How to Become a Data Visualization Freelancer | Interview with Moritz Stefaner

I kept my promise: the interview with Moritz Stefaner on data visualization freelancing is finally here! And I am really excited.

As I said in my introductory post, I think data visualization freelancing is one of the most exciting trends in visualization; even though it’s a little bit hidden. After recording the interview, I must say I am really satisfied. I learned something out of it and I am sure the same will be totally true for you.

The video is a bit long (see the content breakdown below) but it’s really worth it: we covered a very large number of questions and they all came directly from the readers (thanks to all of you guys)!

Any comment, question, or suggestion for me and Moritz is more than welcome. You can write a comment here below or contact us directly on twitter (@FILWD, @moritz_stefaner). Have fun!

Video content breakdown with timing:

  • [01:00] Starting Out (building a portfolio)
  • [08:30] Design Practice (iterative approach, designing 20 prototypes!)
  • [16:18] Skill Building and References (books, tools and libraries, doing without programming?)
  • [27:47] Dealing with Clients (what clients want vs. what is right, freelancer vs. agency)
  • [34:08] Pricing (billable time, tracking yourself, strategic prices, the “pain coefficient”)
  • [39:44] Time Management (avoid working 24/7, have kids!, having a rhythm)
  • [41:55] The Freelancing Market (gaps in the market)
  • [44:05] The Role of Research (searching and reading papers)
  • [47:24] Summary of Tips for Wannabe Freelancers

Additional versions of the interview

  • Download mp3 file to listen on your own player.
  • Interview transcription (if you want to read it) – coming soon.

Do you want more? Let us know.

As you can see in the interview, me and Moritz are thinking of recording additional videos. Who knows … this might even become a regular meeting. We would love to have your opinion on that. Especially we would love to know: what else would you would like to hear? Is there anything we missed? How can we help you further? For sure, we would like to record a new one with a more extensive discussion of design practices and the overall data visualization process. Stay tuned and let us know!


  •  First of all thank you guys for sending all your questions for Moritz! This was very useful and I am sure the interview is much much better than what it would be without your help.
  • A big big thank to Moritz. I really enjoyed talking with him (as usual) and I think the end-result is really helpful for people who want to know more about freelancing.
  • The quality of the video is not perfect, I apologize. There is so much to learn! My phone started ringing at some point, the line dropped because I forgot to plug the power plug, and there’s no video editing apart from very basic stuff. Nonetheless, I think that content is king and what matters is that you are going to learn something. This is work in progress and it will get better.
As usual, I’d love if you could help me spreading the word. Please retweet the post if you like it and add comments below. There’s more to come.

Enjoy it and take care,