Being an animator is a dream come true for many graphic designers who are seeking to specialize in an area of design. But is working in animation all it's really cracked up to be? If you are interested in becoming a freelance animator, here is what you need to know about working in this often-competitive business.
1) The advantages of working as a freelance animator
Working in animation on a freelance basis allows you to set your own hours and be your own boss. You get to exercise your own creativity and work from your pajamas if you want. Although freelance animation can seem like a sweet gig, you need to understand some things before you get started. For the most part, working in animation can be rewarding. If you managed to secure a good freelance animation assignment, working in this business can also be very convenient.
2) Learn how to manage your time as an animator
It can be tempting to think you have all the time in the world. One of the hardest things about freelancing as an animator is how easy you run out of time. It bears repeating that working in the world a freelance animation, you will need an incredible amount of discipline to survive and thrive. With no one breathing over your shoulder and no one watching the clock, you can easily lose track of time. Sometimes it's impossible to stay on task if you're not careful with your time. The moral here is to stay on task and keep a strong work schedule.
3) Learn to build your own client base
One of the most important things you learn as a freelance animator is to learn to make lasting connections with your clients. As an animator, you may start off with one or two small clients. But as you continue to do good work and build your reputation as a talented and dedicated animator, you are bound to build your own client base. One of the great things about working in animation is that is a relatively small, specialized field. Once you begin to get work and establish yourself, it is relatively easy to network and begin to build a very viable client base.
4) What to do it during those slow periods
The world to freelance goes up and down, and animation is no different. As a freelance animator, you are bound to have those days, weeks, and even months, when little or no work will appear at your doorstep. This is a dry spell of freelancing, and every good freelancer must go through this at some point in his or her career. No freelance work is always steady. Animation work will follow you when it needs to get done. This is why it is so important to budget carefully. When you get a big paycheck, the best thing to do is save some of it for the slower periods.
5) Contracts and Negotiations
Whenever you are hired for a freelance animation project, make sure that you sign a contract, and that you read all the fine print. You should always get some kind of contract, or at the very least, some kind of written agreement. Negotiations can be difficult, especially if you are new to the world of freelance animation. But it is important that you learn how to value your work and ask for what you deserve. Although the prospect of alienating or scaring off clients can be frightening, it is important to learn how to negotiate for all of your hard work.