Our member of the week is Daniel Michalik. Daniel is a furniture designer, but his focus is on using environmentally friendly material in his designs. Lately, he's been working on furniture made of cork. Daniel recently designed 12 benches and a reception desk for the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian in New York. To see examples of Daniel’s work, along with explanations of each piece, take a look at his website. Also check out Daniel’s profile and our interview with him below to find out more about him and his experiences as a freelancer.

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1. What has been your most interesting project?

Exhibiting my furniture at the Milan International Furniture Fair in April of 2005. So much work and stress to get the work complete in time, crates built, deal with international shipping and customs, but it really launched my fledgling career and was one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

*2. Why did you decide to go freelance? *

I committed to the idea of going freelance after the Milan show in 2005 showed that there was some interest and demand for the work that I do, the fact that I couldn't find anything else really like it in the marketplace at the time, and that if I played my cards right, I might just be able to make it work!

3. What tip would you give to a new freelancer or someone who is considering going freelance?

Meet as many people as possible, stay laid back and open to any new opportunity, and don't freak out over any more than 4% of the problems that come your way, because they are not as bad as they seem at the time!

4. What is your favorite spot in the city in which you live?

The spooky abandoned hospital on Roosevelt Island.

5. What is your inspiration?

Nature's talent for growth and adaptation.