How to get hired by big motion design studios

with the Mograph Mastermind Mentors

Our Mastermind Mentors have a wealth of experience behind them. So when we gave our students the opportunity to hop onto Clubhouse and ask for their advice about something they’re struggling within their careers, they jumped at the chance.

About the Mograph Mastermind Mentors

Hayley is the founder of Motion Hatch. Jess Peterson leads business, operations, and concept development at Mighty Oak, an award-winning creative studio specializing in hand-made animation and design. 

Monique is a San Francisco-based, Miami-born, animator, illustrator, and director. Christopher is a Bay Area Motion Designer with over a decade of experience in the animation industry. And Jason is an award-winning freelance motion designer and video editor.

About the Mograph Mastermind students

Gabrielle is a motion designer and illustrator from Philadelphia. She’s a serial Mastermind student who has enjoyed the program so much, she’s returned more than once! She’s joined by student Brent, a freelance motion designer and animator and Ivan, a motion designer from California.

In today’s episode, they asked the Mograph Mastermind Mentors to help them to tackle the biggest issue they’re currently facing in their careers.

How do I focus properly on the tasks that need to get done? 


Gabrielle asked the mentors how she can concentrate better whilst she’s working.

Some days, she feels confident that she knows what to do and she can focus quite easily. Others, she gets distracted at the beginning of the day and it all goes downhill from there – something that we’re sure that many of you can relate to!

Both Monique and Jess recommend the importance of a really solid morning routine. One of the problems with working from home is that it’s full of distractions – by creating a strict morning routine that helps you to stay productive, you’ll allow your body and mind to know that you’re in “work mode” which will help you to feel less distracted.

Whether that’s starting the day with meditating, going for a run, or even have a proper breakfast without looking at your phone. All these things can make a huge difference to your mindset and help you to get on with your day.

Jess recommends not setting yourself unrealistic goals – do you really need to tick off every single thing on your to-do list today? Ask yourself if that is actually achievable.

Having a clear start and end to your day is so important. Being freelance is great in terms of flexibility, but you don’t need to be working until 8pm every day – it’s important to set boundaries for yourself.

The entire team of mentors also recommended using a screen time app to pause work-related notifications on your phone outside of working hours to help you wind down at the end of the evening. 

How to get work at big motion design studios


Ivan was keen to know how he could start getting work at big, big motion design studios rather than small and medium-sized ones.

He has gone to other motion designers for advice to ask them how they have been hired by the big studios. He’s also sent his work to the producers and art directors at these studios but so far, he’s not had any luck. 

Hayley recommended the importance of remembering to post on social media. Usually, big studios will use motion designers and animators social media profiles as a way of assessing their work and deciding whether they’d like to hire them or not. 

If you feel completely stuck when it comes to social media, make sure you download our free Social Media Guide for 52 weeks worth of content and ideas.

Consider spending some time researching specific studio related hashtags that you can use when you post to make sure you’re getting your work in front of the right people.

Jess also recommended that you consider “what is my USP as a motion designer?” – if you can show where your passions and interests lie through your work, you can approach studios that you feel will be really interested in your work rather than just a blanket approach. 

How to move abroad and maintain your freelance career


Brent is really happy with where his career is heading but his personal life is also very important to him. One of his personal goals is to move to Barcelona in Spain. But he wants to know he can do this without losing the clients he’s worked so hard to get. 

Hayley advised that when she moved from London to Manchester she sat her clients down and explained about the move and why she wanted to do it.

By that point, the clients that she had the best relationships with were happy for her and supportive of the change. This was at a time where not many people were working remotely, so coronavirus has in some ways helped freelancers when it comes to remote working because now it’s very much seen as the norm.

One of the best things about being freelance is that you can work remotely – and this (in theory!) means working with clients around the world. The only situation where it may become a problem is if you’re working in a team and you need your working hours to align with theirs.

Christopher and Jason advise that once you do move abroad it’s important to spend some time networking in your new country to find new work opportunities.

Jess recommends using moving to your advantage – if you live in a country where the cost of living is lower but your clients are in the USA or UK, you could consider raising your rates. 

Before you move, it’s important to research the tax implications of living in a different country and working with international clients. Hayley advises that you speak to a local accountant who can help you to understand the kind of tax you’ll have to pay and an accountant from your home country too.

It’s been a crazy year for everyone since the onset of Covid-19 – but Jess commented that with everything that’s happened, now is a great time to think about travelling and moving abroad if that’s something you’ve always wanted to do – after all, there’s no time like the present.

Would you like the opportunity to ask our mentors a career question of your own? 

Mograph Mastermind students are paired with their own personal mentor plus a small group of likeminded motion designers.

Each week you’ll meet online to discuss your goals, share ideas and get help on any problems you’re facing in your career.

The Mastermind will give you the support and accountability you need to  achieve your goals.

Head to the link below to find out more.

In this episode


    • An introduction to the mentors and Mastermind students
    • Gabrielle asks the mentors how she can stay focused on her tasks throughout the day
    • The importance of having a good morning routine
    • How to create better work/life balance and be less distracted 
    • Ivan asks the mentors how to get work at big, big motion design studios 
    • The importance of remembering to post your work on social media 
    • Brent asks the mentors how he can move countries and protect his existing freelance business 
    • Things to consider when you freelance in a different country



“I have trouble focussing on the task that I need to get done. On certain days I get distracted at the beginning of the day and everything goes downhill from there. “ [06.18]

“Having a morning routine that will protect that flow of productivity – whatever that is. Whether it be meditation, going for a run, whatever it is that works for you.” [8.37] 

“You can set it up so that your emails are silenced after a certain time of day. I pause my emails from 5pm – 9am the following day. This helps me to set boundaries for myself.” [17.57]

“Every time I do something I am always trying to think, how can I get that in front of people? [24.55]

“Social media is way harder than people make it sound. And it’s one piece of the networking puzzle. But it is a really strong tool during times like this, during the pandemic.” [32.34]

“I sat my clients down and had a conversation with them and said ‘Hey, I’m moving to Manchester and I’d really like to continue working with you and I hope we can continue working together remotely.’” [36.35]

“Any discomfort that you feel moving somewhere will be quickly offset once you get to know people and you experience the excitement of moving to a new place.” [41.30]

“Seek out a local accountant in the US and an accountant in Spain so you can make sure you’re fully aware of the tax implications of freelancing in a different country.” [45.51]

“It’s actually surprisingly easy as a self-employed person to move to Spain. All you have to show is that you have employment and that your work comes from outside of Spain and that you have a certain amount of savings.” [46.45]

Related episodes


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Apply for a place on the Mograph Mastermind.

Download our free Social Media Guide for Motion Designers.

Jess Peterson (00:00): You know, social media is, is tricky and a constantly evolving process, you know? So again, like we were saying to Gabrielle, be like, be kind to yourself, social media is, is hard way harder than people people want to make it sound. And it's one piece of the networking puzzle, but it is a really strong tool, especially during times like this right in the pandemic. When we can't see each other in person, it has some sort of, it just feels more personal for whatever reason. It is a, you know, more than a panel I find in a lot of cases is really like the DM and that conversation and showing that you're a fan of someone's work.

Hayley Akins (00:32): Hey hatchlings, welcome to the motion hatch podcast. I'm your host, Hailey Akins. Hey hatchlings. And welcome to episode 87 of the motion hatch podcast. So today I've got Bev, a different show for you. We recorded one of our recent club house rooms. So if you don't know what club house is, it's an audio only social platform in our live clip room. We brought all of our mentors from our MoGraph mastermind program to give some advice and some help to some of our past mastermind students with some of their current struggles. I wanted to share this podcast with you today because I felt like there was a lot of great advice shared in the room. And I know that you're going to get a lot of value from it. It will also give you a small insight into what it's like to be in a mastermind.

Hayley Akins (01:18): So if you need some support and accountability for your motion design business and career, and you're interested in joining our program, then go to / mastermind. At the time of this recording, we are open for applications for our summer session, and we'll close that out on Friday, the 14th of May. So if you're listening at the time of release, head over and apply, now, if it's in the future, you will still be able to apply for our future sessions. So go to motion, forward slash mastermind. Now I know you're going to love this episode, so let's get into it.

Hayley Akins (01:56): So today we have some of our mastermind students on the stage and we also have all of our lovely mentors. I'm going to let them introduce themselves in a minute, but we are kind of going to do like a live mastermind session. I'm really excited about this because it's a new thing, you know, and also the clubhouse is pretty new. So yeah. We'll see how it goes. We've got a lot to get through today, so I'm gonna just kick it off and I'm going to ask the mentors to introduce themselves so money. Do you want to go first?

Mastermind Mentors (02:25): Sure. Yeah. Hi, my name's is Monique Wray. I am an illustrator and animator working in San Francisco originally from Miami, Florida. I've been in the industry for about 10 years now and I've worked with clients like New York times left Google LA times women's hap Christopher Bernal. I'm a motion designer based out of the San Francisco Bay area. I grew up in San Jose, so I've kind of spent my whole life on the peninsula do creative events and I freelance with local agencies, production studios, and in working with Justin Haley and his team for over a year in the Mograph mastermind. Hi everyone. I'm Jason Mallet also known as Malletron a fellow Brit. Nice to hear so many American accents, but also nice to hear it being broken up a little bit. I've been a freelance motion designer for about six years now. And recently just finished the MoGraph mastermind, which has helped me become way more better.

Hayley Akins (03:25): My name is Jess Peterson. I run a studio in Brooklyn, so I'm representing the East coast. Yes, you can make animation here on the East coast. Our studio is called mighty Oak. We specialize in handmade, animation and design when we do a lot of both commercial work and work for TV with clients like Netflix, HBO, NBC New York times, people like that. And I really bring more of an expertise in the more the business side, the business development, how to pitch to clients, how to get hired client management operations and that's me. Yeah. Great. Thanks Jess. I'm just going to ask all of, all of the mastermind students. Do you want to introduce yourselves? So Gabrielle, do you want to go first?

Mastermind students (04:09): Sure. Hi, I'm Gabrielle. I'm a motion designer and illustrator living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the U S and I have done the, the motion promotion hash MoGraph mastermind courses a couple of times. And yeah, it's been really good so far, so I'm really excited to see how this is going to go today. Thanks. Hey everyone. I'm Brian Walker. I'm a freelance motion graphics designer, animator do your, of all random things. And I did the mastermind about a year ago with Chris as my mentor. And it was awesome. Glad to like pop back in here with a new issue you guys can solve for me. Hey everybody. I'm Ivan, I'm motion designer living in Oakland, California. I need to have a little bit of accent because I am originally from a screen.

Hayley Akins (05:14): Yeah, thanks so much. Yeah. I just wanted to you to introduce yourselves as well, because I think actually, and what might happen today is hopefully you all might have something to help each other as well. So that kind of is what happens in a mastermind. It's not just about the mentors, helping the student. Also, the students can help each other sometimes. So I think we've got a couple of issues today that I think actually there's some crossover. So if you do want to jump in Gabrielle, Brent or Ivan, when we're talking to the other students, like, please just unmute your mic and then I'll come to you as well. So I think we can go to Gabrielle first if that's okay. So Gabrielle, do you want to kind of give us a really quick overview what your issue is today that you're kind of looking for a bit of help with,

Gabrielle (06:01): So whatever written down is that I, depending on the day I have trouble with just like focusing on the tasks that I need to get done. So like today I think, I think today started out pretty well, but on certain days, for example, like yesterday, I, I kind of get distracted at the beginning of the day and then I feel like everything goes downhill from there. So there's other days where I feel pretty organized and I know what I'm doing, and I just kind of like charge ahead and get, get done a significant amount of what I want to get done during the day. And I'll still take breaks and I'll come back to my work and it's like a good flow, but yeah, there's other days that are just kind of like all over the place and I can't really seem to focus.

Gabrielle (06:53): So yeah, I'm just looking for advice based around that. And I use some different like project management software and whatnot, but I feel like I don't really have a good routine of kind of, I'm trying to start this again, like have a daily list and go through this kind of like go through everything, how my priorities, what I want to get done and have it clearly laid out. So it's not so it's not all caught up in my head, but I tend to be a person that just kind of keeps everything in my head when I know I need to write it down. So that's, that's the background on my issue.

Hayley Akins (07:30): Yeah. So does anyone want to chime in first,

Monique Wray (07:34): I'm curious you out, you're saying that you have days where you're feeling focused and like you have a good flow and you have days where you're feeling distracted. Do you, is there a distinction in those days, do you feel like there is sort of like something that's different? What distracts you, you know, what, what are you noticing that's different between those, those sort of days?

Gabrielle (07:57): That's a good question. I think sometimes it, sometimes I feel like it may have to do with like current events or something that I listened to on the news before I started getting to work. And that might be part of it. Are there other days? I don't know, like I, I checked my email and then that kind of like starts everything off and going in the wrong direction. I started thinking about like all these things that are not top priority, so it really depends. And then maybe sometimes I'm just like in a bad mood and not always sure though.

Monique Wray (08:33): So that's, that's why I asked that question because I'm in a very similar, like, I'll watch the news and obviously current events have been a mess, right? So that obviously is going to mess with your mood and mess with your flow. For me in the mornings, I, I try to limit that. And I think it's really just about having sort of a morning routine that is gonna protect that flow for you, whatever that is, you know, whether it be, you know, meditation, whether it be, you know, going for a run, you know, I'm just naming things, but whatever that is for you and kind of shifting, cause we, we do need to be informed, right? We need to know what's going on in the world. Maybe shifting sort of how you consume news and when you consume it as side of it being first thing in the morning, you know, shifting that to lunch, you know, or shifting that to another period of a day where you're not really doing creative work.

Monique Wray (09:30): So it doesn't sort of mess with that flow for yourself. And I know something that is really helpful for me as well is planning my days in advance. You know, I block sorta my schedule on, you know, you can use anything. I just use the calendar app on, on my Mac. And so, you know, buzzes me and tells me, Hey, this is, this is what you need to be doing next. But it sounds like that is an issue too, for you. It's more of just like not letting you know, things that are going on effects, you know your output. And in that case, I would recommend, you know, having a morning routine, that's going to help protect that, you know, whatever that may be for you, you know, and, and kind of making sure you, you do those things to kind of makes you have a solid day of creative output. Thank you. That's all really good advice. And Haley knows that I was doing some meditation and I I've now fallen off of that. So I think incorporating that back into my life in a way, it's, it doesn't feel like another thing on my to-do list, but it's just kind of like just a good way to start off the day that that would be good. I highly recommend Headspace app if you haven't used that yet. Yes, I have it.

Jess Peterson (10:51): I am. I might, yeah. I love to, to tag along with what Monique was saying. Cause I think everything she offered was spot on by the way. Hi, Gabrielle, it's good to talk to you again. I, I mean, first of all, I also think it's important that we, again, what Monique was saying, I think we all like just acknowledge that what you're feeling right now is, is very normal. I was just listening to an article on NPR today. Like the title is if your brain feels foggy and you're tired all the time, you're not alone. And it's just like, it's, it's the news. It's the pandemic. It's us working from home. There's just this constant feeling of like, where do I put my priorities? What matters, why I think that we're all going through. So definitely you know, be kind to yourself to start.

Jess Peterson (11:36): Right. But I do think when it comes to things that may actually help move you forward, I think Monique's totally right on routine. And I'm with you. I'm not always the best at planning out my weeks very far in advance. I wish I was, I try to be. But I try to keep those routines going. Think the mornings are extremely important, but even throughout the day, the more I can start to automate into my day you know, this is the time where I do. I mean, in my case, here's the time when I do finances and I fill in my calls at these times, you know, the more I can automate it keeps me in a rhythm, no matter what, you know what I mean? Even up to the end of the day, if I can set up my workstation with what I need to do for the next day and leave it there.

Jess Peterson (12:16): When I come in the morning, I don't get distracted and feel that need to be like, Oh, let me just go clean a little bit. Let me go make sure I do this, you know, and find ways to let myself get distracted. Because it is hard working from home to feel like you can you know, things aren't necessarily as much of a priority. I can maybe jump over here or there. So I wonder if, you know, keeping that routine, you know, through calendar invitations to yourself might even be helpful. You're just something that's constantly reminding you. I don't know if you've tried that already. But if I find those are kind of helpful in my case.

Gabrielle (12:47): Yeah. as far as the calendar invitations I feel like, I mean, that's definitely something I do. As far as things that I know I have to do, I just make sure that they're on my calendar these days. Cause I used to not be so great at doing that. So I really do try to make sure that everything gets on my calendar so I don't lose track of it. But then as far as like individual tasks, I do have them like have them listed in and click up. I think as soon as things kind of like get off schedule, I tend to, it tends to like make me feel stressed and then I start ignoring them. So I need to like be able to keep up with it on a daily basis where it never becomes super overwhelming. Like even if I get behind it's okay. Cause I just reschedule things. Okay.

Jess Peterson (13:40): Are you, and in, in that, to that point, it's also maybe something to consider, to carve out some time to even look at what you're putting on your plate. You know, are you putting a realistic expectation on your plate each day because maybe you don't need to, you know, sometimes it's worth looking at, do you need to be, you know, checking off every box that's on your plate every day, you know, again, that's the idea of being kinder to yourself. If you're feeling like you've got a little off track, take a lunch break, come back. What can you, you know, attack today that is of most priority. Right. I don't think, I think if we start to tell ourselves we had to finish everything it feels it can feel a little defeating versus just, you know, finding what is needed for just the day.

Gabrielle (14:20): Yeah. Thanks. Just that's that's good advice. I think most of the time, I don't, I don't make like a daily list for me. Like I'll have tasks that need to be done on a project in general, but then I think that's where I could benefit from writing down what I need to do individually each day. So that's kind of what I'm trying to start. But also recognizing, like you said, like don't put too much on there. Don't, don't make it so unrealistic that, that it can't be achieved all in one day. Because I know I'm notorious for doing that as well.

Christopher Bernal (15:02): If I get jumped in on that, like making small, this is Christopher, by the way making small actual things actually bought a tiny, like a very small stack of post-it notes. And I would write the two to three tasks I needed to get done that day. And then I would put three lines through them when I accomplished it, crumbled it up and threw it away. That really helped us to have that satisfying. Like I did that task and at least like if, if new things came up, I could write a post-it note for that. And that just went into the tomorrow pile. And if anything, like sometimes it can even take a single task and break it into a couple of different steps. Cause it also, that could be you know, something that it definitely comes with experience, but sometimes there's tests, which you didn't realize how many individual steps there were to accomplish it.

Christopher Bernal (15:50): And that can sort of, you feel it's kind of scoped and you're like, Oh shoot, I only had three things to do today, but one of these tests, I just can't get it done. You know, so yeah, a hundred percent agree, like having that written down, scratch it out, throw it away. There's a, there's a, there's a kinetic element to that which just gives it, it starts to build that momentum of like I'm accomplishing things like at least at these three things or two or whatever which just lets you like feel resolved. So like when you hit that end of day, like four 30 or five or whatever is like your hard out for the day. Anything that happens beyond that, that just goes on to, you know, tomorrow's play like having a clear distinction of like, this is the start of the day. These are my designated breaks, take lunch at the same time every day. And then this is the time you're out. That goes a long way. You know, forcing you to work within the time that you have and not just keep on imagining. Oh, my end of day is whenever I get all my stuff done. That's a, that's a horrible, horrible approach, especially right now when we're a lot of us are stuck.

Gabrielle (16:51): Yeah. That's, that's really great advice because I am not great at having a clear start and end to my day or especially end to my day. So yeah. And especially during the pandemic or working from home, I have, I've tried, but I feel like I haven't tried that hard to really cut everything off, especially after especially after I quit my full-time job. Like yeah, there just wasn't as much of a clear start and end to my day anymore. So making that clear for myself will definitely be helpful and also make me feel like I don't have to try to fit in literally everything into my day.

Speaker 5 (17:38): I know that for me, I look at my messages a lot. Like have I gotten emails, has the email come through, which is just like terrible at seven o'clock you're supposed to be winding

Monique Wray (17:50): Down and X, my husband told me about this. I wasn't aware. I don't know if you're using outlook on your phone, you can set it up so that those are silenced at a certain point of your day. So for me at like, I think I set it up for 5:00 PM. I don't see those messages on my phone anymore until nine in the morning. And obviously, you know, if you're expecting something, you can check it, but that helps in kind of cutting off and sort of setting those boundaries for yourself. So you don't have these pings on your phone, so you're you feel obligated to respond or look at it or you're thinking about it, which is the worst thing you can't go to sleep. Right. So maybe considering kind of making sure you're not getting those sort of notifications or your phone during your, you know, quote unquote off hours. Yeah. I use Gmail, but it would be good to look into that. I'm not sure if there are settings for that in Gmail or maybe on my phone, if I can change it,

Hayley Akins (18:53): You can, this is Haley here. You can use screen time. I'm assuming you're on an iPhone maybe. Yes. I'm on an iPhone. Yeah. See you can, I think it's screen time, Muslim thing on the iPhone. You can actually set the kind of downtimes when you don't want notifications. And that's what I do. It's really good.

Mastermind students (19:11): Okay. Yeah, I do that as well. Brent here. Sorry. it works so well. I have really bad sleep issues too. And just turning off those notifications. No, Joe got me at least an extra hour every night. Okay. That's clutch information. Thank you everybody. Yeah,

Hayley Akins (19:28): No worries. Well, I'm glad we could help you to solve your problem today. Gabrielle, please do let us know how it goes. Cause you know, we all have accountability in our mastermind program. So just keep in touch, let us know how it goes. I'm giving you a bit of countability here to get it done and make sure you get those notifications turned off on your phone. Cause I think that's a great idea. So cool. I think we will go to Ivan next. You want to give us like a five minute brief overview of your hot seat today and what issue you want help.

Ivan (20:00): Yeah, definitely. Okay. [inaudible] would want to see how I could be able to still use. I have been for a while working for middle-size studios and now you would want to give the next paper to be working in the other studios that all of us we could have in mind of fellows back on there. And some of that current of his time, my experience has been years of working as much as designer in the us. And before in Spain, I was working as creative in advertising. But until some point they feel that that word that I was using normally between IUD, I have lose that power and due to the filter that I may have with English talking to it as a second language speaker and the, yeah, I know that these obviously relevant a be doing some networking is so that is one of the reasons why, eh, the last year [inaudible] we fell over you here. I have a been connected to the [inaudible].

Mastermind students (21:17): For example, last week also I took advantage of [inaudible] fellows, where I was able to be a token with having a Molina and Caitlin Mahoney who were extremely nice. And they talk with me. And also I have been trying to talk through this through a clubhouse with different people, Ryan summer, a hypothesis on, on my real, what was really hard to move to the next point and make it more competitive. And the generally the feedback I have is like, yeah, I don't know. I don't see any reason why you couldn't be working in one of these studios. Timing is definitely there, but I am not working on these studios. So I, I was thinking if I sort of be connecting, Oh yeah, we've either way freelance from back or things like that to be asking them what they have done a, how they have done it. But I don't, I'm not sure of two horror hotel rates. I want to say I sort of be a written to producers. We are written to, to our directors to be written to freelance animators. So overall I will say that that is a little bit when my unit as situation probably as we speak, I will come up with some other points. Thank you so much.

Hayley Akins (22:45): Yeah. So the things that I was thinking about, because I was looking at your work and your work is fantastic and I love it. So that's awesome. So yeah, I agree with like, I don't see any reason why not, it's not like a skills thing, so it definitely is like a network thing. So what I would maybe suggest, because the thing that I can see that potentially you're not utilizing a lot is like social media and kind of, you know, regularly posting and stuff like that. So, you know, you're, it seems like you're doing all the right things, like going to events and trying to meet people like that and maybe doing some more sort of direct outreach. I mean, we can talk a bit about that as well, but I think like maybe thinking about more of a bit of an inbound strategy as well, and like, obviously it means you might not go get those exact clients, but you're sort of building your reputation in the motion design industry and stuff like that.

Hayley Akins (23:36): Like that would definitely help. So I think maybe, you know, potentially choosing one of the biggest social media platforms and doing a bit of an experiment on that. Like either LinkedIn or Instagram and, and like trying to be a bit more consistent with posting work because your work is really good. But I think I checked, I think I was checking on Instagram and your last post was like 15 weeks ago, you know? And I think like it's not that everybody has to do that and posts on Instagram all the time and stuff like that. But I know there are a lot of big studios who do look on Instagram and they kind of want to see that you're posting regularly, that you're doing your own work and that kind of thing. I have had a lot of feedback from, you know, people like golden Wolf and people like that who say, you know, yeah, we definitely look on Instagram and we're trying to see if people are, you know, really putting their own work out there and that kind of stuff. So I think maybe that's one thing that you could start doing. I don't know that anyone else has any suggestions on that side of things

Speaker 5 (24:39): Just to finish to support at that point. It's absolutely true. My wife is always saying that point is there's that they, at least for the next two months, I am not going to be able to do it, but definitely you are 100%, right. So I can just continue. Oh yeah, no, I actually, I, I looked up an article that a school of motion had put out and it was an interview with gunner and a buck. And what lots of other studios sort of giving advice on what they look for in talent and yeah, like a lot of art directors and artists are hunting around on Instagram. You know, that's kind of, they kind of like discover talent, like when it isn't, you know, just naturally part of recommendations. For me, I don't typically post a lot of work, but I do leverage like anytime I do something, I'm always trying to figure out, okay, how do I get that in front of other people?

Speaker 5 (25:33): So looking at second degree connections to the folks that I want to connect with you know, it's usually my, my go-to, but I did notice that like black had a hashtag you know Bucky back or was it yeah. Bucky back. Yeah. So, I mean like, there are ways to like specifically, like there's hash styles that certain studios are looking at. But yeah, like having work to talk about is definitely like much better than trying to, just like to do like send DMS to folks. I mean, the, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with just like saying like, Hey, I've been, I looked on this on the credits of this piece and I noticed you were one of the animators and then connecting with them you know, on their own Instagram. Cause I didn't notice that was something you had flagged in your in your hot seat.

Speaker 5 (26:29): Yeah, you can do a little bit of digging into like once a project goes live, some of these companies, like they do list all the animators producers and folks that collaborated on the piece which I think would at least give you a sense of where are these artists when they're not at those bigger shops that can just give you a little bit of a sense of like, are they also working at medium shops or are they just bouncing between these larger shops? Cause that's what I usually find with with my own freelancing is that you get into a rhythm with a handful of shops and then you just sort of bounce between them. And once you've worked at a larger company, you're kind of at that top of that pile, it's really, it's a matter of opportunity and chance that you sort of get put on that radar, but you could sort of be intentional about those direct outreaches or when you are able to start posting new work, leveraging that work as a way to share it directly with and getting feedback when you're reapplying or connecting with somebody shops through their you know, emails of job postings or you know, just tagging them in in your post.

Speaker 5 (27:36): When it, when it goes live,

Jess Peterson (27:38): I am, I think Christopher nailed it. I would definitely say I would agree with everything he said, actually that you can really that using Instagram, even if you're not posting yourself with content as a tool to make those direct connections is really helpful. I will say just from experience you know, we have a pretty nice relationship with Hornet, my studio especially in the stop motion space and we, because there are so few stop motion animators here. You know, in New York we are constantly trading recommendations and names. And I know that you know, a lot of us are connecting and meeting people through, through Instagram as, as one of our tools. So I think using that, that tool is going to be really important. And as you do start to put out more of your work and start to connect with those those other directors, or if you choose to do that, I think, you know, the other thing to consider you know, and I, cause I'm looking at your work and it is, it is beautiful and really strong.

Jess Peterson (28:41): The one thing I would say is, you know, figuring out if you have what's called, they call it a USP unique selling point. Like what about your work really stands out? And, and you can, that statement can really shift depending on who you're talking to, but I would have that in your back pocket to talk to these different directors, like you work in this particular format and that really relates to the work that they do, you know, or you, or you share, you like to make content about you know, like with heavy character design or you'd like to work with, you know, stories about animals, if that was the case. Right. But, but you try to kind of show where your passions and your interests lie and create a level a little deeper than like, Hey, I like your work. Would you like to work with me?

Jess Peterson (29:24): Do you know what I mean? Like, you kind of take it a little farther about like what makes your work really interesting and special and you, and you may already be doing this. That's, you know, the tricky part of that, a quick mastermind session. So, so I don't mean to assume, but, but I, that does tend to be extra helpful to kind of like work your way in there to make those friends and, and the more you do on a greater platform, the more your name starts to spread kind of subconsciously. Right. And then like people like me will hear about your name and go, Oh, have you heard about this person? You know, it kinda just starts to work in this very small industry we're in. So tapping into that space as much as you can and really like letting your, your presence and your vision known I think really helps to take the networking model and like expand it if that makes sense.

Mastermind students (30:08): Yeah, totally makes sense. Yes. I think that it's I, in the same way that the data points of, of her, eh, they are really good points and has a plan. If I, as Haley was saying some kind of social media, even if it's to be posting jobs that they are coming from on some projects that they have done, but they haven't been free yet. Definitely be trying to say, what is my hour as safe kind of happen? Like, ah, it looks like he's doing a little bit of everything, but what tasks you really do. So, yeah, I, I definitely still be thinking that way to compost things that the heat ones and I mean, this is my own.

Hayley Akins (30:53): Yeah. I think as well I would, if you haven't already got it, I have a node go and download our social media guide because it'll just give you a lot of ideas to take your existing projects that you already have and then like using them to repost in different ways. So doing some behind the scenes maybe, or like when you're working on something, asking you some questions like, Hey, do you like this style framing green or blue? You know, that's a bit of a basic example, but you get what I'm saying. So if you haven't downloaded it if you go to motion, forward slash social media, I think, or I do have the link as well for everyone else in the in my bio on pals. I'm just trying to check what it is right now, but that's just going to give you loads of, you know, different examples of different posts and stuff like that. I think we might have featured you in there as well. So you may be, you've already got it, but I think it's a great resource for anyone looking to do more social media posts.

Mastermind students (31:53): Yeah. It was featured there. So I especially feel the same of having to research and Noah, my social media is not previous,

Jess Peterson (32:03): You know, social media is, is tricky and a constantly evolving process, you know? So again, like we were saying to Gabrielle, be like, be kind to yourself, social media is, is hard way harder than people people want to make it sound. And it's one piece of the networking puzzle, but it is a really strong tool, especially during times like this right in the pandemic when we can't see each other in person, it has some sort of, it just feels more personal for whatever reason. It is a, you know, more than a panel I find in a lot of cases is really like the DM and that conversation and showing that you're a fan of someone's work, you know, and then when they come back to, so when they come back to see what you're up to, even if you don't a lot of work, I really don't think it's about quantity.

Jess Peterson (32:42): It really is about quality and curation and they can go, Oh, I, and like, again that I, I will bring up the USP again, but they really understand, like they understand what your vibe is, you know? And so I will say to that point, looking at your Instagram something they consider would be keeping personal and work separate. So that it's just a work account that is at least the one that I clicked out to from your website, that that would be just your work. It could be a small collection of work and I can go, Oh, right. Like I really get what, what this person can do or like where their interests are, you know? And I can see how that could evolve and to the work that I'm doing. So I think that it would be interesting to kind of think about that and that story you want to tell when people see what you do,

Mastermind students (33:24): You got to think of so much of these tips.

Jess Peterson (33:27): Cool. Yeah. Well if you want to like go away, implement this, some of this stuff, like we were saying to Gabrielle, and then let us know how you get on that would be awesome. Like maybe we can bring a few people back in as well and like, see how you've gone too. Cause I was like, you know, doing a little update. Okay. So we'll go to Brent next. You want to see a bit about what your hot seat is about today, Brent?

Brent (33:52): Yeah, absolutely. So I've been freelance for about two years feeling really successful, but outside of work things also in my personal life, super important to me and something I've always wanted to do is to move out of the country. So I'm actually considering moving to Barcelona, Spain, Y if I might have some insight there but it's just something I need to do for my personal growth. And just kind of, you know, achieving goals outside of work too, is huge for me. Yeah, I'm 32. I feel like these choices will only get more difficult and more involved with time, basically as unattached as I'm ever going to be. And basically I just need to do my homework and make sure that this is something I can actually accomplish in like a responsible manner. So, I mean, this was kind of a, a relatively new decision, whereas I've been thinking a lot about like, why am I not feeling the best?

Mastermind students (35:02): Why am I not as happy as I want to be or whatever you want to call it. And so I'm, I'm very early in the process and, you know, thinking about, you know, are my clients going to stay, am I going to have enough work? Do I need to be looking for some kind of full-time job that will support that? Basically just doing all of that background work to make sure this is, you know, a feasible choice for the near future. And if not, I, can you set other goals with this kind of in the background to move towards that?

Hayley Akins (35:41): Cool. Awesome. Yeah. Well, I had like a couple of things. I mean, obviously I said, I was glad I'm in this here today as well. Cause I think maybe, hopefully you might be able to give us some, you know, more insight on what it's like in Spain for freelancers, but from a general perspective. So when I moved from London to Manchester and I wanted to kind of bring all my clients from London to Manchester some of them, you know, I mean now I think maybe it's a bit easier because obviously, you know, in a way the pandemic has opened up a lot of opportunities for us to work remotely, which is good. So I think it might be a little bit easier, but when I was that wasn't the case when I was kind of moving to Manchester from London and I had all my clients there where I was working in house.

Hayley Akins (36:28): So with my kind of best clients, you know, the ones that I'd built up the most trust with, I just sort of sat them down and had a conversation with them and said, Hey, I'm moving to Manchester. You know, for blah-blah-blah reasons. You know, I'd really like to continue to work with you. And I, I hope that, you know, we can continue to work together remotely and kind of just went about it in that way. And luckily I got like a fairly good response from them all. And most of them, I did continue working with remotely and at the time, like a lot of people weren't working remotely with the clients in London and stuff like that. So it went pretty well. So I'm feeling that like now, because of the pandemic, like I said, hopefully for you or hopefully go even better. The only thing that came into my mind was potentially the time difference. So maybe there's, you know, a conversation about how you would manage that and you know, maybe pointing out to them that it could be good to have someone in a kind of more European time zone, because then you can do things while they're asleep and things like that. And like try and point out the benefits. So those are the kinds of things that came to my mind when I started reading about this problem.

Mastermind students (37:44): Yeah, definitely. I also, I forgot to mention probably about half of my work is either direct to client or basically running an entire project for an agency. So I think there's a lot of potential, especially there where the time difference doesn't matter quite as much.

Hayley Akins (38:02): Okay. Yeah. That's good to know, because I think like with potentially animation studios and agencies and stuff like that, if you're working in a team, like I could see where that could be an issue. So I just saw, you know, just kind of trying to reassure them in any way that you can. But yeah, maybe it isn't so much of an issue with if you're kind of leading the whole project, if that makes sense.

Mastermind students (38:25): Yeah, definitely. Hey Brent, Hey. Yeah, he wouldn't do [inaudible]. I don't know if you're working to the 3d. The first thing that has come to my mind is device that is next as to the, I really like from the, from there maybe dynamic you've seen video about in John Carpenter and feels less sensitive with the music. And I'm mostly repeats that they do is how some, if you didn't know the studio, definitely have it in your other. And yeah, a lot of correct design. If I am not put on the 3d lice, I thin that come out of there and maybe they are as I am not sure if they are in the UK or they are in Barcelona, but I also, I was taking dates. I think that this week is being the, of in Barcelona. That is firstly by law design and motion graphics.

Mastermind students (39:22): So I think that the tickets are expensive, but it would be nice to check it out. And maybe you, or you'll find someone to come be talking with other ways, similarly to what Haley was saying. If you are willing to kind of start working in front of here and there, what is going to be kind of funny? So it's the hour difference, but it can be done a, this year, a company and working for a nuclear studio or a studio, the UK. And I sell myself like being the night safe for them. So they hold the whole lead in the Europe or the work. And when they will wake up later morning, they will have that, the done, or some kind of a benefit, a part of that the right now, like don't have anything in front. The top of my mind that I can be thinking mean we can a connect and if I have more inputs, so it was you.

Speaker 5 (40:20): Yeah. I would love that one, one thing I just wanted to like pop in I a hundred percent agree that the longer you wait to make this sort of a move, the more difficult it will be having having a kid who's like, you know, enrolled in a Spanish immersion school, like another layer of complexity of trying to leave the Bay area. So yeah, it, it's, it's an interesting, you know, leaving the country, I think is one of those things where like, yes, like it's, it's like, you know, eight hour difference existing clients might have a hard time, you know adjusting to the kind of reviews you would have to have with them, you know, like early morning and it would be evening for you there, but you know, that's still, you know, feasible, but also you're going to have a lot of new opportunities in the UK and actually the rest of Europe to be able to continue to do you know, remote work and collaborations with you know, local and other studios that are out there. So I think that work will kind of balance itself out, but that opportunity of sort of building a new support network out there you know, will,

Mastermind students (41:34): You know, any like discomfort of like shifting over there. I think you'd very quickly offset it with just like the new connections and the experience of being in a new place and yeah, moving. I definitely do not think that that is something you would want to sit on because it just, yeah, it gets harder. The more commitments you make just as you you know, you grow your family or get more connected to wherever you currently live.

Jess Peterson (41:55): I, I do think as people have been saying, I think now's a great time to be looking to, to travel and work somewhere. I mean, I know my company, I will say when we work in a 2d space, I think to be honest, before the pandemic, we were a little hesitant to have people working in different time zones and figuring out the pipeline and structure for us, but being kind of forced into that position we found we've had been missing out for a long time. You know, th there's really a lot of great opportunity in terms of exactly what you've said, some people can get a head start, we can kind of keep the pipeline moving faster. Something else to consider too, that I learned was that there's also different price positions and you can be potentially based on quality of life and where you're living more competitive than you might've been in another space.

Jess Peterson (42:41): So I don't know if that's come into play, but if you had a client that was questioning how this could work or what the what's in it for me you know, you can always, you can think about the variety of positions, you know, like it's, it's, it's, it's timing, it's the network, it could be pricing and, and how that could be, you know, more competitive. I'm not saying you need to change your prices, but these are all things to consider too, is just, you know, figuring out how to package that to your clients in a way that looks like it's really mutually benefiting, Rachel can be helpful. And I know that that certainly worked for us and, and really opened our eyes. And now I'd say we have a really healthy balance of people working both locally and, you know, if not internationally, at least in different time zones here in the, in the States. So I think, I think it's, it's exciting to do you just, you want to make sure you have a good, a good pitch for anyone that has concerns.

Mastermind students (43:32): Yeah. Thanks. I have a question. This is Gabrielle speaking for anybody who like Yvonne, who have moved to another country or have worked with people in another country as a freelancer, are there like any, I guess, legal or tax things to take into account that Brent should know about being there or being here? I want to say you'll have moved to the country or to keep working remotely. In my case, for example, for a Spain, I have to do a double taxation thing to avoid that I would be touching the taxes if I won't be able to come for this pain to avoid having to be paging in Spain and also in in the us part of that is something that can, according to what the specific country can be. But generally, I don't know, in case I have so far, even if I will be opened for more just freelance for UK and the Spain.

Hayley Akins (44:39): Okay. Yeah. I was just gonna say I think it's difficult because it depends on like what your kind of home country is. I think like how it's sort of worked out, obviously. I think the best thing to do would be like to talk to a local accountant. So if you're in the U S talk to us accountant and you know, if you're in the UK talk to UK, you know, cause then generally that they can kind of usually know a little bit about how it might work, but yeah, sometimes it definitely is a consideration, but I think most of the time it depends on like who you're working for and stuff like that. And obviously you need to look in like, what types of visas and stuff you might need as well. But yeah, it depends like what you know, what countries you're working for and that kind of thing too.

Hayley Akins (45:26): So it can get a bit complicated. I think. So. Yeah. My advice would probably be like to, you know, seek out a local accountant and maybe talk to an accountant in the U S and talk to an accountant in Spain as well. And then you've kind of got, you know, both sides of it and try and like figure out that way. But yeah, it can be a bit tough cause my friend is location independent. So he moves around a lot and he's ended up paying taxes in he's from Canada, in Canada and in the U S as well because he hires some us people and stuff like that. So yeah, it can get a bit tricky

Jess Peterson (46:00): As an alternative plan. Have you considered maybe moving to Barcelona to redoing some coolers and in that way too, are more on the place to discover how the things are, can be connecting with the people. Probably this is another plan for after the whole COVID fan has Phineas, but at least you'll have the life experience. And also it could make it easier connecting with people. No, I hadn't thought about that. I did do a little bit of research into the visa side of things, and it's actually surprisingly easy as a freelancer as like someone who gets self-employed to move to Spain, they have assault employed visa, and basically all you have to show is that you have employment and that like your work comes from outside of Spain. And yeah, basically all you have to have is like a certain amount of savings and it's, it's surprisingly easy. I have a couple friends who have done that. They're not freelancers per se, but you know, small business owners, I don't know exactly how that will work if they enjoy the freelancing for the U S from Spain, if [inaudible], eh, then Joel will have to be paid in a monthly quota for being a freelancer, at least in this pain. Definitely get to now add it to my, you know, thousand item list of things I need to check out.

Speaker 6 (47:30): Cool.

Hayley Akins (47:30): Yeah. Well, awesome. Thanks, Brent. Hopefully that helped you and, you know, gave you some at least some more research to do for sure. But now that you're connected with Ivan as well, you know, then hopefully you can help each of the two, which is the benefit of being in an awesome mastermind. I want to say, thank you so much to all the mentors that came today and helped everyone and also to the students that came and quite openly shared their problems with us. And I'm so pleased that we could help. So if everyone's enjoyed their semi DM as well, cause we might do some more in the future. I think it's really fun thing to do because I know in masterminds, even when you're not in the hot seat, you can still, you know, get some value in some help from hearing other people talk about their careers and what they're trying to achieve as well.

Hayley Akins (48:18): So yeah. Thank you so much, everybody. This has been fantastic and I'm so pleased we managed to get through everyone and now are so thank you everyone for keeping to time and yeah, I can't wait to do more of these. So thanks so much. Thanks to the mentors for giving up their time to come and help some of our students and thanks to Gabrielle, Ivan and Brent for being so open and honest about their struggles. So if you want to join our mastermind, remember you can go to motion, forward slash mastermind to apply. And if you want to join our next clubhouse room, if you go to motion you can see how to join us in some of our future Club house rooms as well. Or if you're already on the ClubHouse app, just search motion hatch and join our club. And you can also follow me at Hailey Akins. So I hope to see you in a future clubhouse room. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please do let me know. You can always get in touch with us at hello at or we are at motion hatch on Twitter and Instagram. Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end. I appreciate you. See ya.

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