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  • Writer's pictureMatt Collie

The Challenges of Being a Freelance Motion Graphic Designer

Today, we're going to be talking about a topic near and dear to my heart: the challenges of being a freelance motion graphic designer. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Matt, isn't motion design just a fancy way of saying 'cartoon-making for grown-ups?'" Well, my friend, you couldn't be more wrong.


Motion design is a highly specialized and competitive field that requires both technical skill and artistic vision. And being a freelance motion designer? Well, let's just say it's not all sunshine and rainbows. So, grab a beer and get comfortable, because we're about to dive into the gritty reality of the freelance motion graphics design world.


A floating motion graphic designer


Being a Motion Designer


With so many businesses relying on digital media to engage their audience, the demand for motion designers is higher than ever before. But while being a freelance motion designer might seem like the dream job, there are several challenges that come along with the title. So, if you're thinking about venturing into this world, buckle up and let's get into it!



What is Motion Design?


Before we dive into the challenges, let's first establish what motion design is. In simple terms, motion design is the art of creating moving images, graphics, and animations. It's a combination of graphic design, animation, and filmmaking, and it's used in a wide range of industries, from advertising and marketing to entertainment and education. A motion designer is a person who specializes in creating these moving graphics and animations.



The Life of a Freelance Motion Designer


So, what does the life of a freelance motion designer look like? Well, it can vary from person to person, but generally speaking, it involves working from home or a studio, collaborating with clients and other designers, and managing your own time and workload. Freelancers have the freedom to choose which projects they work on, when they work on them, and how much they charge for their services. Sounds great, right? But as with any freelance job, there are challenges that come along with the freedom.


Challenge 1: Finding Consistent Work

One of the biggest challenges that freelance motion designers face is finding consistent work. It's not uncommon for freelancers to have periods of time where they're swamped with projects, followed by periods of time where they have no work at all. This can make it difficult to plan ahead and manage your finances. It's important to establish a network of clients and collaborators who can provide consistent work, but this can take time and effort to build.


Challenge 2: Managing Your Finances

Speaking of finances, managing your own finances is another challenge that comes with being a freelance motion designer. You'll need to keep track of your expenses, invoices, and taxes. It's important to set aside money for taxes and unexpected expenses, as well as for slow periods when you might not have much work. It's also a good idea to have a solid contract in place with your clients to protect yourself and ensure you get paid on time.


Challenge 3: Staying Motivated and Focused

Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you have the freedom to work in your pyjamas and set your own schedule. On the other hand, it can be difficult to stay motivated and focused when there are distractions all around you. It's important to establish a routine and set boundaries for yourself, such as designating a specific workspace and taking breaks at regular intervals. You may also want to consider joining a co-working space or finding other ways to connect with other freelancers for support and motivation.


Challenge 4: Keeping Up with Technology

Technology is constantly evolving, and as a motion designer, it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest software and tools. This can be both expensive and time-consuming, and it can be difficult to determine which software and tools are worth investing in. You'll also need to stay on top of trends in the industry and continue to develop your skills to remain competitive.


Challenge 5: Balancing Creativity with Client Demands

As a freelance motion designer, you'll often be working with clients who have specific demands and expectations for their projects. It can be a challenge to balance your own creative vision with the client's needs and preferences. It's important to communicate with your clients and establish a clear understanding of their goals and objectives. You may need to compromise on certain aspects of your design to meet their needs, but it's also important to maintain your artistic integrity and ensure that the final product meets your own standards.


Challenge 6: Dealing with Rejection

Not every project you work on as a freelance motion designer will be a success. You may submit proposals or ideas that are rejected by clients, or you may work on a project that doesn't meet your own expectations. Dealing with rejection is an inevitable part of the job, and it can be difficult to maintain your confidence and motivation when it happens. It's important to remember that rejection is not a reflection of your worth as a designer, and to use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.


An explosion of Motion Design


Overcoming the Challenges


While the challenges of being a freelance motion designer can be daunting, they can also be overcome with the right mindset and strategies. Here are some tips for overcoming these challenges:


  • Establish a network of clients and collaborators to provide consistent work.

  • Use accounting software or hire an accountant to manage your finances.

  • Set boundaries and establish a routine to stay motivated and focused.

  • Attend industry events and training sessions to stay up-to-date with technology and trends.

  • Communicate with your clients and establish a clear understanding of their needs and objectives.

  • Use rejection as an opportunity to learn and grow.



So is Freelancing Worth it?


Being a freelance motion designer is a rewarding and exciting career, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. From finding consistent work to managing your finances and staying motivated, freelancers need to be prepared to overcome obstacles and adapt to changes in the industry. By establishing a network of clients, setting boundaries, staying up-to-date with technology, and communicating effectively with clients, you can overcome these challenges and succeed as a freelance motion designer.



Collaborate on Engaging Motion Design


As always, thanks for reading and if you're ready to take your career to the next level, look no further! Contact me today to discuss how we can collaborate and create some stunning motion design together. Let's create something amazing together!





Sources & Inspiration

https://www.schoolofmotion.com/blog/freelance-advice-motion-designers

https://motionographer.com/2015/04/01/7-problems-with-motion-design-education/

https://www.toptal.com/designers/motion-graphics/motion-design-industry

https://motionhatch.com/053-how-to-become-a-motion-graphic-designer-in-11-weeks-w-chris-field

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