Renee - Freelance Graphic Designer

Every once in a while, we love to turn the spotlight onto our wonderful band of freelancers.  This week, we sat down with Tkeyah-Renee Hipplewith, one of our fantastic graphic designers. Let’s hear from her now.


CS – Hi Renee. Thanks for being our Featured Freelancer! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do as a freelancer?

TRH – Hello! My name is Tkeyah-Renee. I’m an artist and writer in the mediums of film, scripts, graphic design and poetry. My dream is to be a film director or a scriptwriter for television. I worked as an extra on films such as Youngers and Mission Impossible. They really helped me develop my artistic scope and eye for detail.

As a freelancer, I’ve lately been working on my own projects, but I am looking for someone to collaborate with in the future.

Although I’m a recent Digital Arts graduate, I’ve always been involved in creative writing. In fact, I studied English Literature during my first year at university in Canada. I’m currently writing my first book, titled Lost In Reverie and also creating some art pieces for an exhibition I hope to hold this year.

My content tends to commentate on social and political issues, such as cultural appropriation, the lack of communication living within an individualistic culture, and being part of a generation that has values closely associated with an online presence (such as my art piece Young Love).

I have also created a number of short films and documentaries. One of these was Don’t Say The S Word, shedding light on the increasing number of young women suffering from anxiety or depression. The ‘S’ word, in this case, is ‘sad’. ‘Sad’ devalues the magnitude of the disorder to one emotion that doesn’t quantify or summarise the true depths of depression or anxiety.

I hope to share my creative vision and artistry with others and create more exciting projects for different mediums.


CS – Tell us a little bit about your career. How did you end up doing what you do?

TRH – Despite being a recent Digital Art graduate, I’ve always been interested in art and writing. When I was younger, I would create comic strips, have impromptu photoshoots with my friends and make short comedy skits. I would always add visual art pieces to my school homework so that I could include my cartoons.

However, after studying Media at school, I started to realise my passion for film a bit more. This led me to take the editorial and directorial roles in school projects where I could use my skills in graphic design, scripting and videography. I’m new to the freelance world, but I’m always grabbing whatever opportunities come my way.


CS – What part of your job do you enjoy the most?

TRH – When I worked in retail or office-based jobs, I knew what to expect every day and didn’t feel like I was using any of my skills. Freelance work allows me to feel more stimulated as I can use my knowledge and creative flair.


CS – Now’s the chance to sell yourself. What is your main area of expertise?

TRH – My three main areas of expertise are film, graphics and writing. I’m proficient in Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter, which help me with graphic design.

I film my short films on Nikon and Canon cameras and edit on Final Cut Pro and Premiere. If you’d like to see some examples, please get in touch.

I’m also a writer for informative and entertainment purposes. This includes creating presentations for brands and providing blog content for businesses.


CS – Describe your ideal client? Who would you love to hire you on Crowdskills?

TRH – My ideal client would be someone who isn’t afraid to consider new avenues in order to create original and innovative projects that serve their intended purpose. I also like someone who is able to give me a good sense of what their brand is, so I can ensure the work I create is suited for them.

I’m open to anyone with the same drive and passion to create quality content because it’s a working relationship that provides growth and insight for both parties.


CS – What’s been the best moment of your freelance career so far?

TRH – I made an art piece titled ‘My Seed’ and wrote a poem, ‘Drown’. They were showcased at bus stops around London as part of the London Loop contest 2018. My poem received enough votes to get to the finals. That was an amazing experience. Being able to see something I had written create and inspire dialogues amongst others was a pivotal moment for me. I was also an opportunity to connect and reach out towards more people with my content and realise the potential I have in regards to my artwork.


CS – What’s your favourite part about the freelance lifestyle?

TRH – As I mostly work on my own projects, I get to be in charge of my own routine. I also have the freedom to commentate on things that are important to me in life through art.


CS – How do you avoid getting distracted as a freelancer?

TRH – It’s all about balance. I used to work in full-time retail jobs that left me feeling uninspired and unsure of my next step career-wise. It did lead me to be more disciplined in regards to my art, however, because I had a taste of what life would be like if I didn’t pursue what I wanted to do. I scaled down to part-time to give myself more freedom to be creative and pursue my real passion for writing and creating graphic content.

I keep a notepad with me at all times to keep track of my ideas. But in all honesty, keeping my end goal in mind is what keeps me focused. It’s about using my time sufficiently to achieve my set targets.


CS – What advice would you give someone starting out in your industry?

TRH – Don’t feel disheartened from going down the creative path, as everyone’s journey is different and there is no direct route.

I’ve found that indulging myself in art sessions in the evenings helps to ensure I’m still creating something, even if it’s only a brainstorm. If I’m having a bad day, I try to use that as a tool for inspiration. I find it adds a sense of authenticity as I’m not censored in my approach when it’s fresh.

I understand that you don’t always have creative freedom when you’re freelancing for a client, but if you keep your goal in mind and build a brand and a portfolio, opportunities and clients come your way.

Go to networking events (such as Fusion). Enter art competitions. Meet other people like yourself who motivate you to stay on track.

At the end of the day though, it’s all up to you to determine what kind of route you want to go down depending on your areas of expertise. The passion you have for your craft is what will fuel you.


CS – Finally, that’s enough about work. Let’s find out more about YOU. What do you like to do when you’re not working?

TRH – In my free time, I hang out with my friends and do activities like movie nights, cooking and travelling when possible. I carry my notepad on long journeys so I can write down my thoughts for poems.

Music helps me focus. Jhene Aiko – Trip and Joyner Lucas – 508-507-2209 are currently my go-to albums.

I’m also lucky to have quite a few artistic friends, so it’s nice to sit down and have art sessions together. It helps us support each other and produce more content.

My guilty pleasures are thinking I can speak to cats and watching Love Island.

I’d like to end with one of my favourite quotes for those times when being a freelancer is tough: ‘Stay strong through your pain, grow flowers from it.’ – Rupi Kaur.

If you would like to work with Renee or any of our other great freelancers, post your job here.

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