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How to Improve Student Animation for Freelance Success!

ben marvazi 2020

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"In the world of animation, student creations are the seeds of future masterpieces, nurturing the next generation of visual storytellers."

John Doe

Stepping into the world of animation is akin to embarking on a fascinating journey of creativity, discovery, and constant learning. The skills and knowledge you gain as a student animator form the building blocks for your career. But navigating the transition from student animation to establishing a successful freelance career or studio can feel like a formidable challenge.

Your academic life might have been filled with triumphs, creating captivating characters and enthralling scenes for your animation assignments. However, turning these skills into a thriving business involves hurdles that go beyond the realms of creative challenges. 

These obstacles could take the form of attracting enough clients, securing high-paying projects, battling inexperience, managing time efficiently, and developing essential business acumen.

Fortunately, with the right guidance and strategies, you can overcome these barriers and transform your student animation skills into a launchpad for freelance success. Let's delve deeper into this journey.

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Laying a Strong Foundation: The Crucial Role of Student Animation

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GIF by Nickelodeon via GIPHY

Student animation is much more than just an academic endeavor—it's the launchpad that propels you into the world of professional animation. This stage of your journey allows you to learn the fundamentals, experiment with various styles, and create a solid portfolio that showcases your talent. 

So, how can you make the most of your student animation projects and set the stage for a successful freelance career?

1. Mastering the Craft

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GIF by FoodTribe via GIPHY

The world of animation is intricate and nuanced. As a student, you're exposed to the basic elements and principles of animation, including timing, spacing, squash and stretch, and anticipation, among others.

But mastering these principles requires patience, practice, and persistence. By consistently refining your skills and experimenting with new techniques, you can elevate your animation quality, thereby making your work more appealing to potential clients.

2. Building a Powerful Portfolio

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GIF by renderfruit via GIPHY

Your student animation projects are not just assignments—they're potential additions to your professional portfolio. Showcasing a range of styles and techniques can make your portfolio versatile and appealing. Remember, in the world of animation, a well-curated portfolio often speaks louder than any resume. 

So, use your student years to create compelling works that can be showcased to potential clients in the future.

3. Broadening Your Skills Beyond Animation

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GIF by Camdelafu via GIPHY

Animation is more than just creating moving images—it's about telling stories, evoking emotions, and bringing characters to life. Beyond your technical abilities, it's essential to develop soft skills like storytelling, critical thinking, and communication. Learning to accept and implement constructive criticism can also help you improve over time.

Navigating the Leap: From Student Animation to a Thriving Career

Stepping up from student animation to a freelance animator or animation studio owner isn't just about enhancing your skills. It also involves understanding the market dynamics, catering to client needs, and managing the business side of things. Here are some actionable tips to help you navigate this transition:

1. Stay Updated with Industry Trends

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GIF by gyhwa via GIPHY

The animation industry is dynamic and ever-evolving. It's crucial to stay updated with the latest trends and technologies. Subscribe to industry newsletters, follow successful animators and studios, and participate in forums and communities. These platforms provide a wealth of information and can help you stay ahead of the curve.

2. Master the Art of Time Management

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GIF by Gabriella Sanchez via GIPHY

As a freelancer, you're your own boss, and juggling multiple projects while meeting deadlines is part and parcel of this role. Develop a systematic approach to managing your tasks, prioritizing assignments, and maintaining a steady level of productivity.

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3. Network, Network, Network

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Building connections within the industry can open up a world of opportunities. Attend animation events, webinars, and workshops. Collaborate with other artists on projects, and be active on professional networking sites and social media platforms. Networking not only brings you in the radar of potential clients but also helps you learn from the experiences of others in the industry.

4. Sharpen Your Negotiation and Sales Skills

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GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants via GIPHY

As a freelancer, you're not just an animator—you're also a business owner. This means you need to understand the value of your work and be able to negotiate deals that reflect this value. Additionally, honing your sales skills can help you pitch your services more effectively and secure lucrative contracts.

The Animation Business Accelerator: Your Key to a Successful Career

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Image via Business of Animation

The journey from student animation to professional success can seem daunting. But remember, every accomplished animator was once in your shoes, grappling with similar challenges and uncertainties. The key is to find the right guidance and resources that can make this journey smoother and more rewarding.

This is where the Animation Business Accelerator program by Business of Animation steps in. This comprehensive program is designed to guide you through every stage of your animation career. It offers on-demand video lessons that provide actionable insights on starting and growing a freelance animation business or studio.

But that's not all. The program also includes live mentorship calls with Ben Marvazi, an experienced business coach and successful animation business owner. These Q&A sessions are designed to address all your animation business-related queries and help you overcome any obstacles you might be facing.

With deep-dive learning events, you get the opportunity to delve deeper into specific topics that are crucial to your career growth. And you also become a part of a bustling, supportive community of like-minded freelance animators and studio owners from around the world. This community serves as a platform to share ideas, ask questions, and gain support from peers and industry veterans.

In addition, the Animation Business Accelerator program offers a host of resources like contracts, pre-written emails, and other tools used by Ben in his own studio, Promoshin, on a daily basis.

And the cherry on top? You also get an accountability partner who helps you stay focused on your goals, keeps you motivated, and pushes you to achieve more.

Embracing the Journey from Student Animation to Freelance Success

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GIF by King Beats Fitness via GIPHY

The transition from student animation to a successful freelance career or owning an animation studio is a journey. It's a journey filled with learning, growth, challenges, and triumphs. It's about honing your skills, understanding the market dynamics, building meaningful connections, and learning to manage your business effectively.

Every successful animator was once a student, grappling with similar challenges and uncertainties. And like them, you too can make a mark in this industry. With determination, continuous learning, and the right guidance, you can turn your passion for animation into a thriving business.

Don't forget to check out our blog on "How to Start an Animation Studio" to get more insights into setting up your own animation business. Remember, the world of animation awaits you, and all it takes is that first step. Take it today!

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