I was starting to lose hope that life had more in store for me than lower thirds and quick-turn around branding packages. I dreamed of a job where I was getting paid to do my best work, work that actually demonstrated why I got into motion graphics in the first place. The problem was my paycheck. It provided me everything I needed financially and I was addicted to it. Yet it felt impossible to ignore that, in every other aspect of my career I was frustrated. When I had work my excitement for it was muted and when I didn’t, I was daydreaming about what I really wanted be doing with my time. My family’s assurances that I had “a good job,” did little to stop me from deciding this wasn’t what happiness looked like to me. Above all, I was done with being unable to use my time for what I really wanted to be doing. Enter freelancing, stage left.
One day an opportunity presented itself that became my breaking point. One very charismatic freelancer I had been doing work for on the side had wrangled up a project that required a month of my full, undivided attention. It was everything I wanted: a high-profile client, good pay, and a shot at creating something stunning for my portfolio. The perfect excuse to go freelance. Of course I took the job, giddy that next month my paycheck wouldn’t come from my employer. A whole week went by with butterflies in my stomach but once I commanded the courage to quit, I was lighter than air.
The gig ended up being…a learning experience. Truthfully it was chock full of several outright failures but creatively speaking I grew exponentially. I learned and used software that I had never had good reason to learn at my old job. I made something big and ambitious that looked more expensive than it was. I used a network I didn’t even know I had to source other collaborators for the project. Long story short, it felt like coming alive after months of stagnation and I learned more in that month than I had in the last year of full-time employment.
After skydiving into the world of freelance like this, here are some of things I was saying after the first 6 months:
• “I want to know how to get into top studios. It seems impossible to get them to notice me, it’s like I’m invisible.”
• “I got into this because I wanted to be entrepreneurial and in control of my career but alot of the time it just feels like I’m waiting for e-mails to show up in my inbox.”
• “Getting paid on time is way harder than it should be. One situation took 4 months to get paid and I couldn’t do anything about it.”
• “Client relationships are hard. I’ve been abused where I worked ridiculous hours for little money and the terms weren’t even clear as to who was right.”
Looking back at these quotes now, I sit back and laugh.
I’ve found solutions or work arounds that I’d love to share with you. When you first make the leap to freelancing it’s hard not to be overwhelmed. You’re running your own business now, finding your own clients, managing those relationships, deciding what to charge all in the name of getting to the creative work that you’re getting hired for. But the chaos doesn’t last long. Faster than you think, you learn that you can do it.’
What You Get Out of This:
The ability to control your own time remains the most cherished feature of going freelance, one that makes everything worth it. What do you want to do that are you aren’t doing currently? If you go freelance you can stop dreaming about it and dedicate as long as you can afford to doing it. I used my time to go from being an After Effects artist to a 3D Octane wizard. Once your free time is yours to spend as you see fit, you no longer need to spend it doing what someone else thinks you should be doing. Subscribe to Rapid Motions and I can help you manifest a more fulfilling reality. Other things I hope to teach you include:
• Being your own boss so YOU can decide what the most valuable use of your time is
• How to pick projects where you’re getting paid to grow
• The ability to work from anywhere in the world through remote freelance
• How to learn faster by working with a large number of creative teams instead of the same people day in and out
• Making more than your peers for the same exact job
If you are someone who finds themselves dreaming of what they’d rather be doing at work everyday, then its worth trying freelancing. If the thought of succeeding or failing on your merits excites you, then say yes to freelancing. If you are self-sufficient and self-motivated you will be 100,000% happier, make way more money and become a better artist if you go freelance. The mission statement of this site is to take the fear and mystery out of freelancing. If anything I said here resonates with your current frequency in life, I’d love to help you find what I’ve been finding for the last year and half: that freelancing is an empowering way to live.
Subscribe to my newsletter below and you will learn how to succeed. Success means winning more jobs, more freedom and less stress so you can focus on your work. Come on this journey with me and I promise you will no longer have anything to fear about being a freelancer in the motion graphics industry.