Advice on how to apply for a job at a company you're freelancing at without ruining relationships

Currently, I'm freelancing (as a designer) at a company I love. I've just seen they have a digital designer role going. How do I approach applying without making it awkward if they're not what I'm looking for?? Considering the Creative Director who i'm working with will be reviewing the applications?
Could you have an open conversation about the role itself? Maybe start by saying you saw the job post and am curious to learn more about it! That way you can gauge from the information given whether or not it's something that suits you :) I'd imagine if you don't ultimately pursue it, that there wouldn't be any hard feelings 🀞
Teresa, this is great. A simple solution to an overthought issue! Thanks so much ☺️
10000% with Teresa's advice! I'd almost treat this as an info interview except you know them a little bit more which put you at a big advantage and remember employers are looking for the "derisk factor" if they are going to invest in a new person it's always better if they can cut the costs ie. training for instance (since you know how they operate already that can be a plus and that's how you should position too when you approach those convos) Something along those lines: "I really love my experience freelancing for you and it really made me rethink my career trajectory, I saw this role and I think I'd be perfect for it because of XYZ and in fact Project ABC I was put on recently is a testament of my skills and hwo I match this role perfectly"If from the get-go, your concern is that you might not be what they want, then you are approaching this discussion from a place of vulnerability and already selling yourself short which I don't think is what you want.
Really helpful, thanks @iynna. I can combine both of your advice!
+1 to Teresa. They may not have thought specifically for your strengths or that you would be interested in the work. So have the conversation :)
Thanks @nicholeharrop. It's just a conversation!