IPSE announces New to Freelancing finalists

IPSE is delighted to announce the four people shortlisted for the 2019 New to Freelancing Award. They are from all over the UK, highly diverse and working in a range of different fields.  

The winners will be announced at the Freelancer of the Year Awards ceremony at Kings’ Place in London on 13 June 2018.

Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO, commented: “Freelancing has grown massively over the last 10 years and the self-employed now add £275bn to the economy every year. These awards recognise the independent professionals who lead their fields, adding creativity, innovation, diversity and entrepreneurial energy to our society and economy.

“I’ve been blown away by the quality of our finalists. We received a large number of strong applications from freelancers all around the UK, and the tough choices we had to make to reach these finalists reflects just how high standards were.”

This year's finalists are: 

Sean Muntaner, industrial and graphic designer

Sean is a freelance industrial and graphic designer based in London. Running under the name Palma Bay Creative, Sean helps businesses launch products and services to customers worldwide. After leaving his full-time job as a senior designer for Marks & Spencer to go freelance last year, Sean has gone on to design products, packaging, graphics, marketing collateral and branding for a variety of large and small businesses. Alongside M&S, his products can also be seen in the likes of the Disney Store, John Lewis, Debenhams and Target.

Sean was featured as ToyNews’ 30 under 30 most talented people to look out for in 2016 following his successful range of Star Wars Homewares & Toys which sold in Europe, the U.S and Australia. Now with close to 10 years in design, Sean uses his multi-disciplinary skills and experience of large brands to give an all-round service to his clients. For many of his customers, it’s like hiring one person and getting a team of designers instead.

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Sean said: "To be shortlisted alongside three incredible candidates for the New to Freelancing Award is a huge compliment and it’s something I can’t quite get my head around yet. It means even more coming from an association such as IPSE who are so well respected in the industry.

"Even just being shortlisted for this event will help my business massively as the recognition will help me continue to grow as a person and as a freelancer. It shows that my hard work and experience in the field are paying off having taken the self-employed leap only 12 months ago.”


Adam Pearson, research and evaluation consultant 

Adam Pearson is a freelance research and evaluation consultant based in Lancashire. He worked in the public sector for the best part of a decade, heading up an in-house research agency for the last few years. But Adam always had the ambition to be self-employed and last year he went for it.

He set up Pearson Insight last May to help public and cultural organisations find new insights through market research, evaluation and analysis. Adam has worked with a dozen clients over the last year on projects covering anything from customer insight and employee research to event evaluations and industry benchmarking.

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Adam said: "I can’t believe I’m a finalist, it’ll take a while to sink in. There are so many amazing freelancers across the UK, to be shortlisted for an IPSE award in my first year is a real honour. I know it’s early days but hopefully this is just the start for my freelance business.”

" Let’s not pretend freelancing is easy, but it works for me. I love the people. It’s a proper community, you’re not doing it on your own and I’m proud to be part of it. I enjoy the flexibility and freedom it offers too. Almost as much as my dogs do.”


Salma Haidrani, journalist

Salma Haidrani is a four-time award-winning freelance writer and journalist. She won ‘Young Journalist of the Year’ in October 2017 and ‘Best Feature’ in November 2016. Her work predominantly focuses on women’s rights, marginalised communities, contemporary faith, British identity and social issues for the likes of i-D, Vice, DAZED, Refinery29UK, Cosmopolitan, HUNGER, Time Out London and others. She is committed to shedding light on Britain’s invisible voices and providing a platform for the voices of invisible and under-represented communities.

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Salma said: "I’m thrilled that my contribution to the UK media landscape has been recognised by such an esteemed awards ceremony, particularly one that celebrates Britain’s diverse and talented freelance community. My nomination has motivated me to continue my commitment to providing a platform for the voices of Britain’s invisible and under-represented communities, particularly in a post-Brexit turbulent political climate.”


Tina Touli, Creative Graphic Designer

Tina Touli is a creative director, graphic communication designer, maker, speaker and educator. She currently works as a freelance multidisciplinary designer and teaches at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. She works in a great variety of design fields, including print and digital design, with different clients, such as Adobe, Dell, Tate, Converse, University of the Arts London, Kappa, Athens Digital Arts Festival and Movement Festival.

She had the honor to be selected by Print Magazine as one of the 15 best young designers in the world, aged under 30 (2017). Her work has been featured in Adobe Create Magazine, Digital Arts Magazine and Creative Review blog among others and design publications such as “Design{h}ers” by Viction:ary. She has been invited to present her work in various events and conferences all over the world, as for example at the Adobe Live Stream and the Connect London.

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Tina said: "It is a great honour, fulfilment and motivation to be shortlisted for the “New to Freelancing Award”. Design is an extension of myself. My work is my passion! I am so glad to see my work being appreciated, admired and awarded by associations like IPSE.

"Freelancing gives me the freedom to explore new fields, learn new skills, enjoy, appreciate and get satisfaction from every little thing that I do!.”

Meet the author

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