Nearly 40 Hungarian artists, graphic designers, illustrators, animation directors displayed how they perceive the freelancing lifestyle in an online exhibition entitled “Like fish in the sea”. The event was organized by Balka and was presented at Design Week Budapest. The title of the project derives from a Hungarian proverb which roughly translates to “sound as a roach” meaning someone feels alright and lives a carefree life. 

Being a freelancer or having a small company in the cultural and creative sector can feel like swimming against the current. Big fish eats the small fish or at least leaves no ‘project crumbs’ for the rookie. All home office days are like squirming on the beach not to mention that it’s not only the client who sees the speck in the artists’ eyes but vice versa. And what is more it seems to pay day never comes, but sometimes contracting doesn't either. Business is hard to come by but hope dies last that someday, we will be the goldfish from whom only three modifications are requested.

The goal of the project is to create an online exhibition that reflects the phenomena of the creative scene with the cooperation of artists, to start a discourse on the daily struggles of freelancing, to bring the members of different areas closer together as well as to shed light on how cultural project management can aid designers. The challenges are very real and can take many shapes but they can also be mended, if the general patterns become visible and part of the public discourse. And maybe one day, freelancers can live like fish in the sea.

The exhibited materials are still or moving pictures, GIFs, animations which were produced by members of the creative sector. The participants could choose from 50 predetermined themes but they could also construct new ideas. There were topics on the list such as acquiring new clients, impossible deadlines, asking for modifications at night or during the weekend, know-it-all clients, indecipherable briefs or the concept of home office. The mode of visual execution was not set, the contributors were only asked to remember to refer to the exhibition’s title.

There are some amongst the nearly 40 participants who have been freelancing for quite some time now, but there are pieces that were created by young designers at the beginning of their careers and some others were conceived by university students. All designs are unique and reflect their maker’s style who is affected by the topic either because of its actuality or because it appears in their lives quite frequently.

The exhibition can be browsed at Balka’s website, the contact information about the artists is made available by clicking on their artworks. The event was part of the official Design Week Budapest 2020 program. 


Exhibitors: Zsófia Bányai ~ Tamara Bella ~ Atos Bencsik ~ Aliz Borsa ~ Kinga Covaciuné Czuczor ~ Zoltán Debreczeni ~ Gita Elek ~ Szandra Farkas ~ Hanga Fejős ~ Saci Gázmár ~ Áron Huszlicska ~ Hajnalka Illés ~ Csenge Kalmár ~ Zóra Kondor ~ Adél Kovács ~ Zsófia Láposi ~ Mátyás Locsmándi ~ Petra Lilla Marjai ~ Dániel Marton ~ Gábor Mészáros - game4d ~ Nikoletta Mihalik ~ Alíz Moldovan and Tamara Dózsa - Studio Oneperone ~ Kata Moravszki ~ Péter Morvai ~ Bence Musinszky ~ Máté Gergő Muszka ~ Aliz Nagy ~ Anna Prakfalvi ~ Alíz Stocker ~ Izabella Szabó ~ Réka Anna Szakály ~ Eszter Szőcs and Kriszti Szepes - Slag Kollektíva ~ Bernadett Tihon ~ Rita Vándor ~ Dóra Visky ~ Zoltán Visnyai ~ Judit Zengővári

Organizer: Balka

Graphic Design: Compact Studio


Balka provides personalized project management services for professionals of the creative and cultural sphere (freelancers, companies, foundations, organisations and institutions) to achieve their short- and medium-term goals. Whether it is increasing visibility and branding; boosting sales and the number of customers or visitors; developing campaigns and strategies; finding resources, arranging equipment or supporting collaborations to happen; realizing events or creating a visual identity, we are here to help.

Website: https://www.balkacreative.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/balkacreative 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/balkacreative/


Zsófia Bányai - graphic designer, animation director - No problem

Tamara Bella - illustrator, animator - Gold Fish’s Fixation

Atos Bencsik - graphic designer, motion designer - Keep Yo Cool

Kinga Covaciuné Czuczor - graphic designer - The Shower Break of the Designer who Become One with her Computer

Zoltán Debreczeni - animation director, illustrator - Mental Breakdown

Gita Elek - graphic designer - Procrastination (Halogatás in Hungarian)

Szandra Farkas - animator, sound designer: Sinkó Bori - Space 

Hanga Fejős - graphic designer - Panic

Saci Gázmár - graphic designer - Herring Party

Áron Huszlicska - graphic designer, illustrator - Deadline

Hajnalka Illés - graphic designer - ASAP

Csenge Kalmár - graphic designer - Insignificant Small Detail

Zóra Kondor - graphic designer, illustrator, brand designer - Free Stock Designer

Adél Kovács - illustrator - Customers’ Comments

Zsófia Láposi - graphic designer - Life is a Beach

Mátyás Locsmándi - graphic designer - When the Phone Vibrates

Petra Lilla Marjai - illustrator, animator- Burnt out Freelancer Dreaming about Matisse

Dániel Marton - graphic designer - Just 5 Minutes 

Gábor Mészáros - game4d - graphic designer - ASAP

Nikoletta Mihalik - graphic designer, illustrator - Customers who Know Everything about Everything

Alíz Moldovan, Tamara Dózsa - Studio Oneperone - graphic designers - Money vs. Portfolio

Kata Moravszki - graphic designer, illustrator - ASAP

Péter Morvai - graphic designer - Fish Wish

Bence Musinszky - illustrator, animator - Contract

Máté Gergő Muszka - graphic designer, illustrator - v8th_finalfinal

Aliz Nagy - graphic designer - Magic Glasses

Anna Prakfalvi - graphic designer - Panic

Alíz Stocker - illustrator, graphic designer - Can You Make the Logo Bigger?

Izabella Szabó - graphic designer, illustrator - Busy Days Ahead

Réka Anna Szakály - illustrator - Chill

Eszter Szőcs, Kriszti Szepes - Slag Kollektíva - graphic designers - 10 Hours of Powerful Detox Music

Bernadett Tihon - graphic designer - Error

Rita Vándor - graphic designer - Constant Changes

Dóra Visky - graphic designer, motion designer - Can Humans Multitask?

Zoltán Visnyai - graphic designer - Am I Already There?

Judit Zengővári - illustrator - Hopes Die Last

Aliz Borsa - graphic designer, typographer - Looking for a Job

text on the work:

#1 you have fantastic works

you would definitely be in the front row, but....

#2 your works are wonderful, we are completely impressed

unfortunately you were not in

#3 we would love to work with you

we didn't choose you

# mydreamsaregettingfartherandfarther # overqualified

#notenough #likefishinthesea #Iwouldwork #don’tgiveup #butithurts

More information here.

Last modified on 29-10-2020