Freelance Art Producer Denise Knickerbocker Offers Some Insight on Being an Freelancer.

In an effort to promote the website, we have started Freelance Friday.  The purpose is to promote the freelancers on the site so as to gain more attention for them and the others trying to get hired.  So, from now on, when a freelancer on the site provides us with a blog post, we will promote it on a Friday. 

Today, we are featuring Denise Knickerbocker.  Denise is a good friend of ours and has her own profile over on with more information pertaining to her career, experience, and availability.

DKHow long have you been freelance?
I started freelancing in 2003 in San Francisco at McCann Erickson after a 5 year staff position with  Leagas Delaney where I got my first exposure into the world of Art Production working on Adidas and Virgin Mobile.    I signed on for another incredible full-time opportunity in 2007 as Department Head at Eleven Inc. in San Francisco but missed production and decided to step back into the world of freelance in 2009 which is ongoing today.

What made you decide to choose freelance?
The Managing Director of my first agency had taken over as the new Managing Director at McCann Ericsson and recruited me to freelance there for 3 months which became the seed that started it all.  I loved meeting new people and jumping right in on projects and focusing on what I love to do which is Art Producing.  

As a freelancer, you see the inside of many different agencies. What one thing do think they should consider changing?
I would highly recommend that agencies have a dedicated person who can spend time in the first day thoroughly going through that agencies procedures, access to conference rooms, staff introductions and their computer / billing systems and policies.   Usually it is a run and gun situation when coming in as a freelancer which is fine–you figure it out–but if they can have someone walk you through those processes it makes a huge difference.

What do you think a freelancer brings to an agency that a person on staff may not otherwise be able to provide?
Fresh perspective of things within agencies that work well and things that they may want to revisit.   We also bring renewed energy, ideas and social and industry connections within the market which is always cool and fun.     Our industry has so many amazing people with a variety of personal and professional talents which brings a diverse and interesting mix of art, ideas, and culture to our industry.

What advice do you have for someone just entering the freelance world?
Reach out and connect with other freelancers to get the lay of the land, rates, challenges, resources, i.e.   Freelancers Unions, etc.    Be sure to get the 4-1-1 and structure on the acct. and creative teams once you start as well as the clients whom you will be working with to get a better understanding of logistics and who to go to for answers.    Also find out the billing structure for the agency, advances, payments, setting up vendors, etc. especially if it is a large multi-agency company.

Thank you Tim Tadder for the use of your image. Thank you Jimi Stine for help with the post.

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