Living a freelance lifestyle is no cake walk. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn't being honest. There are plenty of perks to wanting to go rogue and be your own boss. But there are plenty of pitfalls and uncertainties along the way as well. Sometimes, things just get plain bad. You have a dry spell, a difficult client, you aren't paid well or on time, etc. Being an entrepreneur for a lot of people is also a huge leap in self-confidence. Sounds like a great time, but taking full responsibility for sourcing your own income takes a huge leap of faith, and often doubts about yourself will come flying out of the woodwork. This is all completely normal and understandable. Because if you

Big animation companies do it, large and small game studios do it, and it's something that has always baffled me with long term business planning for companies. Outsourcing is still a large issue in the animation industry, companies outsource for a few reasons that are good in the short term, but which ultimately lead to a lot of issues and long term problems, all in the quest to save money and make as much profit as possible when they can. I'm a small business owner so I get the appeal of cheap labor, but many companies don't focus on the long term issues that come from outsourcing overseas to places with lower wages, lower skill, and the long term affects on

So today I thought I'd write a post about some of the tools I use as an animator that I've really come to see as essential to doing my job well. Many of them are free resources, and others are pretty expensive. Let's just get right into it. Whether you're a 2d or 3d animator, or a little of both like me, a Cintiq has become a really essential tool to doing my job. I have tried both the small and large ones, and I honestly can't live without the big one. The reason being is that the smaller monitors just don't seem to give me enough space to work correctly. I'm always cramped into a small space to animate or draw. They

Today I thought I'd write about how I got started as an animator and what some of the things are I've learned about breaking into the industry as an artist, as well as some lessons I wish I had known before I attended art school. I got started in animation when I was 8, if we really want to go way back. I was always fascinated by cartoons, and I had already been drawing and writing stories for years at this point. The passion basically was already there, but I realized at this age I had no idea how animation was made, and I wanted to know. I eventually went to Art School in Minneapolis and graduated with a degree in Animation.

I thought I'd write a little today about the role that physical health has in my line of work and why it's important to me. I work out regularly, usually five days a week in the morning for around 20 minutes to 40 minutes depending on the morning and what my workload is. The reason I do this during the week and always in the morning before I work is because of a number of factors: 1) It wakes me up and literally gets my blood pumping into my brain. 2) I feel happier, less stressed out, less negative about my upcoming day. 3) I'm able to focus really well immediately when I do start working. 4) I'm less hungry later and able to focus

In the past ten years there has been a growing demand by small businesses for cheap, quick and affectively marketing videos created for the web. Specifically these video include or are entirely made up of motion graphics and animation as their backbone. They are typically called 'Explainer Videos' and the demand for them is steadily growing. This is significant because animation has a unique advantage over things like slideshows, photo galleries or even live action footage. Animation can be incredibly strong at showing abstract ideas or enhancing the content or brand of a company to be friendlier and show their potential clients or customers what they do, or how a product they sell works. As someone who's working on eLearning courses for

I've always been a big fan of people, but when I was younger I was also a lot more shy then I am now. I was one of those quiet, gentle nerds in high school who was intimidated by boys, and other groups of people who usually teased me about my interests, clothes and inept social skills. I was the same way in college, very inward and made nervous by large crowds or groups of people hanging out. I always worried about being judged or sticking out like a sore thumb. However becoming a networker in large part allowed me to gradual get better at being around groups of other human beings that I did not know, and assuming the best

I've been reading and thinking about this topic a lot lately. The economy that was devastated in 2008 is recovering, but a lot of people have been shifted to doing service work for others. But when I say "service work" I mean a much broader scope than serving food, cutting hair or other occupations of that ilk. A service job is also what I do as a freelancer for commercial agencies and video game companies. Creating commercial artwork is a service, and it's best to think of it that way if you want to succeed. You need to approach problems in a way where you are thinking about your client or customer's needs first, instead of the needs of your pocket

I thought I'd talk a little bit about the ins and outs of making freelancing easier and less stressful by structuring your invoices and finances in a way to make your life better. Cash flow as a freelancer is usually a big problem, because everything about your businesses risk, lead generation, sales, etc, comes from you. Usually you don't have an agent or a sales and marketing team to get you what you need in terms of jobs. So bad, uneven cash flow can be a real nightmare if you need to pay rent in a few days and have zero money to do so, and three of your invoices are due a week out from when you need them. That's why adequate