The company you keep
Now from personal experience I’ve found that I was the most productive when I had energetic/creative or interesting people around me. Even if they aren’t in the same creative field as myself, their perspectives really help me think outside of my comfort zone. And as we all know (or are learning) design is about pushing the boundaries of both your imagination and (sometimes) the software you use.
So with whom do you hang out with?
I hang out with such a mashup of people its scary. On a regular basis I hang out with motion designers, DP’s, editors, student directors, UN web developers, Apple retail employees, Japanese teachers, hip hop directors, digital media strategists, actors, audio engineers, shooters, etc… so naturally my crowd is super diverse but one things is a constant among us … ambition.
Yes ambition. They all want to be the best, make cool shit, work on features, etc … they all want to progress and evolve. They are all their own worst critics and lastly they help me evolve every time I work with them.
How do they stack up?
The caliber of people I work/hang with is all over the board. Some of them are just starting and for lack of a better work … they suck … for now. Some are on par with my skills and we evolve and grow together. And lastly there are a few monsters of the industry that I talk to that just blow me away in talent and knowledge but they help me a lot and they give me a goal of what I want to be.
Choose your friends carefully … well kinda
You can’t pick who your friends are, and you shouldn’t really have to but I’m a firm believer in the philosophy that your friends should elevate you to the next level, never hold you back. I’m very blessed that everyone in my life supports me a lot and they have helped me successful so far.
But to answer the real question
I think it’s extremely important to find people that inspire or motivate you regardless of what skillset or art talent they have (or don’t). I would recommend that you find people that are better than you so you get a goal. Find people whom are on your level so you can evolve together. Finally find people who are “below” you and help them reach their goals … don’t be a dick. Sharing your knowledge shows how much you really know and also one day that guy/girl might be helping you rock a project.
Here we are for round 2! First I would to say thank you for all the people who e-mailed me. I’m very glad that people liked my first article and that they found the information useful. The intention of the last article (which can be found here) was to help people who are just starting out. Unfortunately when I was starting out I didn’t have as many resources at my disposal. And god knows I would have killed for some direction years ago.
Anyways moving on like I stated in an earlier post I have been receiving a boatload of e-mails and the most common question was about billing. Another thing that is a huge pain in the ass when you start freelancing is your cost.
So this is a small rundown on what to charge if you are a motion graphics artist, 3d animator and editor in a major city. Please read the disclaimer below:
Now understand that I’ve worked in NYC and LA (not to brag or sound like a prick) so the numbers that I’ll be discussing might not hold up in a smaller city … This discussion is a GUIDELINE TO WHAT TO CHARGE, not “Hello this is my fee because this guy said so”
Now the first rule of fight club …
is never talk about fight club. Don’t go around making your rates know to the average Joe. Posting your rates on your website is a very poor move. That information is to be shared with producers, CD’s and comptrollers. Also discussing your rates with other artist’s is also regarded as unprofessional.
Scenario: Say your on a freelance team of 4 working on a project and you guys somehow get to talking about pay … Your say your making 100 a day while Joe Blow is making 300 a day for the same job. You’ll probably freakout *end scenario*
Now either your pissed because he’s getting more money and that could affect you’re working relationship. Another consequence is your producer, CD, etc could find out that your bitching about money and VOILA … instant way to make them never want to call you again.
Not all jobs are created equal
Now the technical knowledge required to do certain jobs definitely merits a better pay. So the guy/girl that knows how to program dynamic fluid and particle systems will earn more than an editor. In the scheme of things the order goes like (cheapest to most expensive)
I’m only going to cover these jobs since 90% of the people reading this fall into these categories.
Just tell me the numbers already!!!!!
There is no magic number. Every job isn’t equal. Now realistically you can charge whatever you want. If the client will pay it then shame on them for paying an arm and a leg. Now realistically if you’re just starting out, 25 bucks an hour seems fair (35 for the Animator and 3d generalist). Don’t bid on a job and ask for like 500 bucks a day unless you’re a rockstar. Also trial and error helps alot. Bid on enough jobs and you’ll quickly realize what people will pay for.
Wow I can feel everyone disappointment from here!
Unfortunately there isn’t a real answer for this question. Every job is unique and it takes a “x” amount of time and requires “x” skill so remember that if your starting out don’t come out the gate billing super high sums of money. Rule of thumb if your questioning what your billing is too high, odds are it probably is.
How much to charge out of the gate!
Lately I have been receiving a boatload of e-mails and the most common question (about 75% of the emails haha) was about billing. Another thing that is a huge pain in the ass when you start freelancing is your cost.
What am I worth? How much should I charge for this? etc
I will give you guys (and girls) a small rundown how much you should charge if you are a motion graphics artist (I’ll also touch on editors) in a major city. I can’t account for smaller town and cities since the caliber of work might not be as high.
With my schedule being a busy as it is I hope to have this out by Friday