Quite often creative professionals choose to work independently and continuously look for ways to innovatively showcase their craft. Popular perception sees them as Freelancers or Independent (Indie) professionals, referred interchangeably. But are Freelancers same as Indie creatives? For those who might say, “It’s all the same!” I would humbly like to submit that there’s a marked difference between the two in the way they use their creativity.
Indie artists are not just creative wizards but also a strong personal brand by themselves. They are entrepreneurs. They hold a powerful vision of personal achievement for their art. They proactively invest their time, effort and money in creating a body of work that sets them apart from their contemporaries. Indie professionals have their own style of operation and most often their clients’ inputs are purely restricted to the final outcome. Freelancers on the other hand are technical experts in their fields. The thrust of their efforts is on applying the skills they have acquired on solving specific job requirements of their clients. They have a strong bent of mind towards being service providers.
Indie phenomenon majorly owes its roots to the field of music where individual musicians went out to create tunes that got accepted and loved by masses across the world. Bob Marley, Bryan Adams, Dr. MS Subbalakshmi, A R Rahman, are some of the most popular indie musicians.
Indie as a genre of profession has also extended in photography. Noted Independent Photographers like Murad Osman, Brandon Stanton, Esther Havens and many others have made a dent with their unique way of doing their craft.
Demand Creators and Demand Chasers
In the present day of digital space, independent and freelance professionals can be readily found, if you know where to look. And that is another factor that sets them apart. Indie professionals are demand creators. Some of the most awesome photography projects, tech products, music scores and service ideas have come from these indie entrepreneurs. Indie professionals, as they indulge in unique and amazing creations, are often found on crowdfunding platforms, exhibition halls, expos where they promote their work to garner recognition, expand network and raise funds to support their work.
Freelancers on the other hand are demand chasers. You name it and they will get it done. As there is a constant demand for part-time resources, creative individuals do not hesitate to promote whatever skills they have on the multiple freelancing websites. Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, UpWork, Behance, BananaBandy are the forerunners in the freelance marketplace.
However Boundaries between the two are not cast in stone. An Indie can sometimes work on a freelance project for financial benefit and a freelancer can expand his/her career into a full time enterprise. So, what are you?