The benefits of having a freelance contract in place

* Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer and this post is not legal advice. This post is advisory, please do your homework and consult an actual lawyer before making legal decisions. *

I’ve made a new addition to the Freelance checklist, an item which should have been on the list from the start really:

Have both parties signed the contract?

Guest appearance on the motion hatch podcast

A couple of weeks ago, Hayley Akins from the motion hatch podcast got in touch to see if I’d be a guest on the show and I just had to jump at the opportunity.

For those of you who haven’t heard it before, the motion hatch podcast is a great resource for freelance motion designers, although, I'd recommend everyone giving it a listen - regardless of your profession.

Animating paragraph text in After Effects

Throughout my motion design work I’ve animated a fair few paragraphs for explainer and social media videos - much like the example you see here for trivago:

motion design for trivago

Although simple on the surface, the technique to produce the effect has a tendency to be quite fiddly and laborious, here’s the usual process:

Motion Design Reel

Yep, it's that time again! I've managed to put together a brand new motion design showreel for 2018, featuring projects from the past year and beyond.

Take a look:

I really enjoyed putting this reel together, it really made me stop and take a minute to appreciate the variety of projects I've worked on over the past couple of years!

Freelance Motion Design Update

2017 was a great year, I've been lucky enough to work on some wonderful projects with some ace clients and agencies, if 2018 is as good then I'll be a happy motion designer!

As it was a busy one, I've only now had the chance to update my portfolio with some of the motion design projects I worked on last year, due to the nature of the game I unfortunately can't share everything I work on. Who knows, maybe in the future I'll be able to list those projects too!

Let's plant some trees!

tree animation

Spurred on by some eye-opening documentaries like: Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral, and A Plastic Ocean (all of which I cannot recommend highly enough) I've been looking at ways I can change my daily habits to help reduce the impact I have on the world.

The freelance checklist

I've been doing quite a bit of reading recently, first up was: Thinking, fast and slow; a wonderful insight into how people think, and how humans make decisions in everyday life. The second was: The checklist manifesto - a fascinating read about the power of the humble checklist in the world of aviation, medicine, and construction.

Glitch effect presets for After Effects

Fragment is the latest project I've made for Loop - a set of 15 glitchy transitions and presets for After Effects.

Had a lot of fun making the promo for this one too:

Nomadhouse - freelancing from Budapest

After trying out freelancing from Berlin and Lisbon, I was searching for a new place to explore and freelance from. Then a couple of months ago, in one of those strange serendipitous moments life throws up every now and then: I discovered NomadHouse.

The concept was simple: 10 days in a Budapest, co-living, working and exploring a new place with 16 other freelancers/entrepreneurs/remote workers.

Handicons icon pack

Throughout a lot of my motion design work I find myself needing different hand icons; perhaps a hand pointing to something, or swiping on a phone screen.

That's why I've made Handicons! A set of 30 different hand icons, take a look at the preview:

A set of 30 hand icons

The set is available to buy from Gumroad - as a special treat use the code thomas10 for 10% off!

Quick freelancing update

Following on from my freelance adventure in Berlin I decided to check out Lisbon back at the beginning of May, again taking a week and working from out there while exploring the city.

I decided to repeat what I’d done in Berlin and get an Airbnb, at the very least this could be somewhere to work from, a home office away from home if you will.

Freelancing from Berlin

As a freelancer I’m always saying to people I can theoretically work from anywhere; all I need is a decent internet connection and I’m sorted.

Up until now I’d never properly tried it though, so I decided to book a trip to Berlin and give it a try. A bit of an experiment to see if it’s actually possible.

Here’s some of the good stuff:

Berlin has some excellent co-working spaces

Finishing a freelance job early

* Update:
I now operate on the following basis: in order to confirm a booking the client agrees to pay for the specified number of days in full.
Confirming a booking means potentially turning other work down, as a result that time should be paid for in full.

My freelance work often takes two forms: either I'm working for my own clients, or I'm working for an agency; helping out with a particular project.

More motion design for The Guardian

Over the past couple of weeks I've been down in London working freelance on some more motion design projects at The Guardian.

This time I worked on a couple of different projects, the first of which was a video detailing what the Ebola virus is, how it's transferred, and what it does to you:

The second video was all about the new Guardian design; it details the various stages of The Guardian's online presence since it launched in 1999.

Motion design at The Guardian

Over the past couple of weeks I swapped Manchester for a freelance motion design contract at The Guardian in London.

I had a great time working there, as you can imagine the projects are pretty varied. In the first week I worked on this from the 99 seconds series:

When I joined the animation had already been started by Alex; the resident motion designer, and another freelancer. A great collaborative effort all round!

Freelance Tip #2 - Office Space

Following on from freelance tip #1 - here's the second tip I thought I'd share:

Consider getting some office space

When I first started freelancing I did what most freelancers do: I worked from home. It was great at first, no more commuting! I could jump into work straight away and once the day was over I didn't need to travel anywhere to get home.