Most creatives don’t last on the open road but the few who do, pave their way and make it work. Simon Perini is one of those creatives. Blessed with the good bloke genes, a solid worth ethic and an open mind, we caught up with Simon to talk about the challenges of being a freelance creative, what advice he has for young creatives looking to make their path and what’s been going on is his life.
It’s no secret you’re a salty man, how’s your winter so far, have you been spending some time in the water?
Oh mate, I wish I could say I haves – but I’m probably averaging a sporadic 30min splash here and there . . . and to be honest, it’s getting me a bit down.
What was your last board purchase and who shaped it?
Well, my most recent acquisition was actually a 6’4 pintail single fin that I shaped with Treehouse Handshapes. I think I made it a little too flat in the rocker, so it’s taking some getting used to, but it’s totally satisfying surfing something that’s come from your own sweat and schemes.
How do you balance a young family, work and finding time to surf?
Well my answer to the first question highlights that I obviously I suck at it big time! I usually try to get out at gentlemans hour around mid-morning for a ‘coffee break’ . . . but then if i’m slammed with work, or the tide or wind is outta whack then i usually end up missing out.
Getting down to the nitty-gritty, how long have you been freelancing for?
I’ve been out on my own with freelance work for the past 5 years-ish
Did you study design or are you self-taught?
Kinda both. I did an online diploma and so had to be pretty self-motivated and also had to kinda figure out a lot of stuff for myself . . . which I think ended up allowing me to learn way more than what the course was offering – cause i made so many mistakes and had to learn from them.
Dealing with clients can be challenging, especially for creative projects. With that in mind, please finish these sentences for us.
The best thing a client has ever said was…. “I love it”
The worst thing a client has ever said was… “But”
You work across different mediums, specialising in art, graphic design and photography. Do you have a favourite of the three?
Hmm, not really. I think I like the different mediums for different reasons and depending on my mood and the job. But I do feel really blessed to be able to work in so many different areas – I get a lot of variety in my work and most of the jobs I do are pretty fun and loose.
For all the creatives out there looking to pursue their freelance dreams, what’s the most important thing to understand before they quit their jobs and decide to start freelancing?
I guess that the grass is not always greener. There’s definitely a lot of rough with the smooth. It can be pretty stressful as far as steady income and work flow goes . . . chasing money sucks big time and also being the only one who is doing the work cause no one else is gonna do it for you . . . . all that kinda stuff. I don’t think I had fully comprehended all that sort of stuff when I decided to fly solo.
You’ve had the opportunity to work with iconic brands over the years, do you have any projects coming up that you’re excited to release?
Well, yeah and no. I do actually have a few things that are in the pot, but because work has been so busy, I haven’t had the chance to invest too much into any of it yet – which kills me at the end of every week! But yeah looking into projects that are outside my current work spheres etc . . . so maybe I will just say that – just in case it never happens!
Your brother has just had the honour of making his short film titled, The New Empress. Kevin Spacey produces the movie, and Maggie Gyllenhaal is the star, how did it all come about?
Yeah he’s been rubbing shoulders with some big names. He’s an actor/writer/director and had entered a comp put on by Jameson Whiskey and Kevin Spacey’s ‘Trigger Street Productions” and by a whim he was one of three international finalists – which yeah gave him a great opportunity to put some of his stuff in front of some good people. He’s super talented and deserved it. I’m excited to see where this leads for him.
Finally, we’ve got the Top 3 Side.Life road trip questions, what’s your favourite…
Road Trip Song: Oh man, surely it’d have to be ‘Under the Pressure’ by The War On Drugs right . . . ??! Am I like the 14th person to say that??
Road Trip Food: Frozen coke and tamari almonds . . . followed by an apple
Road Trip Must Have: The wife and munchkins.
Mate, thank you for your time. We’re looking forward to seeing what Simon Perini creates in the coming years.
Thanking you! Love a good excuse!
Check out Simon’s Artist Tees on Mr Simple!