2018 Wrapped

2018 Wrapped

Notable aspects of 2018:

  • Created social media videos for Annihilation
  • Participated in 36 days of type
  • Won a CLIO Award for Fauda
  • Had my LoopDeLoop submission screened
  • Created a shit ton of graphics and memes for Castlevania
  • Met up with some cool folks in Amsterdam
  • Spearheaded three collaborative videos for Motion Collabs
  • Quit my job
  • Became a full-time freelancer
  • Saw Janelle Monae live and it was fucking awesome

If 2017 was the year of the desperate post-grad job hunt, 2018 was the year where I honed and refined my skills. I was working full time at a creative agency on different projects each day. My day to day life was stable and I got to work on different cool projects like Fauda and Castlevania. However, I found myself in a rut. The things I did at work didn’t reflect the things I created outside of work. I did personal projects such as 36 days of type and LoopDeLoop to help me stay creatively motivated. LoopDeLoop actually turned out to be a huge blessing!

I had wanted to participate in LoopDeLoop for a while so I asked if anyone was interested in collaborating with me. Jordan Quackenbush volunteered and agreed to be the animator while I would be the illustrator. I came up with the idea of a Greek Olympic athlete going from mountain to mountain to light the torch only to be unluckily zapped by lightning (but in the process, lighting the torch). It was a fun, silly idea. The video was selected to be a part of the LoopDeLoop screening and so I was able to watch one of my creations on the big screen which was super fun! Several weeks later, a client emailed me saying he had seen the LoopDeLoop video and loved it. A silly idea ended up getting Jordan and I several paying gigs!

I continued to work full-time while taking freelance jobs on the side to make extra money. I was increasingly becoming unsatisfied with my work situation. I wasn’t working on projects that excited me and didn’t see a future for myself at my company. So I left.

This was at the beginning of October, exactly one year after I first started there. I quit without having any concrete plans for what to do next nor did I have any gigs lined up. I jumped into the unknown.

I spent my first week as a full-time freelancer in coffee shops emailing various producers and studios. I emailed studios that I had worked with before and many that I had never talked to before. My efforts paid off. By the end of that first week, I had gotten my first in-house booking for the following week. I was booked steadily since then.

It’s funny. Back in 2016, I had interviewed for a position with a company called ATTN. I had two separate interviews with them and didn’t get the job. Jump to two years later, a producer there had seen my work on Behance and emailed me asking if I was available for freelance work. I ended up working there for several weeks. Things really came a full circle for me.  

Freelancing has been great. I get to work at different studios around LA and get to meet different kinds of people. I also get to work on projects I ordinarily wouldn’t have worked on- projects ranging from bitcoin videos to designing styleframes for the Obama foundation. Several people have told me that I seemed happier. I am happy. I took a risk in quitting my steady job and so far, it’s paid off. I’m ending 2018 on a very good note.

A huge component of my success is the support that the online motion graphics community has given me. People are so genuinely nice and willing to help out others. They’re willing to submit your reel to their hiring managers or pass along work if they’re busy or just even give business advice. Places like Discord and the Motion Design Artists slack have been hugely beneficial to my freelancing career.

Looking ahead to 2019…

Some goals I have are:

  • Continue freelancing full-time
  • Get more remote gigs, ideally I’d be able to travel and work
  • Travel more (Japan 2019?)
  • Create and complete a short film
  • Make more personal work
  • Have my work featured somewhere