Alan Cheetham: A Studio - Personal Brand ID

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Artist Spotlight: Alan Cheetham

Artist Spotlight: Alan Cheetham
Published April 30, 2024 by the Behance Team

Nottingham-based Alan Cheetham had been working as an in-house graphic designer for nearly 10 years when the pandemic struck and altered the course of career. “I had literally just moved jobs from one agency to another—that same month, COVID happened. I instantly disliked the new job and it was a scary time financially, as so many companies were making employees furloughed,” he recalls.

Long periods of working solitary remote work gave him pause. “It made me think, what the heck am I even doing here working from home with no team around me, working on projects I have no personal choice in working on or have any control over?  might as well just be working for myself!”

The uncertainty and upheaval led Alan to transition to full-time freelance work, seeking flexibility and creative freedom. As a very family oriented dad of two kids, his new career path has allowed him to focus on the things that matter to him, like taking the kids to and from school everyday and enjoying the great outdoors. “I now look back at this point in my life as a cross road and think, well if it wasn’t for this situation ever happening, I wouldn’t be freelancing right now.”


Katoka by Alan Cheetham

“Preparation is the key word here for sure,” Alan advises those who are at the same crossroads. “Make sure you have factored in enough financial contingency, allow at least 2–3 months of the year where you might not have any client work or wish to take holiday. Have a decent portfolio ready to plug — don’t try and show everything, just show the type of work that you want to attract more of."

Screen Shot 2024 04 11 at 1.09.06 Pm

Bastion Apparel by Alan Cheetham

Alan has built his portfolio on Behance over the last 13 years and uses it as his portfolio when pitching new clients or design agencies. “I have always held Behance in high regards for showcasing my best work and being proud to use this platform to promote my work both socially and commercially.”

“I would describe my design style and approach as being simple, bold and modern,” shares Alan. “Over time, I have tried to simplify everything I do and niche down in my service offerings. Trying to play to my strengths and ditch the disciplines that cause me more grief than enjoyment.”

Last year, Alan became a Featured Freelancer and has completed two freelance projects since, one for a client based in the US, and another for a client in Italy. “The standout part of the Behance freelance program is their global audience reach,” he shares. “Being able to work with a wide range of different clients from all corners of the globe is amazing to think about and makes things a lot more interesting. Both clients have been very different yet were equally great to work with.” 

Alan’s branding project for music streaming service StreamFi is particularly meaningful to him, as this was his first paid project through Behance.“I might have also lucked out with the client who was super sound and easy to work with, allowing me complete free reign with creative direction too.”


StreamFi by Alan Cheetham

Unfortunately not every client is so easy-going. Alan says that the intro call is a crucial point for gauging a good client. “If there are any early signs of red flags at this point or during the on-boarding session, then you could be in for a tough ride! You quickly learn and discover how different clients and companies approach a brief and the challenges it presents.”


London Cycling Campaign by Alan Cheetham

The most important part about client relationships is that both parties value and respect one another. “You need to acknowledge that you both gel and that a collaboration is all about working with someone and not for them. Once you have then built a good network of clients, keep these relationships consistently sweet by underpromising but overdelivering.” 


UBERDANK Font by Alan Cheetham

Balancing work and personal life can be particularly challenging for creatives, especially for freelance designers who don’t have clear boundaries between work and personal time. Alan aims to start his day between 9 and 10am, and checks out after completing his daily to do list. “The way I see it, there’s always work to do tomorrow. That’s the beauty of work, it never stops.” 

He also emphasizes the importance of allowing yourself well-deserved breaks throughout the day. “The most important lesson that I’ve had to slowly learn is, always allow yourself a decent lunch break and try to step away from your desk frequently—remember you’re human not a machine.”  


Digit Music by Alan Cheetham

“Striking a good work-life balance is all about finding time for yourself to switch off from the week to week work routine and appreciate what’s around you — family, the outdoors, and a good old fashioned Great British pub!” 

See more projects by Alan and hire him for freelance projects on Behance.

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