The majority of freelancing designers are accustomed to working at home but for those living with kids, the logistics of lockdown came as quite a shock. Not only were creative caregivers experiencing a sharp influx of Zoom interruptions, but they were gaining a fresh source of energy and inspiration on a daily basis, all thanks to the sudden, constant presence of their family members in their day-to-day work lives.

When we surveyed the global freelance design community, 48% reported having to balance additional responsibilities like home schooling, extra childcare and distance learning in addition to their freelance work. Peace and quiet? Balance? Out the window–at least in the beginning.

52% of freelancing designers claimed that having loved ones around improved their creative process.

It’s not all clutter and noise, however. We asked designers how having other people in their work space impacted their creative process and found that a whopping 43% said it actually had a positive effect. Additionally, when we asked parents about sharing their workspace with their families, we were met with an even higher figure of positivity as 52% claimed that having loved ones around improved their creative process!

We can’t help but think that these are facts worth celebrating. Feeling inspired, we challenged our creative community to professionally reimagine their little ones’ quarantine artwork and share their parenting wins. As you can imagine, the entries were particularly heartwarming and hilarious.

Scroll to see the winning illustrations and read stories from creative parents surfing the wave of 2020.

“Dogcula” by J Studio™

cute dog illustration
by J Studio
My nephew and I had lots of fun playing games, making things and conjuring up unbelievable stories, one of which inspired this drawing.
- J Studio

“This is the drawing my nephew made for me a few months ago, when he was staying at my home during quarantine. I love spending time with him, he’s so mischievous (and cute). We had lots of fun playing games, making things and conjuring up unbelievable stories, one of which inspired this drawing.”

“Sea monster” by C!N

sea monster illustration
by C!N
sea monster illustration

“The artist behind this drawing is my youngest son, Dante. When he was six years old he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD. One of the characteristics associated with these conditions means you can become obsessed with things and, in his case, it’s boats and trains. His dream has always been to be captain of a ship, but his problem is that he’s also afraid of what lives amongst the depths of the sea, particularly large marine animals.

…without realizing it, he took a huge step to face his fears, which for me is something truly exciting.
- C!N

Earlier this year, before quarantine began, Dante saw the sea for the first time when we travelled to the beach. After years of only drawing ships and trains, this trip seemed to spark a change in him and suddenly he drew this! I asked him afterward about the drawing, he said, “It’s just a joke!” (Genial! Atrapamos muchos! literally translates as “Great! We caught many!”). This may seem like a small thing but without realizing it he took a huge step to face his fears, which for me is something truly exciting and is why I chose this particular drawing.”

“Rock monster” by Frankfigueredo

One day he asked me where rocks came from… my ‘adult’ answer could not persuade him so he imagined they came from a giant rock monster.
- Frankfigueredo

“The littlest one at home is eight years old and loves to collect rocks from a nearby river. Like any child his age, he is very curious and one day he asked me where rocks came from, worried about the different sizes and types.

Unfortunately, my ‘adult’ answer could not persuade him so he imagined they came from a giant rock monster. I chose this piece, which he made earlier this year of said monster, to honor this funny story.”

“Rabbit” by Stenaleo

I hope my interpretation of her drawing will show Nina that even a ‘bad’ work isn’t so hopeless if you just add a little bit more imagination.
- Stenaleo

“The original drawing was made recently by my niece, Nina. She tried to do a rabbit, but unsatisfied with the result, she scribbled over the picture with a red pencil. I don’t consider this work a failure, I see within it a unique and funny character. I hope my interpretation of her drawing will show Nina that even a ‘bad’ work isn’t so hopeless if you just add a little bit more imagination.”

“Coco Pajaro” by ricardomacia

Children have loads of creativity and on so many occasions we need their vision to bring to life otherworldly characters.
- ricardomacia

“On the right is my nephew Luka’s drawing. Due to quarantine, my sister asked me to look after him for a weekend, so we had a lot of fun watching movies and doing what he likes most: drawing. As he also really likes music, he created a rock monster named ‘Coco Pajaro’.

We both had a lot of fun creating these illustrations; children have loads of creativity and on so many occasions we need their vision to bring to life otherworldly characters.”

“Rainbow Color Monster” by Binhsketch

I drew this picture with the rather noisy support of my wife and two sons; your contest has given us some time to work together as a team.
- Binhsketch

“My son is over five years old and he painted this piece back in July 2020. I was so surprised when he showed me it, I thought I must capture that proud moment with the photos and story behind it.

According to the artist himself:
– It is a large and powerful monster that can destroy large buildings.
– It eats everything and spits everything out like a rainbow.
– It can attack humans.
– But, it’s always fun, only attacking when someone makes him angry.

I asked if this monster had a name and my son replied immediately, ‘His name is Rainbow Color Monster’. I then drew this picture with the rather noisy support of my wife and two sons; your contest has given us some time to work together as a team.”

Reimagining freelancing in 2020

It’s no surprise that kids are an inspiring bunch. What’s incredible is the depth of impact that these children have had on their caregivers’ work lives during such a chaotic period.

For more insights about what it means to be a freelancer in 2020, check out our report “Design Without Borders: The Freelance Revolution”.

Download the report in full
...and catch a glimpse into freelancers' lives.