Although I set up my business in 2008, I have only enjoyed freelancing full time since 1 June 2012 – 10 years ago. For me, becoming an established translator was a long and tough journey due to the fact that I have always focused on direct clients (as opposed to translation agencies like most translators). However, I have now reached a stage where my clients often recommend me to their contacts.
In the past few years, new clients have contacted me out of the blue, saying that they got my details through an existing client of mine. This has happened between art book publishers, galleries, from magazine editors to galleries, etc., including from people I had approached speculatively but never actually worked for! The latest example, a fortnight ago, was a man calling from Paris, who owned a painting by a world-famous artist, which he wished to sell at an auction. The pedigree, conservation report and analysis report needed to be translated and my details had been given him by an art historian and expert who himself had got them from “a friend”. They were keen to have these documents translated by an art specialist, so they called me.
It is always a wonderful surprise to see how my name goes round the art world, and I am hugely grateful to all my clients and contacts – and their anonymous “friends” – for kindly passing my details on. It means a lot to me and it has made the perseverance and challenges of the early years of my translation career worthwhile in the long run.