Image by Tommy Slack
Freelancing is a word with strong connotations – one that evokes a slew of adjectives: independent, creative, tech-savvy, flexible, socially aware, future-proofed, skilful, industrious. For some, however, freelancing evokes less positive connotations: lonely, overworked, lonely, underpaid, lonely, outsourced, lonely. We call those people freelancers. They love their jobs but they hate them too. In that respect, they’re just like the rest of us.
In the past, everyone was a freelancer, from the village blacksmith to the village wench. In the future, freelancing will once again be the norm, only there’ll be no such thing as freelancing: it’ll just be called working. For now though, most of us are obliged to fulfil set hours from a grey cubicle because employers don’t like change – especially middle management, who would become redundant if 90% of the workforce were to relocate to the home office. And that would be a tragedy.
Taking the free out of freelancing
Anyone can become a freelancer, but only an elite few can become so ridiculously good at freelancing as to inspire an EU article on the subject. Here’s a selection of Scottish freelancers who paint things, draw things and make things but mostly just kick ass. Find them, love them, use them.
Craig is a graphic designer who knows more about pantones, rasterizing and kerning than you or I ever will. That’s all there is to say on the matter. Actually, there probably is some other stuff worth mentioning, like his skills (logo design, business cards,
flyers, posters, web design) and his style (clean, contemporary, slick, dynamic plus a few other buzzwords). Having recently escaped Aberdeenshire, Craig is now based near the Scottish Borders but works with clients all over the world because Internet.
Recent work includes the Ed Uncovered logo (that pretty blue thing at the top of the page) and business cards/logo for Jook Productions. Craig’s shooping skills have also made him the go-to guy when Ed Uncovered gets bored at work. When he’s not designing stuff, Craig rattles a mountainbike downhill at stupidly fast speeds cos freelancers are a crazy bunch yo.
After taking time out to travel Australasia, Tommy Slack returned to Edinburgh armed with an SLR and a plan. He’s stuck to the plan ever since, with his trusty SLR helping him meet some musical heroes along the way, including Wu-Tang Clan and Ben E. King. Tommy also attained second place in the Scottish Music Photography Awards, with one image receiving an Honourable Mention – technical speak for ‘it rocked hard’.
How does the Edinburgh photographer-turned-filmmaker capture such stunning compositions? It could be his ability to combine white balance, shutter speed and focus to devastating effect, but that would be deromanticising the artistic process. His pics and videos look better than anything us mortals could muster. That’s why he does this stuff for a living and we stick to playing with Instagram filters.
ZA Productions (Stuart Jackson)
ZA is the work of Stuart Jackson, music producer, video producer and All Round Talented Person. He plays and produces music for Bang Dirty, alongside MOG and Adam Holmes, whose debut album Everyone Out amassed critical acclaim and a ton of downloads. Stuart recently bagged a Scottish BAFTA for his soundtrack work on BBC 2 documentary Everybody’s Child, which complemented a Scottish New Music Award for ZA-produced ‘urban’ track A Declaration.
Commercially (i.e for cold hard cash), ZA Productions record music and create videos that are pretty special. How special? Hit one of them play buttons below and decide for yourself. The trick to creating music this [Insert superlative of your choosing] is to combine high-grade studio gear with an ear for audio excellence. If you want a more technical description, speak to someone who actually knows about that stuff. Like Stuart Jackson.
Allana is a photographer with a knack for releasing the shutter at the perfect moment. That’s why her portrait and nature shots look so crisp and so goddamn pretty. While her macro pics are impressive, we love Allana best for the work she’s done with Ed Uncovered – like the nightmarish Billy Talent doll or the alcohol abuse in How To Get Drunk With Your Mouth Shut. It’s fun, it’s creative and it adds a whole new dimension to Ed Uncovered. More prettiness from the Edinburgh photographer can be found here.
It may look like doodles, but El Mugid’s Posca pen creations are art. Art masquerading as doodles. But the doodles of a
deranged unique mind – one with a penchant for eyes, squiggles and eyes. El Mugid’s rep has been spreading fast since designing custom guitars for Scroobius Pip and Dub FX (check the vid below for evi). The Edinburgh-based artist draws on clocks, walls and art installations in nightclubs and at festivals as well as sketching shapes with The Too Much Fun Club. If it’ll tolerate a permanent marker, El Mugid will take a Posca to its features and leave it nursing a chimeric pus that could raise the dead.
Fresh Lab Visual is the product of Stuz Leel, a videographer with a love for mountain biking. Not surprisingly, his best work features downhill bikers doing the stuff that downhillers do best: breaking bones and hang-time records. FLV’s work has featured on major sites including Vital MTB and Dirt Magazine. The Aberdeen-based freelancer also creates less adrenaline-charged videography however, so feel free to hire Stuz to film your Village Bake Sale. Check the video of the 2013 Downhill World Cup to see why Fresh Lab Visual is so fresh and, well, visual.
Everyone was a freelancer before capitalism was invented.
— EU (@whisperednothin) September 10, 2013