animation jobs

Freelance animation is a creative, exciting, and lucrative career with the potential to earn an average of $70,530 every year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals. The job also has plenty of attractive benefits like a flexible schedule, setting your own rates, and being your own boss. Whatever area you decide to specialize in — from 2D or 3D animation to motion graphics and storyboarding —  it’s essential to be proactive about the financial side of running a business and be ready to navigate the challenges of self-employment. 

Protect your business

As a freelance animator, you rely solely on your own equipment like your graphics tablet, software, laptop, digital camera, and smartphone. Insuring your gear will protect you financially if it ends up broken, lost, or stolen — which you’ll be thankful for since replacing it won’t come cheap. Additionally, if you need to expand your business and hire employees, workers’ comp insurance can cover associated expenses if an employee becomes sick or injured while on the job. The relevant insurance will cover things like lost wages, medical expenses, and legal fees if your employee pursues legal action. It’s an important investment that financially protects your workers along with your bottom line. 

Utilize cash advances 

Freelance work is typically inconsistent in its nature, which ultimately means some months may be harder financially than others. If you’ve gone a few months without work or are involved in a long-term project that only pays upon completion, taking out a cash advance can help see you through any dry spells with greater peace of mind. A payday loan, for example, is available to people with low credit ratings, however they do come with high interest rates it’s important to be aware of. And, when you do find yourself with regular work, focus on building up your savings account, so you have a financial cushion to fall back on during less busy periods. 

Be smart about tax

Being a freelance animator means you have to pay self-employment tax. Freelancers tend to get hit with steep taxes by the IRS since the process of filing taxes is generally less organized for the self-employed. But, it’s important to know the total amount owed initially displayed after filing your earnings doesn’t have to be what you end up paying. Tax deductions allow you to claim costs as allowable expenses. In particular, if you work from home, you may be able to deduct some of your utility expenses, rent, and office furniture costs from your taxes. It’s also common for animators to deduct internet and TV expenses since these mediums genuinely contribute to their professional growth and development.  

Freelance animation is a fun, creative, and financially and personally rewarding career path. By investing in the right insurance, taking advantage of cash advances when needed, and being smart about tax, you’ll be able to find success and enjoy a fulfilling career as an animator. 

So, you’re an animator looking for a good job. You’ve sent out your resume and demo reel and managed to get an online interview scheduled. The best part is that you’ve dreamed about working for this particular company! Do you suddenly feel nervous about making a perfect impression?

First of all, remember that it’s completely natural to feel this way. After all, you really want to work for this company. And second, don’t fret any further because we have some tips for you to help ace your interview.

Check all your equipment.

Checking your equipment is one of the most important things you need to do before the interview starts. Well, aside from looking presentable on video for your meeting. But if your Internet connection starts getting spotty or your audio isn’t clear, you won’t make a good first impression. In fact, the interview may not even continue! As stated in our blog post, to avoid this, take the time to test everything the day before. And, in case something happens unexpectedly, make sure to have a backup plan, like having an extra laptop or earphones nearby.

Choose a good place to interview.

Aside from your equipment, you must also choose a good location for your interview. Why? Well, you wouldn’t want your conference hindered by distracting sights or sounds. So, one significant consideration is to select a place free of interruptions. Imagine that you are answering a question, and a family member or pet suddenly appears on the screen. While that’s understandable given that you’re at home, do your best to avoid it anyway. Such a distraction will break the flow and pace of the interview.

Another consideration is your background. It’s best to choose a clean, neutral backdrop where all the focus is on you. If your location is messy or cluttered, the interviewer might see you as a disorganized animator. Survey your surroundings for anything personal, distracting, or not appropriate in a work environment. Set yourself up to appear neat, organized, and professional with the right background.

Anticipate the interview questions.

This article about acing online job interviews says that one way to prepare is to anticipate potential questions. Doing this will help you feel more confident and organized when it comes to answering questions. And if the question comes up, you’ll know how to respond in a way that shows off your expertise. You will also be able to avoid awkward silences because you’ll be prepared to answer quickly and thoroughly.

Talk about good experiences only.

During the interview, it’s standard to encounter questions about your work experiences. It’s natural to share more about past jobs and tasks. While negative moments may come to mind, don’t talk about any of your unpleasant experiences. Don’t badmouth anyone or say that you had the worst time working for so and so. That can cast you in a negative light or leave the interviewer feeling hesitant to hire you. Focus only on experiences directly related to your ability to do the job. Or describe positive experiences with previous employers and coworkers. Connect these things to how they will benefit the company if you land the job.

When demonstrating your work, go for a classic design.

For a job in animation, the interviewer might suddenly ask you to do a quick sketch. Think of it as a test where you have to draw something to meet a sudden deadline. You might be tempted to draw something complicated just to show off your skills. However, Logo Design Tips to Help Your Brand advises you to go for a classic design instead. There’s a reason classics are still in: they’re timeless. Classics are also often the basis of any new project, so they showcase the fundamentals of drawing or animation. Show off your skills in the basics, and the interviewer will know that you have your foundations down pat. And when you have that, you’ll be able to adjust to any style needed.

Ask questions as well.

In typical meetings, the interviewer will give you the chance to ask any of your own questions. Don’t beg off; ask away! Ask questions about the company culture, day-to-day operations, job expectations, and so on. This cements the impression that you’re genuinely interested in the job. Asking questions also allows you to evaluate if you will be happy and fulfilled working for that company. They want to know if you’re a good fit for them, but you want to see if they’re a good fit for you as well. If ever you feel at the start of the interview that something is off, listen to your gut. Ask more questions to either reassure yourself or to find out what you don’t like about the company.  It might be your only chance to do this, so make sure you take it.

Express that you’re a team player.

Remember that animation is not a one-person show. If you get the job, you become part of a team. And even if you get promoted to head of your department, you are still part of a team working with many other people. Collaboration is vital, as noted by a Linkedin article. During the interview, weave in examples of past group projects or situations in which a team effort was significant. This shows you not only understand the team approach but also can be a valuable company employee.

Ultimately, when it comes to the interview, be genuine and honest. Most interviewers notice your attitude and quality of work. Invest some time into preparing your equipment and environment, and then practice answering and asking questions. With your experience and these tips, you’ll be well on your way to landing that animation job.

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