Interview With Adrian Diaconescu of Rubiqube – We Talk About Design, Blogging and Freelancing

Hey folks, I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Adrian Diaconescu of Rubiqube. In this interview we talk design, blogging and freelancing. Enjoy! :)


Jon: Hi Adrian, thanks a lot for taking the time for this interview. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself? Where you’re from, what you do?

Adrian DiaconescuAdrian: Like I said, Jon, I’m a big fan of Freelance Folder and it’s really an honor for me to be considered for an interview. Thanks!

Since I started freelancing, this has become my “freelancing pick-up line”: My name is Adrian Diaconescu and I’m a freelance (web) designer based in Bucharest, Romania. I do a bit of everything (Flash animation, web programming, design for print), but my strong point is designing for the web. Lately I started to specialize in WordPress custom theme design.

Jon: You’re a freelance designer and you blog. Why did you decide to start Is your blog helping you get more clients and contracts?

Adrian: The initial plan was to use as a simple portfolio website: a few static pages, portfolio, contact form. But then I started to learn more an more about this thing called blogging. I also joined sites like flickr,, Facebook and suddenly my whole perspective changed. I started to read other designer blogs from around the world and decided I needed a blog myself.

I didn’t just “follow the crowd“, I really felt this would be a good thing, for a couple of reasons:

My clients (or potential clients) are mostly from the US and the UK. It’s not that easy for them to trust some guy from the other side of the globe. I can relate to that. So I felt that having a blog will help my clients see me for who I really am, with the good and the bad. That way they can make an informed decision about whether or not to trust me with their next project. Before starting the blog, I had to exchange a lot of emails, Skype calls, etc. Now it’s not only easier to get the ball rolling, but I get a lot of design requests through my blog’s contact form.

I started to interact with bloggers and designers from around the world, so I needed a place where I could post my own thoughts, in English. Blogging is probably one of the best ways to connect with other designers and exchange valuable information. I was very happy to notice freelancers and designers in general stick together and help each other a lot.
I plan to use the blog as a way to promote my work, my future web related projects and also my blogging experiences.

Jon: How did you get started? Did you study something in particular or are you self-taught?

Adrian: I got my first job when I was still in school. After working as Flash Designer / Developer for about a year, I started a web design and eLearning company with 3 other friends. A year later I left and entered the corporate world: I worked for about a year as Creative Designer for a multinational company.

A little over year ago I also started to do some freelancing on the side. I needed the money in order to start another business: me and my wife built a dental practice next to our home. After about 3 months of sleepless nights, I decided it was time to choose between the job and freelancing gigs. My job started to be a bit boring and at the same time one of my clients made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. So it wasn’t a very difficult choice for me. That’s when my freelancing journey began. A year later, things look better than ever!

As for my studies: I really don’t have any educational background in design. I studied computer automation. :) All I have is my passion for nice looking, easy to use websites.

Jon: What are the tools you couldn’t live without? (softwares, invoicing tools, time/task-management apps, pen/paper, etc…)

Jon: What would be your best piece of advice for folks who are just getting started?

Adrian: There are many things that I had to learn the hard way, but I think this is the most important advice I would give: Don’t underestimate, undersell or underprice your services!

Jon: Where do you find inspiration? Any website you like to go to that gets your creative juices flowing? Do you get inspiration from the offline world too? (buildings, architecture, logos/signs, etc…)

Adrian: I have to admit that most of my inspiration also comes from the web, from the hundreds of websites that I see every week or various CSS galleries. It’s inevitable. But I also like to spend quite some time on flickr, because it’s a community of very talented people. Sometimes I find inspiration just by dragging various photographs to my canvas.

Jon: Who, in the online world, would you say has had the biggest influence on you? (designer, blogger, entrepreneur, etc…)

Adrian: There are many designers that I admire. I have a lot of respect for Jesse Bennett-Chamberlain, Veerle Pieters and Cameron Moll. Cameron’s articles on full time freelancing had a big impact on my freelancing journey. From the “make money online” group of bloggers: I had a lot to learn from Darren Rowse and Yaro Starak. And last, but not least… I’m a huge Seth Godin fan.

Jon: Where do you see yourself in a couple years from now? Reading your ‘about page‘ I know you have the goal of retiring before 40, but let’s say in 5 years from now? :)

Adrian: Right! Well… my dream is to see as much of this world as possible. I hope to be able to spend at least 3 months a year on vacation. I wouldn’t mind bringing my laptop with me. I can see myself finishing up that new blog or website design, then going for a swim at the beach. I really think freelancing can give you this kind of freedom. ;)

Jon: What’s in your Ipod? (I have to ask :) )

Adrian: Hehe, I had a feeling you would. Actually I don’t have one. I bought one for my wife, but I’m more of a kind of guy. My playlist includes: Nickelback, The Rasmus, Hoobastank, Sick Puppies, K’s Choice, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith. Not sure if you can “profile me” based on this selection. ;)

Jon: Mac or PC? And why?

Adrian: PC. Because I’ve gotten used to it and because a Mac is too much of an investment for what my needs are.

Jon: Again, thanks a lot Adrian for taking the time for this interview! Make sure you stop by Rubiqube! Hey and you can also follow Adrian on Twitter! :)