Rebels and Rogues
The origin of the word freelance dates back to Medieval times when rogue knight mercenaries would compete in dangerous combat tournaments for the bragging rights of whichever kingdom paid the highest price for their services. The climax of these thrilling events was always the heart-pounding jousting competition, in which competitors mounted on charging horseback would battle with long, spear-like lances, hence the term freelancer — which came to mean skilled-for-hire.
This adventurous, high-stakes model of employment was soon adopted by all manner of skilled craftsmen and craftswomen throughout the world — from pirates, poets and painters to carpenters, cooks and cowboys.
Today the skills have changed but the goals are largely the same — Master your craft. Work hard. Get paid. Enjoy the adventure.
Jason Carreiro is a freelance designer and brand consultant. He lives, works and surfs in beautiful coastal Maine.