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

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.

The latter has thrown up an interesting question, one which I'm still not sure the answer to: what happens if I finish the job earlier than planned?

Let's say a company has booked me for 10 days to help their in-house team with a project, I get to work, run through all the tasks, and hey presto! All done in 6 days.

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.