Another year, another city. At least it feels that way. This year it’s Nottingham and after just a couple of weeks I’ve already fallen in love with the place.
I’m fortunate enough to be living in the heart of Lace Market, a one minute stroll from the Nottingham Contemporary, the Galleries of Justice, the Lace Market Theatre and the Capital FM Arena, there really is no shortage of things to do or culture to take in. I also seem to be surrounded by design agencies, arts colleges and some awesome independent businesses, so it’s perfect for me to continue my career as a freelance designer and meet some new creative folk.
How long I’ll stay remains to be seen
I’m charmed by the attitude of everyone I meet, a complete contrast to London, and equally contrasting is the cost of living. I’m currently shelling out less than 25% living expenses compared to an identical apartment in the center of London. However, I do feel disconnected already. Be it because I’m yet to form a network here or yet to discover my new local, I find myself contemplating the two hour drive down to a friends’ in London most weekends, and much more than I’d anticipated.
Working from home
One of the things I love about being a freelance designer is being able to work from anywhere. I’m one of those people that can sit with a laptop and an internet connection on a busy train and still manage to focus completely on my work, but equally I appreciate the benefits of my office space in Chichester and am glad to have been able to set up a decently-sized home office in Nottingham as well.
I always find that clients tend to prefer working with people from the same local area, but more and more I’m struggling to understand why. I have a client 200 miles away that I see more often than most of my clients who were located less than a mile away, and with mobile phones, Skype, Twitter, email, Dropbox, BaseCamp, etc. There simply isn’t any need to be in the same town these days. I won’t usually even contemplate taking on a job until I’ve met the client in person, but that doesn’t mean we need to be from the same area at all, I regularly drive across the country to meet people and in all honesty I welcome it, I don’t get to see enough of this country outside of work.
I’m happy I’m here. That doesn’t mean I’ll be here forever, but in this day and age, why should it?