June 15, 2024

The Un-Ordinary: An Anti-Gatekeeping Series on Freelancing (Featuring Grace Perdana Mulia)

Meet GPM.

Indonesian roots, Singaporean experience - GPM is a graphic designer and illustrator leaving my artistic mark on the world. From logos that pop to captivating illustrations and sharp website layouts, she bring passion to making your ideas visually stunning.

What's the craziest design request you've ever received?

I once had someone hit me up for a full branding design, like logos, packaging design, and more. But they were working with a budget of just 10 bucks! Definitely a head-scratcher!

What do you do when you get stuck creatively?

When I get stuck creatively, I usually mix things up a bit. Changing my environment helps a lot—like going to a cafe or taking a walk. Sometimes just chatting with friends and families about the project can spark something new. If I'm still feeling blocked, I might switch gears and work on something else for a while, or set some random constraints to challenge myself. Taking a break and clearing my head, whether it's through exercise or a quick nap, also does wonders. It's all about finding what shakes things up and gets the ideas flowing again :)

If you could design a new emoji, what would it be?

This is such a fun question!! I'd love to design a "Time Warp" emoji. It could feature a clock with swirling colours around it, symbolising the concept of time travel or the sensation of time flying by. Another idea is a "Ninja Cat" emoji, a ninja cat wearing a black mask and wielding a samurai sword. I think it'd be an adorable concept!

Some of GPM's favorite work

What are the most common forms of gatekeeping you've observed?
How do you think we as a community could change them?

In design circles, gatekeeping often boils down to limited access to expensive tools, a focus on elite education, and the importance placed on extensive professional networks. We can advocate for more affordable tools, acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of designers, and establish networks and mentorship programs that embrace everyone. By championing creativity and problem-solving over traditional credentials and celebrating a variety of design aesthetics, we can chip away at these barriers in a friendly, yet professional way, making the field more inclusive and diverse for all!

What's your greatest pain point in managing your business?

My biggest challenge in managing my design business is balancing creative work with administrative tasks. While I love the creative side of designing, I often get bogged down by time-consuming activities like project management, client communication, invoicing, and staying updated on industry trends. This administrative workload can take away from the time and energy I have for actual design work, affecting both my productivity and creative flow. Finding efficient ways to streamline these tasks and delegating some responsibilities could really help alleviate this issue :).

Find GPM on IG and LinkedIn

"The Un-Ordinary: An Anti-Gatekeeping Series on Freelancing" by Roam.

Roam is the most intuitive business management platform for digital creatives, here to equip creatives with the practical tools and support to streamline their workflows and thrive in business.