Future Landscapes
Design, Visualization & Photography

Articles of Interest

This freelancer’s tangentially related musings on the fields of architecture, landscape architecture & urban design. Useful sometimes. Acerbic always.

Other writings: City Blogs / Urban Nature

2018 Annual Report

It’s my MOST FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR—that’s right people—tax time.

Do you dread crunching numbers and calculating everything down to the penny? Well, I love it.

I decided to create a little infographic of this year’s income streams based on the billing data from my accounting software, Freshbooks.

Areas of Growth

Interestingly, nearly all my income came from US-based clients in 2018. More interestingly (for me) is that photography accounts for almost 15% of my yearly income - something I never thought would be possible give my serial denial that I’m a “real” photographer. The monies say something else, I guess.

Areas of Contraction

In spite of the fact that I love doing graphic & web design, this was my smallest stream, primarily because I pursued absolutely nothing related to it in 2018 and just took on what people randomly threw my way (so, in a way, I’m even surprised it counts at all!). I’m not a trained graphic designer and my coding is good but I haven’t found a good flow for getting new clients there. If anything, I’d like to focus on building more Squarespace sites with customized templates, since these don’t turn into the nightmare that is web maintenance after client hand-off *stares at WordPress*

The Moolah

In the spirit of openness and because I believe that transparency for freelancers—especially WOMEN freelancers—is of utmost importance, when you hover over the sections of the graph you’ll see the actual earned income from each portion. The total for 2018 was just under $90,000 CAD, a significant jump from 2017 and 1.6x my previous salary as an employee.

Of course with increased income came increased expenses. This year was a big one for software purchases & camera equipment, with the largest single purchase being my own Lumion 9 Pro license ($4600 CAD :|)

See how it all breaks down below!

 

I prefer being the only woman in the room.

Not much to report for employee growth: I’m pretty attached to my Company of One and have decided not to grow to the point where I would need regular employees. I would, however, love to have more trusted collaborators to lean on when I get overloaded. I think I could work on building such a network in 2019.

2019 Forecast

Clients & Projects:

I’m continuing work with US-based clients and have gained a new client this year already. My biggest news so far is that I won a super awesome project in Toronto together with Perkins + Will - The Meadoway. We’ll be working jointly on a visualization toolkit that will bring the vision of this high-potential space into the public eye before the year is out! That’s not just one of the coolest projects, it’s also my largest contract to date.

I’ve been involved on a few RFP’s with my local partner firm, PWL Partnership Landscape Architects, and I’m looking forward to growing my relationship with the wonderful team over there - particularly if we get any exciting news in the next few days on one of our proposals for a high-profile Vancouver public space :)

Teaching:

It was my first goal of the year to film and release a beginner’s course in landscape visualization, and many of you know that I launched this on Skillshare in February. High fives to me for actually getting this done after only 8 years of thinking and planning. ✋

Other Fun Things:

I wrote an article a few weeks ago and it reminded me that I. Love. Writing. I miss writing. I want to do more writing in 2019. MORE EPIC RANTS! Okay maybe not quite so epic, and probably more business/industry related, but writing - ✔️

Future:

Plans are being set in motion for an autumn move to Berlin. The working aspect of this may include teaching but will also likely involve making some new contacts in the landscape architecture field in the area. No shade to Germany but I’ll be getting in touch with Scandinavian companies first because my style is more compatible with things other than rigid minimalism and a palette of black, white and beige. 🌈

So - that’s it for this report! I hope that any lurking potential freelancers have found this useful and as always, feel free to send a message my way if you have questions.