I appreciate the generous and gentle comments towards the free work. @ChristopherBurton, i gave that article a good read. thanks for the link. Ive started with a portfolio site and im quite happy with it so far.
One thing i can take away and start doing now is just make fake websites, templates, and post those on my resume/portfolio site and the experience will come to me.
@ptbbetts, I will be updating the status of the client relationship here regularly.
@css-tricks community, I really do appreciate all the constructive comments. The general audience here seems to be a good group of technical professionals that conduct themselves so.