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View Full Version : Finding it hard to Freelance...any pointers?


Kier132
06-15-2009, 01:41 PM
I've just left University studying 3D animation and Design, to be honest the course was quite wack not teaching us the skills of proper animation so im not a great animator, but im teaching myself atm so im quite a beginner.., anyways to cut the message short im finding it hard to freelance and "get myself out there" on the internet etc...and i cant get one client...i've made my first showreel and have sites that have images of my work....but seems like no1s interested....any pointers anybody...!!

:-(

thethule
06-18-2009, 10:26 PM
First off, not much info to go on there. Where have you looked, posted, asked, etc...?

Also, the obvious question is: if you are finding it hard to get work, maybe you are not ready to go freelance? You say yourself that you are not very good and the work on your portfolio doesnt show much in terms of quality...

I think you may have a struggle on your hands for now. And i would reconsider freelence work unless you are ready and/or living with parents....

but either way. Going freelance isnt easy. Went i did so, i was lucky enough to be hired by my old company and that was enough till i started getting more clients. Its a hard, scary slog. The rewards can be great, but its tough at first.

Can i give you some advice which works for me:

-be prepared to go the extra mile for your client. Be available for them. Forget your weekends, evenigns, whatever. Especially at first, unless you are VERY good, if you cant do a job, they will find someone who can and they will call him next time they need a job done. So, be prepared to work after hours to get in clients good book/memories as "a guy who can help us"

-Dont say no to any client changes/requests without offering an alternative. if somethign cant be done in time, thats fine, they will respect that (unless they are di*ks) but you HAVE to offer alernatives. Render farms, hiring someone else, whatever.

_Most of the time, if a client says they need it on such and such a date, they really mean they would like it on that day. So, if finishing it for that day will be tough or you will have to cut corners, BE HONEST. Tell them, talk to them. Again, offer alternatives. Say, i can get you a 70% finished piece, for you to check the animation/timing, but i need more time to get the lighting right etc....
Basically, always check if there is more time. If they want it for friday, ask if its possible to deliver on monday morning. That way you get the pressure off you a little bit and can work at the weekend to improve/finish it.

-Always call the day after delivery to see if they are happy, if it all went well and tell them you are available if they need anythign else. They will really appreciate these calls.
Likewise, if you screwed up or there was an issue, call after the job to explain/apologise etc...Dont grovel, be professional and just explain.

_lastly: Talk to them. Dont hide for a day and not pick up your phone. if things are not going well, TELL THEM. be honest, but dont give them details. They dont care that After Effects has crashed for the hundreths time. They will feel more secure if you tell them relaistically, "it wil be another 2 hours" or whatever.


As for finding the work itself. i cant help you much im afraid. Most of my clients have been through word of mouth. I tried a few agencies, but they all sucked except for Soho Editors . But you may have better luck, so give them a try. Off the top of my head, Tovs are pretty good agency.

Also, check out mandy.com There are loads of job posting there, many for free/lo paid work, which if the project is interesting and you have free time, you may want to conider as it can gain you valuable experience. But pick wisely, or you will be wasting your time/be taken advantage of.


So, for now, eat, sleep and breathe 3d. Work 18 hours a day at it to get good, work on good pieces for your reel. Dont waste time on star wars animations or anything dumb. Do things that clients will be interested in like pack shots, or commercial looking character animations, or cool motion graphics..

Good luck! Sorry for any spelling mistakes, i really cant be arsed to check it. And my girlfriend is complaining about me typing too loudly.

Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions. Just be aware that i tend to not see when i have messages, so dont be offended if i dont get back to you that quickly.

Marc

behn
06-19-2009, 12:48 AM
Nice informative post there Marc! As a recent graduate this advice is realy helpfull for me. innitially I was aiming towards getting an entry level job at one of soho's post production studios, it seems though that as time drags on with no luck i may need to take the freelancing path to pay some bills!

Would you mind giving your opinion on freelancing over a fulltime position and why you chose the former?

Kier132
06-19-2009, 10:53 AM
Thanks alot for the info!! really helped, well what i have been doing is going on random ad sites and puttin my ads up showing my work etc you can look at my work on (www.flickr.com/retropencils) just that havent found any places that i have asked..etc, atm im ust seeing where my strong points are in terms of creativity and im starting to illustrate and digital paint a lot now since im quite obsessed with doodling atm...but thank you very much for the info!

Kier

thethule
06-19-2009, 11:24 AM
im just gonna be honest, as i believe thats better, and say that im not sure you will find work as a freelencer. You may find a few very low paid jobs, but i doubt even that. Your work isnt anywhere near strong enough. Your design work is better than your 3d work.

I would recommend conecntrating on getting in as a runner/intern/whatever in animation houses rather than waste any more time trying to go freelance. But even so, if this is all you got, then you can probably forget that happening for the moment, purely because there are loads of people applying and a lot of them will be a lot better than you.

Now that doesnt mean dont keep trying, but be prepared for it to take you a long time. It took me exactly one year to get my first job and in that time i worked in a bar to get money, then spent all day learning 3d and working on getting my job. And even then i was lucky enough to serve someone at the bar who worked in 3d. I always kept print outs of my work there just in case...

Whatever happens, dont be discouraged. Good luck

leigh
06-19-2009, 11:33 AM
im just gonna be honest, as i believe thats better, and say that im not sure you will find work as a freelencer. You may find a few very low paid jobs, but i doubt even that. Your work isnt anywhere near strong enough. Your design work is better than your 3d work.

I would recommend conecntrating on getting in as a runner/intern/whatever in animation houses rather than waste any more time trying to go freelance. But even so, if this is all you got, then you can probably forget that happening for the moment, purely because there are loads of people applying and a lot of them will be a lot better than you.

Now that doesnt mean dont keep trying, but be prepared for it to take you a long time. It took me exactly one year to get my first job and in that time i worked in a bar to get money, then spent all day learning 3d and working on getting my job. And even then i was lucky enough to serve someone at the bar who worked in 3d. I always kept print outs of my work there just in case...

Whatever happens, dont be discouraged. Good luck

I totally agree with this post.

A recent graduate is going to fare far better in an established studio environment, than trying to go freelance. If your ultimate aim is to be a freelancer, then use the time in a studio to learn about production, working to briefs, meeting deadlines, keeping up to industry standards, etc. Do this for a few years and then you'll be better prepared for freelancing.

Of course, getting into a studio is a tough task in itself, and as the above poster said, you're going to have to improve your work in order to make yourself more attractive to employers.

Kier132
06-19-2009, 12:00 PM
Yeah thanks for info guys and yeah i do believe that going into an industry type job is better then going freelance and learning the ropes etc, at the moment im just trying to find my strongpoint..which i dont know yet whether thats design/illustration or 3D.so at the moment i aint too sure...so maybe i need some opinions on what i should focus on more in order to improve

thanks again though!

thethule
06-29-2009, 05:23 PM
By the way,

If you live in London, get a bar job or something in Soho. lots of animators and producers etc... drinking there after work and on friday nights. So you may meet someone. It worked for me! I worked in a bar called Jerusalem and met a producer one night who thought my work showed promise.

Talk to them, be friendly, have some work to show them. It will increase your chances greatly to be there in the thick of it.

marc

MCHammond
07-02-2009, 11:44 AM
Find a niche!

If you want to do freelance you have to find work or convince someone that they need work doing even if they don't realize it!

I'm a generalist so I cant say what you should do, but from my perspective its better to be a whole solution rather than part of it! Most of the work I was doing when I did freelance was Product Visualization and Product Demo's. This involved good renders and some animation although in some demo's I did have full character animation!

As for finding work I found that if the product lacks "star quality" then its much easier to find and get! for example you wont get a job involving a mobile phone as easily as you may get a job doing a portable toilet! But at the end of the day both jobs pay the same and are just as important.

I got a really good job doing scaffolding for a company, they were not the most glamorous company but still needed good renders "they wanted all the scaffolding to look new and shiny, because a photo would show it as a load of ****" but that's the point just because its not a glamorous product doesn't mean it cant be a glamorous render! I was often surprised how good the Images looked!

So basically look under stones for work literally! "a diamond in the ruff is still a diamond!"

Do you have any friends from school "before Uni" who are now working for larger company's? I got a fair amount of my first jobs that way. Phone them up and explain, if they are true friends they will help. A flier from you in the post is nothing to a company but a flier from you + an employees recommendation is something! Its often good for them too, and you also get the opportunity to work with old school friends!

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