gst and freelancing

March 8, 2014    9:30 pm

as we start the tax season, i want to write a post about something that i believe is one of the best things that I did for my freelance business – signing up for a gst number.


the government of canada requires a sole proprietor to register for a gst account once “the total revenue from taxable supplies (before expenses) from all of your businesses are $30,000 or more in any single calendar quarter and in the last four consecutive calendar quarters” (click to view the cra info pdf). now, i wish that my freelancing was pulling in that kind of income, and hopefully one day soon it will, but i got my number anyways.


why would i give myself a bit more tax work every year? here are a few reasons:


1) sense of credibility for your business.
in an age where fraud and scams are common place, being registered as a legitimate company adds credibility to your name. whether this order is your 2nd job or your 200th, this is a small act that helps to foster client to freelancer trust.




2) your clients want to see that gst amount on their invoices.
just as we are charged and can claim back gst on the materials and supplies that we purchase for our business, our clients, especially other registered businesses, want to claim back the gst on the invoices that we send out. it’s awkward when your clients ask to see your material costs to judge what they should have been charged for gst. save yourself this embarrassment!




3) you need it to set up a vendors list.
try setting up business accounts with companies like purolator or fedex without one! you will require a number to qualify for business status with most companies you create a purchasing account with.




4) it could end up saving you money.
much like my previous point, a business gst number could put you on preferred client lists for volume orders from vendors. i have noticed that many printing companies, especially in the US which will offer small discounts to clients that prove they are a design company – by showing them your registration number.  this means savings for not only you, but you can also pass this bonus onto your clients as well!


vendors also tend to offer special sample packages for re-sellers. this is a fabulous way of showing your clients what you can do for them!




getting my gst number has certainly solved a few headaches for me and my work. i hope that these points help you decide if registering is the right decision for you and your company.





full february

February 15, 2014    3:57 pm

we are already half way through february! i have had so much fun over the last few weeks working on wedding invites, and putting together my sample books for colour choices! hitting up bridal fantasy at the end of january was a great opportunity to see what is trending this year, as well as meeting wedding event planners to get some tips and tricks of the wedding industry. the fashion show was also a great watch!


the past few months have also seen a special logo and branding package for a local start up cross my desk, as well as more work with the richard eaton singers on promotional material for their upcoming bach concert in march!


have a wonderful long weekend!

remembering november

November 27, 2013    11:30 pm

wow, has november ever flown by! and what an exciting month it has been for me!


wedding packages, promotional ads and printed fliers are only a few of the things that have come across my desk.


one said project was my work for the Richard Eaton Singers’ november 11th concert titled “Always & Forever”. what a fantastic opportunity this was for me! i was honoured to be asked to take on this project, and i look forward to working with them again for their Bach’s Mass in B Minor concert in march!


to view the work for the november concert, please head over here!


as we head into the Christmas season, i look forward to another month filled with design goodies!



fall changes

October 26, 2013    5:50 pm

things have been quite busy here in my little office! I have changed the website slightly to make it a bit more user friendly, and I have also been hard at work with designing the promotional material for the Edmonton Richard Eaton Singer’s November 11th, 2013 concert. *phew*


Head over to my works page to see the promotional material that I have been working on!


Also, prints of my graphic art and paintings are now for sale.
click on the online store to order one (or 3)!




May 24, 2013    9:18 pm

i have to admit that i got a little frustrated with some “day job” clients yesterday. it’s hard to keep both parties happy when one side refuses to acknowledge or does not understand that design, like any other craft, is a process that takes time.


this client came to our little shop asking for signage to be designed, printed and installed in 2 business days. not only was he expecting a quick turnaround, but he had nothing to bring to the table. no measurements had been done, no logo had been created (which we were expected to develop in that time frame), he wanted “a deal”, and we were to tell him on the spot what the cost would be. after explaining our process and that we needed more time and information to complete the job, he then came in this morning with a coloured doodle that his daughter had done and wanted us to “make it pretty”, and proceeded to ask the same list of questions the day before. this happened a third time, in the afternoon, this time with the artist of the doodle in tow.


you may think that this is just selective complaining, however, one would not believe how many times this story has happened in my years of designing. i cannot fault someone for asking questions to learn what the process is, yet i can raise an eyebrow, or sometimes two, when all procedures are ignored and i must go through the same explanation time and time again because they were ignored.


so, future clients of any designer, i urge you to consider that, like building a safe and sound house, good design takes time and good communication on both sides.


i’ll leave you with these wise words that a friend once told me. apply it to life how you will.


there is a list of three:

fast, perfect and cheap

pick two.


if you choose cheap and perfect, it will not be fast.

if you choose fast and cheap, it will not be perfect.

if you pick perfect and fast, it will not be cheap.





leise rieselt der schnee…

December 5, 2012    10:24 pm

outside the snow is softly falling, and i find myself wishing for a large fireplace, a cup of home-made hot chocolate and an endless supply of both time, and good reading material.


this year’s holiday season feels like it is passing by faster than it should. the endless list of christmas concerts, banquets and parties fill up my time, leaving less for the things that truly matter. so, here’s to a weekend of getting myself on track. for spending time with family and friends. for completing the freelance work now, so come christmas i can pull my eyes and fingers from my computer and sketch pad. for the excitement of setting up a basement photography studio. for hours of candle burning (sigh)!


may your time be well spent this christmas. may you receive more love, joy, peace, hope and happiness then you could imagine.





July 26, 2012    12:07 am

you know that feeling, when you are waiting for something in the mail, and you are super excited? you don’t have it quite yet, but you know that as soon as it arrives, life will be that much better. this is exactly how i feel about my life at the moment. i’m close, oh so close, to something great… but yet not quite there yet. for someone who is not a fan of suspense, the question of “when” or “what” is quite overwhelming.


i have decided to find peace in it. yes. i have decided. a conscious effort in looking towards that namaste. perhaps by focusing on me, i will also achieve some personal growth in the process. so, dear portfolio, dear self and dear world… prepare for some changes!


as a side note, i had dinner with a friend and peer tonight. over hawaiian pork stew and rice we discussed design. it was wonderful. the collaboration of design is totally something that i need in my life. thanks klp for your wisdom!




updates planned … oh yeah!

May 27, 2012    11:58 pm

alright, world wide web!


it has been done! i will officially be getting my adobe cs6 sometime this week. i am ecstatic. i sit on pins and needles awaiting its joyous arrival into my world.


yup, i will post how much i absolutely love it. count on it. to look at the newest features, go here and join me in this little updating adventure. i have been told that there are cookies on the other side. i’m hoping for the chocolate chip variety.


that being said, i have updated the print section of my work page with some layout concepts for whatif?! theatre’s stationary package. k and i had a lot of fun working out the logo. it’s great to sit with a friend, in a coffee shop, with the computer in front of you both and just… play with design. play, play, play!




i wish that

May 25, 2012    11:48 pm

i knew what i know now, when i was younger…


so, this song has been playing in my head a lot the past few weeks. after a long conversation with my mom over skype this week, i noted how it doesn’t seem like i’m learning my trade fast enough, yet when i look back to even a year ago, i see how incredibly much i have indeed learned. i am so thankful for each “designer’s life experience” i have had, both in my day job and my time freelancing.

just thought i’d share :)




the search for the obvious

March 14, 2012    10:07 pm

i always find it interesting the way that life makes us search for the obvious.


there have been quite a few situations in my (relatively) few years, many design related, where the solution is the most obvious and simple idea, yet has eluded me through many hours, days, weeks and even months of searching. what i appreciate is the fact that those i chose to surround myself with help to sift and eventually point out where i may have overlooked that golden idea. people (and a good cup of coffee) help me find my creativity.


so, to those who have been, are, and may yet be my inspiration, thank you! and if you, dear reader, ever find yourself stuck on a problem, sometimes the answer is no further than a good cup of java and a friend away!




the magical cure

March 6, 2012    11:22 pm

have you ever noticed how music can cure almost anything that ails you, even just for a moment? i love that aspect of art, be it audio or visual.


so, if you are having a day of “gah”, “bah” or “ugh”, i encourage you to plug in your favourite tunes, and blast it! as for me, i’m doing handel’s “israel in egypt”. not your standard music, but great tunes non the less!




communication; lost art?

March 5, 2012    11:53 pm

today i learned (or re-learned, if you will) a valuable lesson about client-designer communication. you can have too much, and you can have too little, but having a balance that works for both parties is insanely important.


i also realized how important lists are while keeping up with communication. while working on design work for large format print shop, certain file formats are crucial for work to be printed correctly, as well as colour profiles and numbers. being clear about these limitations from the start is the only way to go. so, this has inspired me to create new materials for both my day job, and freelance job. it’s these life lessons and sudden inspirations that help me feel good about my artistic growth (even though they are painful at the time).




the work is never done

March 31, 2010    12:01 pm

is it a prerequisite, when you are designing for yourself, that the work can never be completed?



i believe that i have finished something, only to sit back and realize there are one or two things that i want to change. these little changes snowball until everything needs to be re-done.



i am my worst client.



i am slowly discovering the extent of my perfectionist nature. my need for it to be “exactly right” is the kryptonite of my creativity.



so, to conclude i say:


dear creativity,


i hand you a large double double to appease you.  please take it and use it for the coming of age ritual of the DMD… the  EXPO.



The power of “last minute”

March 26, 2010    9:44 pm

There is nothing like a deadline that can spark imagination.