I think that many designers, developers and makers are all dreaming about being independent. I know I was...
First it’s independence in terms of what you do: being able to choose your work, to create something of value, to have creative control — ultimately, to create a product worth creating, not just deliver something that a client will pay for.
Second it’s independence in terms of money: being able to earn good money while doing good work.
This may sounds a bit naive, but this was my dream. I made it come true and I’d like to share how I’ve done it. Not to brag, but rather to share. I wish that more talented people would take the risks and work for themselves on things they truly believe in.
I've been doing web and interface design since 1998. I loved the work. But after a while a lot of what I was doing began to feel very repetitive. I felt like I was wasting a lot of time doing the same thing — over and over again.
To save time, I started buying icon packs made by other designers to reuse in my projects. I constantly ran into problems with them: it was hard to find an icon I was looking for, or a collection was missing some critical icons that I needed for a specific project. All in all, there was no consistent and comprehensive icon set out there.
I realized this around 2010, and I decided to create my own design framework — just as a fun side project. I created an Interface Design Framework, which I released for free. It was very well received in the design community, encouraging me to create more graphic assets.
2010 - The "User Interface design framework", is the first design framework providing consistent graphic styles, icons and UI elements.