I am due to graduate my MLA next year, and would like to work full time until Chartership. However, I was thinking I would like to go self-employed in the long term, and would therefore lkke to ask advice. I am in the UK.
1- How does one go about getting clients in Landscape Architecture?
2 – Is remote working possible if you are subcontracting for LA companies? Do many LA companies subcontract at all?
3- Roughly how much money can you make as a freelancer?
I’ll make an attempt at this, although it is U.S. in context and may date back a few years although I’m in contact with more experiences than just my own.
1. The mystery only you can solve. There are various ways, but you could start by asking yourself what you want and then plot how to position yourself best…although once you get some work, it has a tendency to roll in the same direction. So, if you want to tackle residential, you could offer to assist design-build firms and offer to give talks to garden clubs, newcomers, etc. while if you want to work on more various types (industrial, multi-family etc.) and include grading plans, storm drainage, etc. you might contact area architects and engineers for times they are overwhelmed. Even if you aren’t licensed, there may be somebody in the office who can go over your work to be sure it can pass under their seal.
2. This has been done even in the paper hand drawing days, with work carried or mailed in, so it certainly can be offered on line, but will have to be marketed. Once you have some samples, set up a flicker or Land8 portfolio to refer to or at least have some samples to send as attachments to aid in discussions. I don’t think it would be a majority of firms but on the other hand, even one who doesn’t want to go with a full hiring might send you repeat work on an as-needed basis.
3. That is really a matter of luck in pulling in some of the possibilities in 1. or 2. above, and depends on size of project, etc. But if you are still slow because of just starting out, or you can’t tackle what could cause you financial liabilities, you need to not overprice yourself and also learn there is some work to avoid, even when hungry. I think having some other part time income that uses graphic skills would be a support strategy.
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