What You Can Learn About Personal Branding from Franziska [Fitza.me]

What You Can Learn About Personal Branding from Franziska [Fitza.me]

The concept of storytelling has remained the same throughout millennia. While the concept stayed the same, the tools used to tell the stories have changed and evolved with technology. No one shows that better than Franziska Barczyk, a creator of the work on Fitza.me

Franziska employs technology to create digital narratives, short-form video content, and illustrations for different platforms. With storytelling as an important part of her branding, she has built a recognizable personal brand and has been commissioned as an illustrator and art director by some of the top companies and organizations in the world.

A Few Words About the Artist

Franziska is an illustrator who spent years working as a graphic designer and art director for magazines, collaborating with some of the leading illustrators of today, before she’s made a decision to start freelancing back in 2014. To help boost her freelancing career, she has invested time and energy into making her very own digital gallery. 

A Few Words About Her Artwork

Franziska’s portfolio website is a place where you can find all of her work, list of clients she has worked with, and links to her social channels. Her digital exhibition includes all of her illustrations, gifs, and video content which introduces us to her artistic identity. 

Her art can be described as short stories, narratives fused with present-day events and world affairs and her projects and work can be found in the context of humanitarian issues, societal issues, politics, and culture. She especially focuses on women and women’s experiences and the current social, economic, and cultural issues they are facing

A project that will catch your eye: Share Her Journey

This video collage series was part of Toronto International Film Festival Initiative to increase participation and opportunities for women behind and in front of the camera, and it was selected to be included in the International Motion Art Awards 7. 

As Franziska explained “The themes resonated with me as the stories were about relationships, finding your own voice as a female and the state of the world. I wanted to use symbolism to highlight certain themes. In one film, for example, I created a ripping motion of a female portrait with another portrait of her underneath. I did this to show that she had to start a new life, which resonated with me as I have had to get past similar obstacles and new starts – like moving to a new city, starting a new relationship, or a new project.” 

When it comes to the advice she has for other aspiring illustrators, she mentioned several things in one of her interviews, including:

  • Creating self-initiated work, treating it as a full-time job and building a unique voice,
  • Using social media as a tool and other professional community websites which promote illustration and art,
  • Setting a goal for every day and reaching it no matter how “small” it might be,
  • Taking chances, making choices independently, constantly learning, and being persistent.

If you happen to be interested in her projects, she made sure to feature them all in her unified digital art gallery. It’s super-easy to navigate through her website and learn a lot about each individual artwork. 🙂

How to Get More “Gigs”?

If you are one of the freelancers yourself, you know how hard getting the new clients can get. You are facing the cut-throat competition each time you click on the “apply” button. This is why you need an extra element to make prospective clients turn their heads. And what better than your own personal website? 

By building your own website you create an opportunity to present yourself and tell your story, explain what are you passionate about and show your skills and talents – all on your own terms. And since it’s the season of making New Year’s resolution plans, why not invest some time to update your very own website and strengthen your personal brand? If you are wondering where to start, let’s go through Franziska’s example and see what you can incorporate into a website… 

So What are the Elements of a Good Personal Website?

As far as building a strong personal brand is concerned, Franziska follows some of the most important rules and chooses the elements of her website carefully.

Keeping Things Simple

With a simple white background and monotype typography, she keeps the focus on her work. It helps website visitors and clients get a better sense of what her brand and art are about.

Short Bio and Contact Information

She has a short bio and a gif of her in the INFO/CONTACT section which is a good hint of her work and complements her byline well. 

We also see that she is represented by the agency called the Purple Rain Illustrators and that is how you can get in contact with her. Working with an agency can be a good choice for illustrators who need some support with getting commissioned.

Online Portfolio

She has an online portfolio which includes:

  • an impressive list of clients like BuzzFeed, The New York Times, NYLON, The Washington Post, NPR, Lenny Letter, UNESCO, vice tonic, Apple, Brand Assembly, Imprint Projects, The New Yorker, Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF),
  • digital and paperback/hardback editions where she was the featured illustrator, 
  • solo and group exhibitions, 
  • list of publications where she was one of the artists featured. 

Social Media and Networks

You can find links to her social media and other networks:

  • Vimeo, because a huge portion of her work is short-form video content and gifs,
  • Instagram profile, which is an excellent platform for illustrators to show their work, and
  • the Working not Working professional platform where business and independent professionals like herself can connect and collaborate.

Instagram and Vimeo are great choices for video creators and illustrators to build connections, share and promote work among your community, and enable a wider audience to find you.

By adding links to these profiles, Franziska also directs visitors and clients towards places where they can find more information about her work and experience and, at the same time, provide people with a broader context in which she creates. Also, she has a full-on identity and consistency across all channels.

Her advice to use social media and websites that promote illustration and art once again confirms the fact that building connections and community and getting commissioned is as important as her creative work. Although it might appear like a full-time job, it is extremely beneficial and necessary in the long-run. 

Other Important Elements

Elements like the News Section is where you can find information about where her work has been featured, the interviews she did, and campaigns she worked for, and a link to an online store where you can purchase one of her illustrations.

Final Thoughts

Visual stories are important ways of expression and narration, and illustrators like Franziska use and combine different techniques and mediums to produce a form of digital storytelling. 

She has built her brand over time thanks to her unique observations and playfulness and, as she said herself, continual learning and carving her voice. When you successfully combine all that with the principles of branding, you get what all freelance professionals are aiming for – a recognizable and memorable brand.


Goran Bogunovic

Now, you're probably wondering how I got here! Running a marketing agency, educating people about branding, and helping you to develop your own presence online. To understand, you’ll need to follow me @Domain.Me

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