BENLEANDER_Design Studio

+43 650 707 9191

Design Freelancer Ben Willgruber

Becoming a Full-time Design Freelancer

One of my goals this year was to continue living the free-spirited life I’ve come to love. To make that happen, I decided to become a full-time freelancer. I was never particularly good at following orders and now I wanna make my own rules.

9-to-5 work with 5-to-9 friends

I know that there are a lot of perks to having a good job. Financial stability, less risk and more security are on the top of that list. But there are downsides too: Going forward, I don’t wanna spend my time building some else’s dream. After I quit my last job, moved to Berlin and came back it became pretty clear to me that I couldn’t go back to the way things were.

The yearning for independence

I wanted to be my own boss and master of how I spend my hours. Juggling paying clients with personal projects is already a challenge and on top of that, I now have to spend time on organization, finances, bookkeeping and acquiring new clients – things I haven’t had to do before. Things are starting to settle a little bit and while I am a little overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do at the moment, it feels like the right move for me.

Personal updates

Over the past few weeks, I have updated my own communicational measures. With that, I mostly mean this homepage. I brought back my signature teal color, made sure that every single item on my homepage is mobile-optimized (although Google Search Console still doesn’t agree!), updated my portfolio and added a Service-tab to give some insight on how I work.

Future plans

Now I have to find my footing on the market and keep a constant client flow. It’s quite the challenge to find the right work-life-balance when you make your own hours and there are still many unknowns left for me! As soon as I feel settled enough, I wanna reduce to a 4-day work week and keep one day open for some kind of charity work where I can make use of my background in psychology.

Since I am always looking for new clients and opportunities, I also wanna remind everyone reading this that I am an experienced visual designer and marketing expert. If you’re seeking help in those departments, feel free to contact me – I’m looking forward to lots of exciting new ventures!

Until then,




P.s.: To keep the navigation of my site simple, I have removed my Online Shop from the navigation bar. But it will still be linked under About in the future. If you want to stop by, just click the banner below and bookmark your favorites!

Title photo: Jacqueline Kaulfersch

Compulsive nonconformist who left the 9-to-5 world after studying psychology and has since then devoted himself to design and writing on a freelance basis. Has at least four different kinds of chips at home at any given time.


  • 3. April 2020

    I would love a freelance career. Alas, it’s the “9-5” life for me until I retire in 6 years, 1 month, and 14 days (not that I’m counting.) Good luck in your new endeavor.

  • 11. March 2020

    Good luck to you. It’s a big world with plenty of jobs out there and as somebody who has spent a huge chunk of his professional life as a freelancer, there is no price on your freedom and not building someone else’s dream. If I was stuck at a “real” job right now, I couldn’t respond to this. I couldn’t pick up my kid at school. I couldn’t take that important 10 a.m. to noon nap. There’s a quality of life that comes with freelancing that is priceless.

  • 11. March 2020

    Congratulations and best wishes with your “new” career! 🙂 Naked hugs!

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