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freelancing work advice

Explorer ,
Mar 18, 2023 Mar 18, 2023

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This is not related to any community but i have no otpion left in life but freelancing. But, there is much competition among freelancers as well. I want to know which adobe app should i master with which i can earn my basic needs BUT WITH VERY MUCH LESS COMPETITION. I mean when a job is posted on freelancing sites within 4 minutes there are 50 proposals. So, i want to master that adobe APP which has very less competition

thank you

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Mar 19, 2023 Mar 19, 2023

I going to go further on this than the prior answers, and not in a happy way.

 

Super short version: There is no such thing as freelancing in the graphics and publication market any more. It's a very longstanding traditional niche that has simply disappeared for a number of reasons. Don't waste time trying to get into it... especially if your motivation/qualification is that you happen to have an Adobe Suite subscription.

 

Let's start with that. First, examine the statement the tool is not the

...

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Community Expert , Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

You asked “which adobe app should i master with which i can earn my basic needs” with less competition. The answer is that isn’t the real question, because it is usually not about one app, it’s about production in general.

 

For example, InDesign and the others are just tools, like in a toolbox. No one uses only a hammer or only a screwdriver. What the professionals do is use the correct combination of tools in the most efficient sequence to meet the project requirements on time.

 

In the same w

...

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Community Expert ,
Mar 18, 2023 Mar 18, 2023

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Hi @hardcore_gamer29,

Setting up your shop for freelancing takes time. In today's times with so many skilled people looking towards freelancing there is nothing like less competition and that too in popular softwares like Adobe's. I would suggest you should start bidding even if you have to quote less, once you land some gigs deliver quality work, get testimonials, and slowly but surely you would start getting steady work. Do whatever you want to do not what someone on a public forum suggests, tap into your strong areas. Also, search multiple avenues for work not just single website. Goodluck

-Manan

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Community Expert ,
Mar 19, 2023 Mar 19, 2023

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Just learning how to use whatever app is not sufficient for getting jobs. You need to have the skills needed to work in that field at all. I found this thread because you asked (in another thread) which app to use for resizing images.

You need to take your time and learn all this stuff. How to get work into production and what is needed in a prepress file (or for web production). If you cannot handle it on your own (there are so many things you need to know in order to not get sued by your clients because of print jobs going wrong), do not work freelance.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 19, 2023 Mar 19, 2023

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I going to go further on this than the prior answers, and not in a happy way.

 

Super short version: There is no such thing as freelancing in the graphics and publication market any more. It's a very longstanding traditional niche that has simply disappeared for a number of reasons. Don't waste time trying to get into it... especially if your motivation/qualification is that you happen to have an Adobe Suite subscription.

 

Let's start with that. First, examine the statement the tool is not the task until you understand it. No amount of mastery of a tool — and I mean mostly software tools here, so let's focus on that — gives actual mastery of any task you perform with it. There has been a long, slow curve of actual skill declining in the face of expert button-pushing, and I can think of few more on-point examples than InDesign itself. Super-mastery of the tool doesn't give you one whit of artistic insight, esthetics, design experience or any of the other traditional components of design and publication development. (Here's my touchstone example: there are millions upon millions of extremely expert Word users, with certifications and training and so forth. What microscopic percentage of them are best-selling authors, or even successful published writers at all?)

 

And it's clear you're a newcomer, still learning the ropes, so unless you're a brilliant designer who just happened to come around to InDesign, you've got a long way to go before you have skills much worth selling.

 

So let's turn to that. Until fairly recently — maybe a decade ago — journeyman skill with any publication tool (even Word) was enough to get jobs and commissions to turn piles of stuff into books and magazines and brochures and PDFs and web pages. But now... the market is so beyond grossly oversaturated that only those pros who have a long-established reputation and client list are paying the rent. And many of those have watched their business slowly shrink, because very few new clients are coming their way despite their "star power" and reputation.

 

Those who are new to the game and may have basic mastery of ID and Photoshop and Illustrator can get into the game with absolutely no hurdle... you don't even need an office, a phone line and a business card any more. Just list on Fiverr or UpWork or any other "hire me" site, down to Craigslist, and away you go...

 

...nowhere. Because every one of those sites already has very, very established workers with all the stars and ratings and prior client upvotes and recommendations. Lots of them. And most people who have a book or a business project or an event banner to be produced are naturally going to tend to those established names over either the "rising stars" or the uncountable newcomers. So it's a self-perpetuating cycle, as many such "service" niches become.

 

And yes, the rising ones and the newcomers do get clients... by essentially giving their work away. Doing jobs for such low rates, and putting up with clients more established workers would pass on or drop jobs (the kind who understand nothing about the work and want major change after major change, for example), and even after a year of that, still having such low overall ratings it's a scramble to land each new client.

 

And then... even that tier is battling against the overseas contingent, mostly in India, who will do yet bigger jobs yet cheaper, down to something like "I'll pay you to let me do this job" — so the contingent of clients looking for cheap, with no real idea what this work really costs on a quality level (or with someone who has, say, adequate English or grasp of a production's audience) go to them, and some never even recognize what crappy work they got for their time and money.

 

So the whole idea of doing freelance graphics, publishing, web services, etc. is as drowned as the Titanic's ballroom. To dive in and expect anything like success means you'll likely drown, too.

 

Either master InDesign and its associated tools (although over in the Photoshop forum, it would be the other way around) for your own reasons and projects, and make your name and money from those results (e.g. a book on something you wrote and published, rather than a book you did for a client)... or reach a level of technical mastery and basic design skills that will get you hired by a company that uses that skill set.

 

But freelancing, just because you have the apps, is something that died out about the time of the first-gen Macs. And freelancing, just because you have the skills, has become such a commodity item that you might as well be a kernel of corn trying to get hired to become a corn flake.

 

(My basis for saying the above? About 40 years of doing it, as corporate lackey, high-priced consultant, contract designer, and gunslingin' freelancer, in every mix possible and with all the tools that have evolved over that time... and someone who has simply given up on the contract-work sites because I, too, am crushed between the established ranks and the endless tide of day laborers. I find all of my work through word of mouth and corporate postings, and wish I could go back to the challenging, fun "freelance" days. But they no longer exist, for any of us that don't already have five stars on UpWork.)

 

The good news is that you've found the single best place to help guide you to professional mastery of ID and the other tools. Welcome; ask all the good, focused questions you will have. It's why we're all here.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Explorer ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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Do i need to leaen illustrator if i want to work in indesign xd etc.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 20, 2023 Mar 20, 2023

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Strictly speaking no the apps have no dependencies. Having said that different applications serve different purpose and one app could produce asset that can be consumed by the other. So there is no yes or no answer here, identify the needs, figure out the tools that would be needed to create the pieces for the solution and then put it together.

-Manan

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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But as a practical matter you will need basic Illustrator skills at a minimum.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Do i need to leaen illustrator if i want to work in indesign xd etc.


By @hardcore_gamer29

 

That completely depends on what exactly you want to do with InDesign. Do you have any idea what that could be?

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Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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i want to do every task client demands like i see in job postings someone says vectorize my raster image, then someone says remove background from my image, someone says adjust the pixels of image and reduce it, someone says create business card to printable format etc. So, i guess i will have to learn everything. all i have till now done is adobe acrobat pro dc and every other app i need to learn. Also, i want to do 2d animation porject, so i guess will learn adobe animate as well.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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i want to do every task client demands like i see in job postings someone says vectorize my raster image, then someone says remove background from my image, someone says adjust the pixels of image and reduce it, someone says create business card to printable format etc. So, i guess i will have to learn everything. all i have till now done is adobe acrobat pro dc and every other app i need to learn. Also, i want to do 2d animation porject, so i guess will learn adobe animate as well.


By @hardcore_gamer29

 

These job desriptions need Illustrator and Photoshop. But really those are not well paying jobs, because the software can produce pretty good results with removing background or vectorizing images.

 

You need to learn the business not which buttons to press in order to fulfill certain low level tasks, which many prospective clients can do on their own using tools such as Adobe Express and the templates that come with it. You want to have a sustainable job, right? Then don't aim at those jobs.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Nobody does everything. Find what you enjoy and focus on that.

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Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Supposeiwant to do 2d animation. Dont i have to learnillustrator 1stto make cartoon then import in adobe animate?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Generally speaking, you want good skills in both Photoshop and Illustrator pretty much no matter what other tools you use, or for what purpose. Even doing high-end video work in Premiere and AfterEffects can use strong Photoshop skills to create and modify images for that purpose, using a stronger tool set.

 

Most of the newer tools for animation, 3D and "quick video" are designed to be fairly streamlined, to let someone "just" do web animation, or 3D modeling, or the like, and they thus don't have a full set of  more basic tools, filters, abilities. So you might want to do something that's just a little too much for Animate, and need Illo or PS to build better component graphics for it. And so forth.

 

So yep, spend time coming up to at least basically solid skills in those two tools no matter what else your focus. It will pay off, especially when you run into competitors (or clients) who made that basic mistake I noted above — taking the tool for the task — and can't go past the limits of these newer, fairly constricted apps.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Contributor ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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With this desire, you seek to become an artist. You should learn basic illustration skills and how that is replicated in software, and then you will want to learn how to rig your artwork for animation. Youtube is a great resource to find some workflows and you will see how others work too.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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i want to do every task client demands like i see in job postings someone says vectorize my raster image, then someone says remove background from my image, someone says adjust the pixels of image…

By @hardcore_gamer29

 

Many of those simple tasks are rapidly becoming things that a phone app can do with AI, so the long-term prospect of being paid for such low-level work is not good. Adobe already has apps that can remove a background in one click, and Apple built background removal into the latest versions of iOS and macOS (no app is even needed). There is already no need to pay anyone for that unless it is a difficult image. To be able to make good money will definitely require learning how to do much more complex projects than that.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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All true, but those narrow tasks have only been "jobs" because they did take specialized skills and tools to execute. You're right in that no one (much) is going to hire anyone to do a task their smartcamera can do in two clicks now.

 

But... even the best of those automated filters and such have their limits. Mastering the more powerful tools so you can fix things a pocket device can't, not necessarily as a job in itself but as a step in an overall professional effort, is a valuable asset.

 

I'm surely not alone in that I've picked up a lot of spare change and kudos doing things that "any secretary can do, now" — as long as they were within the scope of the E-Z apps. 🙂

 

And being able to improve, say, a company HQ building shot just as a quick side effort to a brochure or web site helps improve the recommendation level.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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It's possible to do many things in each app, without any support or use of the others. A photographer, for example, might never have any use for InDesign and Illustrator. A graphic artist might work almost entirely in Illustrator with Photoshop for some backup tasks. (Or vice-versa.) A publication designer might work in InDesign and find the basic image and vector tools enough that the other two apps are never needed.

 

But in practical terms, reasonable mastery of InDesign to produce "publications" from sales cards to books is best supported with some ability to use Illustrator (to create and modify vector graphics and illustrations, to a greater degree than ID's very simple tools), and even more so Photoshop, since most publications will have image and raster files that need preparation, scaling, touching up, composing, etc.

 

For most of us, it's a triad, but everyone leans on each of the three legs a little differently.

 


| Word & InDesign to Kindle & EPUB: a Pro Guide (Amazon)

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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You asked “which adobe app should i master with which i can earn my basic needs” with less competition. The answer is that isn’t the real question, because it is usually not about one app, it’s about production in general.

 

For example, InDesign and the others are just tools, like in a toolbox. No one uses only a hammer or only a screwdriver. What the professionals do is use the correct combination of tools in the most efficient sequence to meet the project requirements on time.

 

In the same way, learning a single app is often not enough. If you are hired to produce a job in InDesign, and you are an InDesign expert, that is great, you can lay out pages. But those pages usually need images and graphics. To produce the images correctly, you should know Photoshop well enough. To do the graphics correctly, you should know Illustrator. If they ask you to adapt the same graphics for social media, you should know Adobe Express, and maybe a little about animation. So to be better than your competition, you would need to understand the overall production requirements and how multiple apps need to be coordinated within it.

 

Then there is the question of meeting job requirements. Now you need to know whether your InDesign job is for print, or online, or what. Because you must set up InDesign differently depending on whether the job will be printed on a press, downloadable as a PDF file, or viewable as an EPUB document. Each of those uses different units of measure, different color models, etc. So your expertise must extend beyond the software and cover production knowledge in general. For example, if you become expert at how PDF production works, you could build a PDF book by combining InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator, but you can use the same knowledge to also do it using similar applications from other companies.

 

So don’t get trapped into thinking it’s only about a single “best” Adobe app. It is not about any one app from any specific company. It is about being able to deliver a finished product using whatever combination of tools is required to meet production requirements for a specific delivery medium.

 

And, I agree that freelancing in this area is more difficult than ever, first given low-cost international competition, and now AI might soon do the most basic jobs (look at what Adobe is starting to do in InDesign with the new AI-driven Auto Style feature).

 

Another thing...some freelancers became more successful because they developed better skills for marketing and selling their services. It set them apart from the freelancers who only know how to use software.

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Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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thanks thats why i am thinking of mastering seversal apps not just one but could you guide me which app should i start with? inw hich order should i start ? illustrator--photoshop--indesign--adobe xd--dreamweaver--premier pro--after effects--animate--character animator--audition?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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The way you want to do this is by delivery medium.

Here are some suggested paths for desktop apps.

 

For photography:

Photoshop/Camera Raw, then Bridge. Maybe Lightroom or Lightroom Classic.

 

For vector graphics:

Illustrator, XD

 

For multiple-page layout and graphic design:

InDesign, then Photoshop, then Illustrator, and Bridge

 

For video editing:

Premiere Pro, then Audition, Media Encoder, After Effects, and Bridge

 

For visual effects/animation:

After Effects/Animate, then Character Animator, Bridge

 

For web/mobile graphics:

XD, then Photoshop/Illustrator, Animate

(Study Dreamweaver only if you are going to hand-code web sites, which almost no designers do any more)

 

For 3D:

Substance 3D apps

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Explorer ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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thanks alot for all this . Also, can you tell how would i know which app could be used for particular work like if i get work to create a 4x6 label, how would i know which app to use? is there any site which states all this??

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Community Expert ,
Mar 21, 2023 Mar 21, 2023

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Both Indesign and Illustrator are well suited to label work, and which you choose would depend on how cofortable you are with each one and if there is complex vector art to be created as part of the design (which is easier in Illustrator).

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