Hello! My name is Ana. I am a Portuguese freelancer. I am a writer and graphic designer. My life changed in 2014 when I met an amazing person, and, since then, it has been a self-discovery journey. Ask Me Anything.

Ana Faria
Jun 7, 2017

Hello again! I guess my headline called your attention. Good.

My name is Ana Faria. Right now I am a freelance writer and graphic designer. You can find me on several websites, such as Upwork, Freelancer.com or Workana. I live in Portugal since 1988. I was born in South Africa.

I studied most of my life and I finished a Nursing bachelor's degree. I worked for five years as a Nurse, but then my life turned 360º in 2014 and I ceased to be Ana, the nurse, to be Ana, the searcher.

If you want to know more, just ask me anything you wish!

Ana Faria says:

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Wasn't it scary to become a freelancer? 

Jun 18, 5:45PM EDT0

Hello Oksana. You know, when I first heard of freelancing I was excited. Everything sounded amazing. The freedom to do what you liked while gaining money. The freedom to control your own time, your own schedule. Of course I knew it wouldn't be stable, and that I wouldn't get clients in a click of a finger, or that I would start gaining money in enough amount to actually survive in 24 hours. However, I wasn't scared. In fact, I just wanted to do it, to try it. After all, I wanted to find something that gave me freedom at work and also the possibility to do something I loved. And freelancing was the thing I was looking for.

Jun 19, 6:59AM EDT0

How long have you been doing graphic design? If I wanted to start, what should I do in first 30 days, 60 days, 90 days? Thanks in advance!!

Jun 7, 4:00PM EDT0

Great question!

Jun 7, 4:00PM EDT0

Hello Emily! It is indeed a great question. My answer, however, might not be what you were expecting.

In the year of 2004, when I started my studies, we had "free" internet for the first time at home. That gave me enough freedom to explore the Web. I joined a chat and began talking with people remotely. Later, in about 2006 or 2007 I joined a Roleplay forum and all began there. Everyone had those incredible graphics that are called signatures, and I thought they were amazing. In the beginning, I asked the people to make them for me, but later I thought it would be fun to create my own.

Because I had no specific program to create them, I used Paint, MS Word and the edit option in Photobucket. And that's how I started doing graphics.

Later, in 2008, someone in the forum invited me for a new online graphic's community. It is called Shadowplay and it still exists. You can visit it, here: z10.invisionfree.com/Shadowplay/

In this community I had the opportunity to learn with people who really knew what they were doing. Back then, it was way more simple. There was no writing or coding sections, there was only graphics for Roleplay websites (mostly). I got GIMP, because I couldn't afford Photoshop and started creating, quite naturally and with some help from the people of the community. As time passed by, I got Photoshop and then my creativity just exploded. I had so much more freedom!

So, if you want to start designing, what I would suggest for the first 60 days, would be to join one of these communities, get GIMP or another program and start creating graphics, just for entertainment, focused on your tastes and inspiration. I suggest Shadowplay because it is a very informal community, with amazing people, tutorials, free classes and incredible talents. Besides, it exists since 2008 and it's very complete. But there are others. Just look for what calls for you and your goals. If you something more professional, or marketing related, then I suggest Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera. All of these have amazing classes and courses. Some are free.

After the 60 days, I would suggest join a few freelancing websites such as Freelancer.com, Upwork and 99Designs. On Freelancer and 99 Designs there are contests where you can design for a client and then he will choose the winner. The winner gets the prize. Even if you don't win, you are training. Besides, you'll know the kind of design the clients request more often. Upwork doesn't have contests, but it has many jobs that you can propose to. For that to be easier, however, before you join any of these websites, create a portfolio on Behance, or another website you like.

And this is what I suggest. I hope it's useful and helpful.

Jun 8, 3:32AM EDT0

What are your tips for overcoming writer's block?

Jun 6, 1:49AM EDT0

Hello Jordan. This is an interesting question. You know, because I'm still doing very simple writing jobs, and haven't started writing my book, I might not be the best person to give tips on this matter.

However, I've took some writing classes, and there were a few tips, that I'm going to share with you.

- First, write a journal, a diary and be very specific about your emotions, of every single detail that happened during your day. This will help you release some worries and liberate your mind for creativity. Besides that, the teacher said that when you write a very detailed diary, you'll find yourself being more present and noticing things that you never noticed before. And those little things, most of time will help you get ideas to continue writing your book or article, etc.

- Second, and this one is a personal tip. If you want to write a book, and already have a general idea for the story, I suggest, before you start writing, to brainstorm the details.

What are your characters going to be like? How can you make them realistic? What are their personalities? Who is or are the main character(s)? Why is he/she/them special? What are your inspirations for this story? Where will it happen and describe the world the way you see it in your mind. What is the main theme? What is the genre of your book? How do you feel about your story? Is it exciting? Is it depressing? Is it personal? Is it general? In what way will your story help/inspire someone? What is the goal of your story? Where did it come from? What is your motivation to write it? And go on and on. Just make questions until you have a draft of your complete story. It will make things easier.

- And third. Show your ideas and written story, so far, to someone you trust and ask their opinion. Ask them how they would continue the story. This is not to make you feel bad or inferior. Quite the contrary. As long as you keep your emotions neutral while listening, and i mean, "listening", to the person's critics/ideas/suggestions, you'll realize that your mind will start to imagine things, have ideas, and you might have a click and know what to write next.

And this is it. My tips for you. I hope they are helpful.

Jun 7, 8:36AM EDT0

How do you get started on a graphic design project?

Jun 5, 5:33PM EDT0

Hello Christopher. Well, it depends. Usually, I send proposals to the clients asking for a particular design that I know I am able to create. Then, if they accept my proposal, I discuss with the person all the details of what they want and are looking for. After that, I start the project using Photoshop or Illustrator, depending on what I am supposed to create. During the creation, I stay in contact with the client, show him/her the current results, see if he likes it, and then, if everything is in order, I make the final touches and deliver the final result to the client.

Jun 7, 8:23AM EDT0

How much freedom do your graphic design clients give you?

Jun 4, 8:33PM EDT0

Hello Jenna. I haven't had many design jobs, however, they normally don't give LOTS of freedom. But it depends. Sometimes they only give you general ideas of what they want, and you are free to create in your style, and sometimes they are extremely picky. It's a 50%-50% change in the design world.

Jun 5, 11:28AM EDT0

Are you currently living in Portugal, and what is that like?

Jun 4, 3:54PM EDT0

Hello Juan. Yes, I am living in Portugal since 1988 and never left, except during some vacations. I live in Coimbra and I love the city. It is colourful and I am close to Nature. I can walk and ride the bike. People are mostly nice, and some simply don't care about you or think they are superior. I am free to do whatever I want as long as I pay the taxes (I am being ironic now) and have enough money to survive. I can go out alone and live alone; wear the clothes I want, even though people might look at you in a funny or digusted way. I don't know, I am so used to live in Portugal and I like the fact it is quite a calm and small country. I also like the weather. Besides that, I just can't compare because I don't watch TV, I haven't traveled much and normally people who live outside Portugal, love where they live. So, I don't think there's a bad place to live anywhere in the world. Every single place is special.

Jun 5, 11:26AM EDT0

What do you consider Portugal's greatest cultural contribution?

Jun 3, 9:40PM EDT0

Hello James. You know, this is a lovely question. I think we have many contributions. One of them is obviously Fado. But, in my opinion, one of the greatest contributions to the world is our gastronomy and wine. We have amazing food and great wines in the Continent, Madeira and Açores. Every single person that visits our country and islands are amazed with our food, but the wines, especially Vinho do Porto, are known and appreciated worldwide. For a quick look and insight, you can see this website where you'll find many articles about Porto's wines: visitportoandnorth.travel/Porto-and-the-North/To-do/Gastronomy-Wines

Last edited @ Jun 7, 8:52AM EDT.
Jun 5, 11:19AM EDT0

Can you list three things you've learned on your self-discovery journey?

Jun 3, 6:58PM EDT0

Hello Megan. Three things I've learned:

- There is no-one who can tell you the best path to take in your self-discovery journey, but you can have masters who guide you.

- You are not alone. You are one part of a whole. You are connected to every single being in the Universe.

- You can change the world by knowing who you are in the essence, in your soul and help other people realize they can also do the same personal journey to transcendence.

Jun 5, 11:18AM EDT0
Show all 3 replies

Do you have a daily routine as a writer?

Jun 3, 2:06PM EDT0

Hello Kenneth. At this moment, the only real daily routine as a writer that I have is my journal. I write on my journal every day. Besides that, I have no real routine. I am making very punctual jobs as a writer. Nevertheless, I've just began a freelance job transcribing audio and video files and it's a full time job, meaning that, starting now, I'm going to have more of a writing routine.

Jun 5, 11:14AM EDT0

How many apps do you have on your phone right now?

Jun 3, 12:21PM EDT0

Hello Laura. You know, I have no idea. I'm not really an "app" person per se. However, I know I have Boonzi, Messenger and YouTube. I used to have You and Whatsapp, but I never used them, so I decided to uninstall them. If you are curious about some of apps I use or used, here are the links to two of my favourite apps:


www.boonzi.pt (this one is in Portuguese)

Last edited @ Jun 7, 8:57AM EDT.
Jun 5, 11:09AM EDT0

If you could work for any organization, which one would it be?

Jun 3, 11:58AM EDT0

Hello Lauren. I don't really have ONE organization I would like to work with, in particular. I think I am more of an entrepeneur, than a worker for someone else, and I say that because of the experiences I had with traditional work.

However, it would be a pleasure to contribute to organizations such as Greenpeace, One Green Planet, Bhakti Marga, Worldpackers, WWOOF, Project Venus and any other organization which is trying to help save the world, Nature and Humanity.

Last edited @ Jun 7, 8:58AM EDT.
Jun 5, 11:07AM EDT0

How many different languages do you speak and write?

Jun 3, 11:22AM EDT0

Hello Joseph. At this moment, I can only speak and write Portuguese and English. However, I really want to learn many other languages, such as Italian, French, Mandarin, Afrikans, and many, many others.

Last edited @ Jun 7, 9:00AM EDT.
Jun 5, 11:03AM EDT0

How do you know you've arrived at your destination in a self-discovery journey?

Jun 3, 8:50AM EDT0

Hello Paige. I don't think we ever know when we arrived at the destination. I think there is no real, concrete, touchable destination that you can use as a goal. However, we know that we are here to transcend ourselves, to elevate ourselves to another "dimension" (if you will), another energy level, or whatever you believe in. We are all energy, and that is proved scientifically. The real question here is, are you ready to make this journey? It won't be easy, I can tell you, but it will be worth every single step you take.

Jun 5, 11:02AM EDT0

Are you optimistic or pessimistic about Portugal's future?

Jun 3, 1:31AM EDT0

Hello. Nowadays I believe I am quite the optimist, especially for the world's future. I am very optimistic about Portugal's future, and there's no real explanation for my optimism. I just believe deep in my heart that things will be better for Portugal, and also for the world.

And why? Because, in the way I see it and have been learning, it's up to each one of us to change the world. We are extremely capable of changing the world for the better, by respecting each and every single Human, even those we hate and who are cruel and considered enemies. They too are humans, they too suffer, they too were programmed by society's "rules" of living.

But no-one is truly guilty of anything, we just choose our own paths, our own lives. No-one else does it for us. If the world is the way it is, right now, it's because we stopped trying, because we are indifferent, because we think we are alone, because we believe others are guilty of how horrible our lives are, or that they are obliged to make our lives better. But none of this is the Truth. No-one knows the truth, not even the gurus. The truth is personal and each one of us create our own truth, our own life, our own world.

Jun 5, 10:58AM EDT0

Can you describe your favorite graphic design project, so far?

Jun 2, 7:54PM EDT0

Emma Watson BlendHello Jeffrey. Well, my favourite design project so far, was created several years ago, for my portfolio in a graphics' online community called Shadowplay. I wanted to create a beautiful, but very simple blend. Because I think Emma Watson is very beautiful and back then she had a beautiful photo album with orchids, I decided to only use pictures of that album, text and colouring. The final result is, until today, my favourite one so far.

Last edited @ Jun 7, 9:04AM EDT.
Jun 5, 10:50AM EDT0

Are you keeping a journal about your journey; why or why not?

Jun 2, 7:35PM EDT0

Hello. Yes, I am keeping a journal, even though it's quite recent. I've been developing discipline and now I can say that I am writing a journal every day. Why? Well, because that way I will know where I am, what I thought, what I've done and discovered, how many beautiful (good and bad) experiences I had since the moment I started writing. It's also a way of liberating my mind for new things. If I have worries, fears, dark emotions, etc, I write about them, and free myself of them, opening space for more opportunities and wonderful experiences. Besides that, I will look at them with another perspective and know what's real and what's fiction. It's quite a liberating experience.

Jun 5, 10:47AM EDT0

How would you define a journey of self-discovery?

Jun 2, 5:36PM EDT0

Hello Aaron. You know, I don't know. There is no definition to it. A real self-discovery journey is personal, it's yours and only yours. No-one can ever tell you how or when to do it. You just do it. And it's mostly a solitary journey. Because the purpose of this journey is to know yourself, your innerself and no-one can do it for you, or even give you tips to do it. In fact, you are doing it unconsciously, right now. The goal, in my opinion, is to do it consciously. To really dive deep within your own self until you discover who you are for real, in your essence. Your Soul!

Last edited @ Jun 7, 9:08AM EDT.
Jun 5, 10:42AM EDT0

What do you consider essential attributes of a writer?

Jun 2, 8:51AM EDT0

Hello Emily. You know, for a long time I thought a good writer should be able to write fluidly, with incredible orthography and grammar, and amazing descriptions of the surroundings and the emotions of the characters, and be very perfect telling the story. But then, more recently, I realized that there are no real attributes to be a writer. Anyone can write, as long as you can and want to do it.

Writing is an art, like any other, and it's only special because it's written by people. And people are unique, each on their own way. So, that means every single person can share something, an experience that will help someone, an adventure that inspires someone, etc. You don't need particular attributes. The only thing I think the person should have is: have learned how to write at school. The rest will be you. People always want to read about you. It doesn't matter the way you write.

Saramago, for example, was a very famous Portuguese writer and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was known because he never used punctuation on his writings. And yet, there you go, many people love him and his stories, because they are special on their own way, thanks to the person who wrote them.

Jun 5, 10:40AM EDT0

How would you classify the genre of your writing?

Jun 2, 6:18AM EDT0

Hello Zachary. Right now I do not have a genre. I'm still discovering myself and what I like the most. I've written both fiction and non-fiction. I tend to imagine very fictional stories, fantasy or science-fiction, but I also love writing about spiritual growth and self-development, which is non-fiction. So, at this moment, I can't really classify my genre, because I have none.

Jun 5, 10:31AM EDT0

Do you think the graphic design field is over-saturated?

Jun 2, 1:11AM EDT0

Hello Teresa. To answer your question, no, I do not think the graphic design field is over-saturated. And I'll explain why, based on my opinion. Graphic design is an art, and as an art it is personal, it is particular to the person creating it. Each person is unique. You are unique. You have different experiences, different fears, different qualities, different abilities, etc. That means everything you create will always be different and special. As such, every single design will be special, because you give your own personal touch. As such, graphic design or any art, for that matter, will ever be saturated.

Jun 5, 10:29AM EDT0