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Meet Carly Clements

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Clements.

Carly, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working as a Graphic Designer seven years ago. My first couple of jobs out of college were in-house junior designer roles in the action sports and swimwear industries. I was learning a ton and gaining industry experience, and while I was grateful for these opportunities, I grew restless. I was curious about life beyond the 9-5 tradition that I was told would inevitably be my fate for the next 30 years. I needed to walk the alternate route, make my own way, and see what else the world had to offer. A life without a template.

So I came up with a plan to work for 18 months, save up every penny I could, and take off and travel. My first ever venture out of the U.S. I bought a one-way ticket to Copenhagen with all intentions of figuring it out along the way. This turned into a six-month journey across Europe and over to Southeast Asia. I came back, repeated the 18-month work-save circuit and then took off on a two-month adventure through South America. It wasn’t long after that I realized this wasn’t just a so-called “travel bug” that everyone said, “I needed to get out of my system”. It was something I wanted to make a big priority in my life.

With my career path being a prime candidate for telecommuting and remote work on the rise, I decided to take a chance and start a freelance creative studio where I could work from anywhere. Since that day, three years ago, I have been working as a Remote Freelance Designer, navigating new clients, time zones, co-working spaces, and languages across the world.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting off was a free fall into the unknown. At first, I was surviving on purely referrals from family and friends and I had no idea all the unseen admin parts that working for yourself entailed. I was no longer just the designer, I was also my own marketing team, project manager, in charge of invoicing, purchasing health insurance, paying quarterly into taxes, and finding new clients. I learned quickly that projects weren’t going to just land in my lap and that my efforts in gaining new clients was in direct connection to my success. If I took my foot off the pedal, my income would be greatly affected. A real-life ‘Do not pass GO, do not collect $200’ moment. And that was the real kick I needed.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Carly Clements Creative – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.

I run a nomadic creative studio called Carly Clements Creative and work as a Remote Freelance Graphic Designer and Visual Artist. I specialize in digital marketing design, providing unique design and custom art for modern brands and e-commerce storefronts. I primarily assist businesses on a contract and project basis with creative assets for campaigns, e-mail newsletters, and social ads. I’m a visual storyteller and enjoy combining illustrations, lettering, and analog collage practices to create abstract multi-layered works of art. I have had the opportunity to work with brands across the surf, swim, fashion, beauty, and hospitality industries in both print and digital media.

Nowadays I spend about half of the year working from Southern California and the other from the road. I am most proud of the way this business started small but has grown and evolved. Not being limited to one area of the map has allowed me the flexibility to partner with movers and shakers across the globe. I think there is truth to the saying that your vibe and lifestyle attract the type of clients you want to work with.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
There are a few big projects in the works and I may be diving into a new passion project in the eco-conscious and sustainable women’s apparel space. After recently attending an all women’s event in DTLA called ‘The Yellow Conference’ I left feeling inspired to start down the path of creating a business that empowers women while making an impact on the world. I plan to design and soft launch a small batch of my own by next spring. So stay tuned!

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Image Credit:
Carly Clements

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