Entering a career in graphic design, web design, photography, styling or any other competitive visual design market is tough. It seems like no matter what you quote on a project there is someone's nephew designing out of his basement willing to do it for half and (on the flip side) a designer that you went to school with who barely passed and has very little in the way of designs skills who seems to schmooze clients into paying them twice what their work is worth.
There's also the strange relationship you develop with your colleagues and peers. We all love to complain about the lack of talent in our city and long for a richer creative environment where our talents would be welcomed, appreciated and nurtured (maybe New York?). However, just below the surface of the support you have for your talented friends is an ugly competitive envy and a disbelief that somehow you weren't chosen to design that website or develop that brand identity (after all, my friends are great, but aren't I just a little bit greater?).
And then there is the client. The last reinforced steel wall between you and finally creating the earth shatteringly beautiful award winning design you know you're capable of. Some of us are lucky enough to have a few dream clients in our portfolio who appreciate our professional expertise and cut cheques for it, but we've also all crossed paths with a design anti-christ, who pays poorly, micro manages heavily, and won't stop questioning your abilities until you've consider parachuteless base jumping. Knowing this torment is perhaps the glue that binds the design community together best. We all have felt marginalized, under appreciated, and helpless but at least when we talk about these hardships with our peers we realize we aren't alone.
Here are a few videos and links that help us visual freelancers get by when it all seems to be going Pete Tong. And for the record, no matter how difficult some of my early professional experiences may have been, there isn't a day that I go into work that I'm not overwhelmingly happy about the work I do and the people I work with.
Also check these links out for more hilarity: