This is what I do:
1- Work as a freelance designer for several companies designing industrial equipment, gym equipment and consumer products.
2- Develop my own products, including prototyping and intellectual property, with the goal of eventually license these products ideas to manufacturers that can take them to market.
A little bit of my story:
I studied Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, and graduated with very good marks. After finishing University, worked for around 9 years as Mechanical Designer for two companies in Spain.
At some point of my life, I realised that working for others was not really my cup of tea and decided to explore my options. So, I took a sabbatical year and traveled to Thailand where my savings could last longer until I could find whatever it was that I was looking for.
During this period I tried several things, some of them make me laugh when I look back now (I was 9 months doing oil paintings. I even could sell some of them, but it was clear that was not going to be enough to live). The second one worked a bit better, I started learning graphic design and eventually started working as a freelancer doing so!
From graphic design, passed to 3D design and rendering, and then the dots got connected and I started mixing those new skills I just acquired with my engineering background. Now I can offer my clients a wide range of services which is very convenient for them. I design the machine or the product, but also create a catalog or a manual and even a commercial video if you need it!
Many people understimate the power of visuals in the industrial world, but the truth is that even there, people buy moved by emotions. Creating appealing graphics and animations to sell ideas is a powerful tool and makes all the difference, especially in the industrial world where not many people cares about it. There is where my talents come together, I am a creative designer but also have a good eye for aesthetics. This combination make the projects I work on usually a success.