratorsMatt Broussard: @acooknamedmatt (Taco Creator!)Josiah Michael: @josiahmichael (Taco Tuesday Photographer)Kaleb Norman James: @kalebnormanjames (Tablescape Design)Esther Maria Swaty: @uncommoncartography (Collaboration Producer)Sarah Flotard: @sflotard (Guest/Food photographer)Megan Little: @meganmlittle (Guest/Fashion blogger)C. Wells Style: @cwellsstyle (Guest /Fashion blogger)Lauren Caron: @laurenlcaron (Guest/Interior designer)

BrandsVoss: @vossworld (used in Lemongrass Tempura Cod Taco Recipe)World Market: @worldmarket (table setting) Original New York Seltzer: @originalnewyorkseltzer (on the table)

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 product story and showcase it in a compelling way.