How to boost your motion design career with side projects

An interview with Kyle T Webster

As creatives, there are countless ways we can earn an income doing what we love. By keeping an open mind as well as open eyes, you may be able to spot opportunities that lie outside the traditional paths. Today’s guest has done just that. Kyle shows us how to boost your motion design career with side projects.

Kyle T. Webster started his own business as an illustrator in 2006 after years of doing it purely as a side gig. As an illustrator, he found that he has a special knack for building tools, particularly Photoshop brushes, to help other artists with their work. This caught the attention of Adobe and now he works full-time for them. 

Kyle talks about many aspects of his career including how he stumbled upon making Photoshop brushes and how this was a total gamechanger for him. We discuss why personal projects and your day job doesn’t have to be the same thing as well as the role of taking calculated risks. Kyle shares his opinions about the power of social media to connect you with audiences by showing the behind the scenes aspects of your creative process.

Has a side project of yours ever led to new and bigger opportunities? Tell me about it in the comments!

In this episode

  • Developing skills you enjoy that can earn you even more income
  • Recognizing the value in the ideas you have and the methods that you use
  • How to boost your motion design career with side projects
  • Why it’s helpful to talk about how much our products and services should really cost
  • Determining how much risk is the right amount when trying something new with your work
  • Deciding whether the work you do on the side can be an extra revenue stream or a passion project
  • The power of showing what goes on behind the scenes to market your work 
  • How getting actual facetime with your peers can open up many professional opportunities


“When you’re presented with a problem and very little time to solve it, sometimes you come up with good solutions simply because there’s no other option.” [4:24]

“Nobody knows artists better than we do, especially the ones who are doing work that’s similar to our own. If we come up with a more efficient way of doing something, then we should sell that. If we come up with an idea, we should sell it.” [8:11]

“I think it’s important to talk to other creatives about what’s possible with money and budget and what you charge for your work. I think illustrators need to be more vocal about these things because it’s an easier way to not get ripped off to say what a fair fee for this work is.” [17:21]

“Things you do on the side, even if they have a short lifespan, will eventually lead to other things if you choose to promote them that way.” [27:43]

“We’re human beings, we’re animals. There’s something about being in the presence of other humans that brings out the best in us. I think it also suppresses the worst in us.” [43:14]



Milanote is a tool for organizing your motion graphics projects – everything from the creative brief, mood boards, storyboards – all your pre-production material in one place. Watch Evan’s series on pre-production where he uses Milanote and shows you how to organized your motion design projects to get better results. Check out Milanote and sign up for free


Find Kyle T. Webster online

Follow Kyle on Instagram | Twitter | YouTube



Creative Market

Peer Assembly

Episode 47 with Evan Abrams


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Podcast music licensed by Big Waves

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