How to grow a motion design studio & become known for your signature stylew/ Cabeza Patata
Katie Menzies and Abel Reverter started their motion design studio Cabeza Patata in 2018. Their signature style and playful character designs have won them work with brands like Google, Spotify and The New York Times in just three years. Recently, they’ve been working with more and more fashion brands too.
But how did they go about setting up their studio and being hired for their signature style? Find out in our latest episode.
About Cabeza Patata
Katie and Abel were both freelance motion designers and they’re also a couple. Their individual styles of work are very different so they didn’t at first think of joining forces.
They worked together on creative projects in their spare time and things grew organically from there. Before long, they started to think of themselves as a studio and the name, Cabeza Patata came along, as did their website.
Abel says that working freelance allowed them both to differentiate between the kinds of work they would do for clients on a freelance basis, compared to the kind of work they wanted to create as a studio
But how did they go about setting up their studio and being hired for their signature style? Find out in our latest episode.
How to get started as a motion design studio
Katie and Abel would often get clients coming to the studio asking for work that didn’t involve characters. They’d turn it down – as character design and animation is what they’re passionate about creating and the whole reason they started their studio.
Because they were so selective over who they worked with in the beginning, their portfolio of work on their website was very niche. Therefore potential clients knew that if they wanted character animations, they were the studio for the job.
A lot of the original projects that were on their website were entirely personal projects – but because they looked so professional, it won them clients anyway.
Katie says that enjoyment is key when it comes to creating a style of work that lasts.
How to grow a motion design studio using social media
To date, Cabeza Patata has 62.4k followers on Instagram and 30k on Behance. It’s one of the ways that they’ve managed to grow so rapidly, create a name for themselves and win new clients.
Hayley asked Katie and Abel if they struggle with being consistent and post regularly because they’re so busy with client work.
The pair said that because they enjoy social media, it never feels like a chore. They see Instagram as having infinite possibilities and it’s fun trying new things and seeing what their audience responds to.
They won work with Spotify and that’s because Spotify has teams of young people who search through Instagram or Behance to find new people to work with.
It’s important to know your audience. Katie and Abel change how they write and promote themselves depending on the platform they’re using – Instagram is more personal and Behance is much more professional and self-promotional.
How to stop doing work that you don’t enjoy creating
One of the best ways you can stop doing work you don’t enjoy is by putting your rates up. That will give you the room to breathe rather than being exhausted all the time from client work.
Your work could be of fantastic quality, but a client is never going to offer to pay you more even if they think they’re underpaying you. You have to ask – the worst they’re going to say is no.
Similarly changing your environment could help too. When Abel was freelancing in London, he earned a good day rate but the social culture meant that it was easy to get trapped into spending money on things like after-work drinks and nights out.
Moving to Barcelona helped them both as things were cheaper and they had more free time and a better quality of life.
The benefits of growing an audience
Katie and Abel have grown their Instagram account to such a level that they’re now essentially influencers as well as motion design studio owners.
They’ve just done a paid collaboration post with a tablet company and they hope there will be more brand collaborations in the future – but only with companies whose values align with their own.
What kind of work would you produce for fun if money wasn’t involved? Would you like to create a studio where you only produce one particular style? Let us know in the comments section below!
ln this episode
- An introduction to Cabeza Patata
- How to start a niche studio and actually get clients
- Creating a style of work that lasts
- How to grow a studio using social media
- The importance of personal projects to keep your work fresh
- How to stop doing work you don’t actually like
- How to know what to charge for your work as a studio
- How to get work with big direct clients like Spotify
- Learning from others and looking to them for inspiration
- How to get brand collaborations on Instagram as a motion designer
“As a small studio, we really want to specialise in the thing tasty we enjoy and are really good at.” [07.42]
“We’ve always done a lot of projects together purely for enjoyment. We carried on making the characters because we enjoyed making them.” [10.30]
“We were ready to freelance at the beginning on other things. If you said “from now on I’m going to be a studio and not do any freelance work anymore” that’s quite risky. Sometimes that change comes naturally when you start getting new projects so you find that you don’t need to do freelance work anymore.” [11.07]
“With personal projects, we work 10x faster than we often do with commercial work because there’s no pressure.” [18.16]
“If you want to stop doing work you don’t like, put up your rates. Putting up your rate gives you more money, more holidays and more spare time.” [17.45]
“We try to charge bigger clients more money because it allows us to work on smaller projects and collaborations.” [24.42]
“It’s so much better working directly with end clients, you have fluid communication and they know what they want.” [32.20]
“Brands can get a lot from using accounts who have a big following to promote their brand because people do care about what we post.” [42.20]
Check out Cabeza Patata and their work.
Follow Cabeza Patata on Instagram.
Cabeza Patata (00:00): So, what we do is we always ask for them to give us a number at the beginning. So if someone sends us an email and they say, oh, we have these new campaign for Google for their website. You have no idea if this is the biggest campaign of the year for Google or the, or this is a little thing that Google is going to have for a week on a side of the website. So if they give you an initial number and we don't really engage in more conversation until they give us the number, and once we have the number, now we know what we are talking about.
Hayley Akins (00:30): Hey, hatchings welcome to the motion hatch podcast. I'm your host, Hailey Akins, Hey, hatchlings. And welcome to episode 91 of the motion hatch podcast. So today I'm joined by Ebell and Katie from Cabeza Patata. They are an incredible creative studio who specialize in character design. In this episode, we uncovered how to build your own studio only working direct to client and in your own style. So for most of you, I know that this is a dream. So I brought Katie and Ebell on to tell us just how they did that. They gave us so many fantastic tips on how they consistently pod great work on their Instagram and how they land big clients like Spotify. We also spoke about how they find out the budget from every single client they get. So this is an episode you really do not want to miss. Just before we jump into the episode, I did want to read a quick review.
Hayley Akins (01:25): We got from Jack Redley about the podcast. He said a designer friend of mine told me to listen to this. And at first I was skeptical because I'm not a motion designer, but a brand identity designer, how wrong was I? This podcast has been insanely useful episodes, cover a host of topics, which any designer from any discipline needs to know about work-life balance, accountancy, marketing, networking, business, and mental health. I've also been considering landing motion sign as a result of this podcast, but the gems sprinkled throughout the episodes about a whole host for the topics have been invaluable. Thanks so much, Jack, for leaving this fantastic review for us. If you've been listening to the motion hatch podcast for a while, and you haven't left us a review yet, please do leave us a rating review wherever you get your podcasts from. We really do appreciate it. And we try to read every single one. So let's get into this episode. Hey, thank you so much for coming on the show.
Cabeza Patata (02:25): Thanks very happy to be here.
Hayley Akins (02:28): So I wanted to bring you both on, because it seems like you're doing some really great and really interesting things. I saw that recently you were part of the fashion campaign. So I wondered how did it that happened? And
Cabeza Patata (02:48): We were that the campaign would be outside of the vision that we put online that that came because we met the, the creator of brand outside of the division. He lives in Barcelona. We have some mutual friends. Are we talking about, depending on where we are, we have two different ones. We have done two different things the, to do the thing without side of the vision, it's we help promote in the new launch the new clothes that he's launching or the end of this year. And with mono Navy, we made some parts of the deck because we became the modules. It's fashion things easy to move to Monday because it's not talking about modern Navy. That's three different ones. Yeah. We have three different. Oh
Hayley Akins (03:44): No, no. That's really interesting because I feel like it, you know, for me, it's something that I wouldn't necessarily associate with, like being in a motion design, animation studio, you know, doing lots of stuff with fashion. So you're saying you did you've done some of like patterns and stuff like that. So is that how you kind of got into that and then that kind of led to doing some modeling
Cabeza Patata (04:07): As well? Yes. Korean fashion brand. And we met the founder, Jackie and her new campaign is about getting all sorts of different people joining into the campaign and saying what they do and what they are through work. We met her and then we were keen to join them with a new campaign. So it was a funny thing that came about through work, but not directly related to the characters, because usually we put, okay. Does in the fashion, we don't really like to be in front of the camera, that this was a nice chance. Basically. We are always up for trying something new. Really? Yeah. And we've been connecting a lot of our cards is with fashion. I mean, from the beginning, we've been making quotes for them on some big, big pods of how they look is the clothes they're wearing. So that's why I think I'm confusing these certain brands of different fashion companies, because we've been doing a lot of things and connecting a lot with people that are running small broncs. And we really liked that the one without the division is when we make the dogs wearing the clothes from, from them. And then we just made prints of his new range of jackets. So some of the patterns that are there in 3d now, people can be super fun.
Hayley Akins (05:36): Yeah. It sounds really great. So, I mean, I think it's really interesting because you've built this amazing studio and also quite a big following. I'd love to know like how you started the studio and I'm particularly interested in whether you already had like the style of characters or it's kind of being developed with the studio. Cause it feels, and looking at your Instagram, you just sort of started working together and these characters came out and you were like, yes, this is the thing. And, and then you started the studio, but I mean, you tell me how it came about.
Cabeza Patata (06:10): Okay. In about quiet. I think we didn't set out deciding to make a studio work together. Funnily enough, we'd have a partner and start making a studio in some way. And you had some collaborations with other people before, but we are based doing such different things that we didn't think that we joined together to do it for some reason, but then just naturally, because as hobbies, we would work on it together, we are a couple. So we have a lot of spare time in which we were doing creative things together, but never with any never thinking that he would end up being something commercial. I think the very beginning came with a lot of trying. We were doing by van in Barcelona. A lot of wall painting. Katie was interested in going out to the street and painting walls and the Carter's were a tool to know what to do every time.
Cabeza Patata (07:10): So that's the experimentation came at the beginning without even having a name for the studio. The name came later. And then once we add the name, everything went together and we made the website. And suddenly before we realized we were doing conventional, like making some things and doing things and then more like other people asking what we were doing and suggesting that we might become a studio and then suddenly we thought, yeah, let's do that. And so we'd already just put it all together in one day and realized how much stuff we have as well to share.
Hayley Akins (07:48): So you kind of already had some of the work and stuff like that from your experiments, because I think the struggle that everybody's having, you know, they're like, oh, maybe we want to build a studio and maybe we want to work together as a group or in like a partnership the same as you. But I feel like they they're like, well, should we just put our work, you know, our separate work together on a website or do we have to like have a style and then work on that? Like, what is your opinion on that?
Cabeza Patata (08:20): In our case, we put aside all the personal work. We even kept our personal websites with our work, because at the beginning we were both doing some freelance work on the side. And in our case would work was to separate that completely. We even got job opportunities in which they came to us to the studio saying, oh, we want to do something that has nothing to do with Carter's. And then we, we, we said, no, because we didn't want to stop turning our studio back into just freelancing. We didn't want to have imitate someone else's style or making something that was just 3d texts. We were not interested in that, but I guess it depends. I think that that's working like that helped us to differentiate our studio work from our freelance stuff. Yeah. And helped, I think in terms of funds to separate it as well.
Cabeza Patata (09:18): I think it depends obviously what kind of studio you want to make that, because we wanted to say pecifically just the characters, like about saying, if we got an offer for a job making 3d text, we didn't really want to do that. And so we were kind of selective at the beginning and we didn't have that many projects on our website for that reason, because obviously we went in creating previous clients and we were saying no to some stuff, but the ones that we had was so it was so clear if you come to us, it's because you want this character escalated like this, that I think that, that also really help clients. So they'd come with that specific thing. And now have a say, they know that like, you know, if you want 3d texts, go to someone who specializes in 3d texts, definitely for us wanting to say as a small studio as well, we want to really specialize in the thing that we enjoy and really good at.
Cabeza Patata (10:07): One of the things that as well, that we always still come out is how at the beginning, and now it's so important to put everything together in in projects. So I do have several limiters from the same subject. So for example, if we are interested in doing embroidery, for example, that if we were going to do show our embroidery, we would put it all together on the same project. And that would be within the same section in the website. So instead of having some spread out images all over your website, when you don't have a lot of work, the best thing is to concentrate it because most people, when they go to see your work, they are going to click probably the section of projects. And then they're going to click on one or two. They're not going to go through absolutely everything.
Cabeza Patata (10:51): So you need to be ready for when they click on something, you are going to give them a lot, something, rapes, something that shows that you know, how to dominate that style. So if they see many images from the same series and they see that you have a color palette and you have consistency, that's I think when, yeah, yeah, exactly. When you have an intention behind the whole project and you say, oh, I wanted to explore this specific thing. And so I did, it's like you've made a commercial campaign quite often actually, when we were starting or not projects were personal and people would say, oh yeah, we saw that fashion, some production company in London said, oh, we saw you did that CP fashion campaigns that we made, but we sort of were like, maybe think that that was commercial. And I think that people can confuse that. And that's kind of the idea is to make your personal work look as professional as possible.
Hayley Akins (11:49): Yeah. That's super small. I lived the you were just like, okay, we're going to do all these personal projects and they're going to be all around this kind of style of character and just really sticking to your guns early on, I think is, I mean, it seems like that's how you become successful, but also I imagined that was a bit scary and it kind of makes sense that you, you know, when you were doing freelance work, you were like, okay, well this is a freelance project for Ebell or Katie. And then this is you know Cabeza potatah, hopefully I'm seeing it right. Project, you know, and you were very clear about that because I think that is extremely difficult, especially because I think a lot of people want to do that, but they're like, well, is anyone actually going to pay for this? Or like pay for this character design or this style and things like that. So what early on kind of give, gave you the confidence to do that?
Cabeza Patata (12:44): I think it was more than any confidence. It was also just enjoyment. We definitely have always done a lot of projects together all the time that we've been together as a couple on a personal level. And this is maybe the one that stuck more. So it's more like we just carried on making the characters because they were working and we enjoyed making them and we found lots of different things to do with them. And I think that that's the name of where you keep pushing and obviously you can't just say, oh, okay, I'm gonna get that style. And I'm just gonna go for it, even if I'm not completely sure about it. If I just go for it, I'll definitely get there. I think you need to really develop it and believe in it. Once not be like, look, if I just make your website and I make all the projects and I have that lifting like that, then I'll get the work.
Cabeza Patata (13:35): I think there needs to be that real intention behind. And I think as well, if we never put absolutely everything onto this, what I'm doing is melt. All our eggs are in the same basket and we were ready to freelance at the beginning. All the things he's not, I think sometimes if you make a video call, I'm gonna say, okay, from now on from today, I'm going to be as two of you, I'm not going to do any freelance work anymore. That's quite risky. And sometimes that change and that decision comes naturally when you start getting enough projects. So you don't need to do freelance work anymore. But I mean, I think probably my personal website is still running doors. I think the GoDaddy payments case.
Cabeza Patata (14:23): Yeah. But that's, that's, I mean, we led the websites goal. We haven't been updated updating the best of all the work, but they stayed on. For example, for freelance work is very different. I don't know how he's right now, but emotion graphics around 2013, 2014, the important thing was having a good reel. You'd need it to have a one minute piece in which you could show that you can know how to animate. And that's basically, that's how got my jobs as a freelancer in the studios in London, and then through meeting people that will recommend you to all the things. But yeah, this is the front the way we run cut it up the way we promote it, we've been growing is more through Roy and on social media, which is something that we didn't do before.
Hayley Akins (15:10): Yeah, definitely. It's definitely something that I want to talk about because I'm very passionate about doing social media marketing. And I think it's incredible that you've managed to build like a following of 60 K on Instagram. And obviously you're very consistent with that. So I'd love to talk a bit about that. I mean, from the beginning, was social media a big part of your strategy?
Cabeza Patata (15:35): I think again, if they, weren't probably thinking about it so much as just kind of having fun with it at the time and probably still now we don't have the big strategy. We don't have, we try to post consistently, but also we enjoy doing things like sharing in stories or doing those silly things like polls or asking questions to people. Cause we actually do enjoy the feedback and engagement and we get a lot, we have a lot of audiences for that was in need like two years ago. But it does sort of feel like obviously you that, because you've seen something compete me, grow up and you'd be able to chat to the people who need it for it right from the beginning. Yeah. Sometimes people are surprised actually that we personally still manage the social media because then, oh, that's the first thing that I dedicate to somebody.
Cabeza Patata (16:31): And actually we both really liked, we both enjoy it. Yeah. one thing that happens to us in social media is that obviously we, we do check what works better on, on some things get more likes or more engagement. One thing that we notice is that our audience doesn't like repetition that if we put some, let's say we do something made of paper. The second time we put it, people like it less and less and less on the third time and the fourth time. So we need to be helps us to be trying things constantly. And I think is where you find sometimes when we have a new idea, for example, I do like programming. So sometimes we do some interactive staff right now. We are trying to track through things and because it's new people love it, but I know that after a month of showing it, it kind of that you need to move on. And I think that's very fun. It's very playful, but definitely fun. I mean, there's infinite things to,
Hayley Akins (17:29): Yeah. I just think, I mean, I know I talked to a lot of motion designers every day and people who run studios and always social media is such an issue for them. And I feel like for you both, it seems quite natural from what you're saying, but obviously you have to kind of do a lot of new things all the time and experiment lot to have that content. How do you manage that with your clients?
Cabeza Patata (17:54): So I think we are very right now in this moment, we are very selective with client work. We are lucky enough now that when we get projects, we try to work directly with clients. We don't have a representation agency, so we try to get good budgets when we work with clients. And right now I think around more than 50, maybe 60, 70% of the time, it's time for doing personal staff. And then we want to do that, that 40% of the time. But it's about commercial work should be very well paid from pay for all the rest of the things we want to do. So I think that's how we monitor it. I mean, we do put, we don't work the extra time. We usually work from nine to five, nine to six maximum, but most of the professional work comes in the mornings when we have a lot of energy and we love working on it to be really selective with the clients that Ethan, when you're out that opportunity, it's so crucial because it might, I think, easy to think a bit more long term, like definitely the experimentation and the time that we spend on personal work, more than pays for the bigger budgets that the clients that come in the future.
Cabeza Patata (19:13): So it's like if you spend a bit more time building up your personal work and a bit more time making inivative and new things that you know, people want to see then in the future, I do think there's a lot of payback. Whereas if you spend all the time on commercial work, sometimes I think people can probably identify listening to this people who had just come from what they've seen before. And they'll be like, oh, so you made this musician a musician, then you make it. And then someone else will come and be like, do I only make musician characters? Now you've copied yourself again and again, but if you will making something new, then someone will come in the future for the new thing. And also impersonal work because we don't have feedback. I mean, we, we are both working on it, but we usually don't give, I mean, sometimes we get a stock a bit and we give opinions to one another.
Cabeza Patata (20:01): But usually when we are doing personal work, we like going and being positive about what the other is doing. So when we've been invested a work, we go so much faster. Sometimes it's incredible. The wiggle 10 times faster than doing when we are not commercial campaigns, sometimes up to two months through our life. Okay. It's two months and I made five images. We could have made that in a week. If we were working on our own, I think we have an understanding to not be picky or get frustrated with this person. The work is supposed to be fun. And also even if something's not completely perfect is about repetition. So you know that if you enjoy doing it, you'll do it again. And it will be better rather than like getting stuck on one thing. And then,
Hayley Akins (20:45): Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of listening probably in this situation, you know, maybe they're a freelancer, they want to work more on you know, a certain type of style or they want to develop their style and maybe build that into a bit more of a brand or a studio in the future and things like that. But they're, they're doing okay and they're getting work, but how, you know, how would you kind of recommend to them to stop kind of going into this cycle of the work that you kind of don't want to do and almost, you know, give yourself that time to do that personal work, to develop your career, to get the kind of work you want to do. Cause I think that's like a really hard thing to do, you know? And I would love to hear from you both about how you would kind of manage that or how you potentially did
Cabeza Patata (21:30): That. One of the main things for me when I was a freelancer is put up your rates, make more money because more money means that you can have longer holidays and more spare time. What I think is when I remember being a freelancer, especially when I had to travel to studios in London, they would ask me to go to location. And between sometimes taking one hour to arrive that working for eight hours sometimes a bit more because you have a very short lunch break and then coming back home, by the time you arrived at 7:00 PM home, you are basically hungry and sleepy. And the last thing you want to do is to sit down in front of the computer and be like, okay, now I'm going to do a creative personal work. So I think if you charge a lot that that can help a lot.
Cabeza Patata (22:18): And I, I think from the beginning, when I was freelancing, I was trying to save money. So I even have that feeling of like I was making the money and spending the money. And I mean, when I was freelancing in London as well, there was this environment that, especially when you are working in studios, you would make more or less good money a good day, right? But then people are going for silly drinks on Friday, you spent all your, the money you made on. Try to just spend it on stupid night out. And then you feel tired on Saturday. So you get into this behavior circles. It's very difficult to come out of for us. It helped that we moved to Barcelona for a bit. That was four years ago. We went to Barcelona. Katie wanted to study and suddenly in Barcelona things were cheaper. So I was doing freelance work, but I was working way less and I had much more time to do things I wanted to do. And when you were a student, you have a lot of spare time and the atmosphere was a bit different as well for not having to go into the studio company to work. That's more like an option, I think because you're not seeing everyone around you is nonstop.
Cabeza Patata (23:41): I can't afford that. But charging more is so key is that it's, it's so easy to you put out rate and then you assume that that's the normal thing you need to ask. If you have the opportunity to have people around you, how much they're charging to know they rights and to put them up. And, and he looks at the place that you are financing out, they are your friends and they can be very friendly, but if they can pay you less, they will pay you less. I'm not going to tell you sometimes I've heard of exceptional places that say, look, your day rate should go up. But in general they don't tell you. So don't
Hayley Akins (24:25): Yeah, exactly. Like usually I'm always telling everyone, you know, charge more than you think. And you know, most places will negotiate with you. They're not just going to be like, no, like go away. We never want to speak to you again. You know, they're going to go, well, we can't really afford that. And you know, that's actually the answer that you want, because then it means that you're charging enough. You know, if they are negotiating with you rather than, you know, if, as, you know, if you say, oh yeah, my rates this and they go, yep. Straight away. You're like, probably got to got more.
Cabeza Patata (24:58): Yeah. That's reminds me too. There was a film. I was one of us teenagers transporting. I still like it. And he goes to that. They are doing drugs that change. And he says the amount of money he's going to charge for the drugs. And then you see that the guy in his suitcase had like so much more money and the guy's like, yeah, that's exactly what happens. And I think that that is very difficult to know. And really a scary, I do understand for us, for me, it was very scary at the beginning. And also because you know, it's not, when you are charging, I dunno, 150 pounds, something really a small day. Right? For for, for, for working in the UK, that's like ridiculously small. But when you are coming from making no money, you think, well, I'm on 50 pounds and I'm having fun with after effects or we'd send them off Libby, but that's no good.
Cabeza Patata (25:48): I mean the long term, you will realize that that's not going to get you. That's going to make you very tired and you're going to barely make money to pay your rent. And if you need a new laptop, you are going to be struggling to buy a decent one. And all of those things, because you have to pay taxes and you need to do, when you start working as an independent freelancer, that's that a lot of associated costs that you don't see at the beginning. And I think you need to understand that it's not about multiplying your day, right by 20 and say, oh, that's my monthly salary. That's not how it works because you might have time to sit with [inaudible] or ties in with y'all tired. Or there are so many situations, or even times a week, someone comes with a super interesting music video opportunity that they don't have money, the budget floor, and you want to join. So you need to charge those big people in order to be able to afford you want to make.
Cabeza Patata (26:46): And we definitely applied the same thing, working as a studio now, trying to charge more with bigger clients who we know have more money, and then it can allow us to do smaller projects or collaborations, or like all this fashion stuff as well, which we really enjoy. And also the finances, what we do as a studio, things have changed now. What we ask is for the budgets for the entire campaign. So they write stuff don't apply anymore because depending on the budget, we hire animators. When we get bigger projects and we can hire people for the team when we get bigger projects. So we need to know the budget, but the budgets can vary so much in the studio environment. So what we do is we always ask for them to give us a number at the beginning. So if someone sends us an email and they say, oh, we have these new campaign for Google for their website.
Cabeza Patata (27:38): You have no idea if this is the biggest campaign of the year for Google or the, or this is a little thing that Google is going to have for a week on a side of the website. So if they give you an initial number and we don't really engage in more conversation until they give us a number, and once we have the number, now we know what we are talking about. Now, you know, if you're talking about a super big project in which you are wanting to put 20 people on, or if you are talking a little thing that we are going to do on the side, I mean, it may be that we are interested in both things, but if you don't know, you might make the mistake of saying something really small and you might even not get the project because they are like obvious guys, a studio or so. Yeah. Yeah. And sometimes, I mean, sometimes they'll say how much, and they'll say how much, and they'll say how much, and you'd have to hold your ground and have a few emails back and forth because in the end they do have a budget allocated. So they really have to say,
Hayley Akins (28:34): Yeah, well, I love that. I lived at your been forceful with like, no, you have to say how much, you know, because most people are scared to do that because they don't want to you know, scare the clients away. So is that, is that how you do it? You just literally say, Hey, you need to tell us, you know, we're not going to tell you. Yeah,
Cabeza Patata (28:51): Yeah, yeah. I think that's the way. But I think that makes that's what they're playing with. That's their whole idea is to try and get you to do it for the least amount of money and the cause of this ne jobs previously had just been creating the thing that now, if always say managing the whole thing and organizing the budget and producing the whole project yourself yeah, you might just want to draw the pictures and you don't want to be some kind of hard nose, business person. And I think that they know that. And so they're able to explain it a little easier. I think what do you reminds me to, you know, when people come door to door to, because they won't get to sign up for a charity or some subscription thing. So what they do is they do open the door and they start talking for a long time and they don't even let you talk.
Cabeza Patata (29:42): And they know that the longer they keep you there, the more deal too, you are going to feel for wasting their time and clients do that. Agencies do that all the time. They want to have a lot of conversations, their point of view, they all, you talk to the creative director, the director to these things, to the other, and they don't want to talk about budget because they know that the more invested you are, then you're going to feel very guilty about bringing the conversation. So what we do is we do it from the very beginning. We don't even want to talk about it on Skype or like on a video call. We want to talk about it on email, because email is, is it's called. We are better at emailing. When we talk about that, it's like, if you do it before, then you can be really nice and friendly for the whole project.
Cabeza Patata (30:28): But if you meet and you're really friendly, and then you send an email being like, no, you have to tell me the budget. And if a direct business way, then there'll be like, wait, that's all these people were nice. And now they're being mean, but actually it's not me. It's just standing up for yourself because then you can relax and be friendly and you can be extra help with anything we have even seen, not knowing the budget with campaigns, for which you are pitching, which is the most absurd thing ever. So you paid for a project and there are another three studios pitching to get this CVR, but nobody knows the budget. So then imagine if you win it, then you negotiate the budget, but you already won the campaign. You're ready to pull the work due on the page. And then imagine that they say, oh, we have 20 pounds.
Cabeza Patata (31:12): And you're like, okay, well, what was that all about? You should know in advance, what is going to be the campaign? And I think it doesn't need to be set in stone that, you know, someone can say a number on if later on the process, they, they need to reduce it. Then you can say, okay, in that case we will reduce the amount of deliverables. Or if they say, oh, we do have a bit more money. You can say, okay, in that case, we can be more detailed on this animation. So it's something that once you have an anchor point, it's very easy to move around. Yeah.
Hayley Akins (31:43): I mean, thanks so much for being really open about all of this stuff as well, because I feel like this is what people need to hear. You know, they need to hear that. You've got to be a bit I guess hard-nosed or something like that is the way to say it. You know, you have to put your business hat on which is obviously what we're all about at motion hats. So I really appreciate that. I just wanted to ask you a bit more than about like, how do you get most of your direct clients, because obviously I know that you've worked with Spotify and stuff like that, which is incredible. So I just wanted to know like how to, most of the clients come here,
Cabeza Patata (32:22): Plants just, you never really know them. People will just pop into an email and it's very exciting. So I think that because there's a lot of these tech companies that we're working with, if we find out you said that they have a lot of in-house teams who are basically just like young creative people who like just enjoying, following things on their social media. And then when a project comes along, that person says, oh yeah, I know the perfect person. And then they reach out. So I think it sounds maybe a lot more organized, but generally when we, cause we do try and ask people how they came across us. And, and usually it's been that we haven't done any cold emailing. We don't really do that now. We have done, if we won awards for, for a campaign, for example, we, the Spotify was sent to some of the clients on email saying, oh, we won this award just to let you know that we, we do this type of campaign that is bigger than what we've done with you before.
Cabeza Patata (33:33): But most of the contents, I mean, most of the technology companies that we work with, Google, apple, and Microsoft, all of those ones are direct people within the company. We had at the very beginning representation agency representing us, you know, we had the, the UK Germany, France, that different people in different places. We we've everyone within the trial periods because we wanted to see how we would work. And what we realize is that our media, social media was growing so fast. That really quickly, we surpassed the amount of followers and engagement that we were having personally, compared to the people that were representing us. So then he didn't make sense that someone was representing us when we were representing ourselves, you know, with a bigger audience. So we decided to go completely solid. And we rarely now work with, sometimes we work with agencies, if there's a campaign that we want to do, but in general, we tied to our directly with clients.
Cabeza Patata (34:33): We think it is the future. Especially with these big companies that Katie is saying with the Spotify is so much where they're working directly with them is it's a fluid communication. They know what they want, no confusion on, on what do I do? You don't need to have people in the middle. Yeah, I'm, I'm personally, I'm quite negative about the entire concept of the creative director, not director. I don't even know exactly what the difference between those positions are, is in general, when we are working with agencies, it's just people telling you things that you don't know, if those things come from the client, if they come from the agency they come from, I don't really know. Or if it's their personal opinion. Yeah. And it will, sometimes the client will say that they they'll get the list of feedback. And then the agency will, for some reason filter the feedback that they actually don't know anything about the process. So then when they come to us, we say, oh, actually that would have been easy in. That is actually very difficult that you agree to. And in generally we just prefer so much to work directly. And if you can reduce as much as possible, the amount of steps in the middle, I found that much, much easier. Yeah. And you get more money as well because all these people in the middle, I, it, yeah.
Hayley Akins (35:42): So you feel like the, the best way that you've managed to get like these big direct clients is through growing your social media, like consistently putting out social posts, making personal projects, like trying to be innovative with those. Like, I'm just trying to really pin down like the points that have made it like such a success. And obviously that's, it might not be the same for everybody, but it just helps everyone listening to think about, well, what could I do that would help me to grow, you know, my studio, my brand, my freelance career,
Cabeza Patata (36:19): I think, yes. I think a few things we, we started, I think getting as well, bigger projects when once we were big enough that we had enough big brands in our website, we changed a bit how we were presenting ourselves before we were focusing a lot on these escape Abel and I think that Katie and Abel, the artist is much more on Instagram because people like that, they like knowing about us and it's more personal. But on our website, we present ourselves more as a production company. Because we do have now in Barcelona, we have the studio space so we can get a lot of freelancers if we need to. So we now a website that you go now to the about section we made a photo of the studio we have in Barcelona, we through a lot of people which still were not there in the moment, but it's a way of saying to the client, look, we can work with big teams of people because we've done it before.
Cabeza Patata (37:11): And he works. So think that you are competing against now we are competing against really big a studio like Bach or, you know, so many or army made, or these people have constantly 40, 50 back cost, like 300 people working there. So we need to say to the client in a way, on percent of, so in a way in which if people come to us, they know that we can build those big teams as well. So I think that was a confirmation. No, that's the kind of personas, but I definitely on the social media side, I think that it's super useful in getting clients through those. Like what we were saying. If people, someone in Spotify is following your work and comes across your really likes the engagement and likes that you have a lot of following, like seeing your consistent style throughout the timeline. But then obviously on the other side, if they pitch it to that company, or if another company comes across to you on the website, they want to be able to show them, oh, there's this really serious production company that can do the campaign. They don't want to be that somebodies Instagram.
Cabeza Patata (38:23): I'm not, I'm not swell. B homes has been very big for us. I think right now we have 30,000 people following us there and be hands on our website is connected to be Hans. We are doing through the other way portfolio. They're not paying us to save this, but I always say that to everyone because it's great. The works you can right now, it works quite well. And you can personalize it. You can make it really unique to what you want. And the cool thing is that once you finish a project on behalf, we sync it with our website. So we don't spend a lot of time doing the same thing again and again it's being, we are so into it. And right now into building projects that when we're doing personal ESOP, at the same time, we are creating images. We are already uploading them as a draft to our behind space.
Cabeza Patata (39:12): So we are building this sometimes when we're doing personal work, we are looking at the project. And at some point we think like, oh, this is long enough to be appropriate for homes. And then we close it. And sometimes we say, oh, we shouldn't make one more image because it's, it's not good enough to steal. So we are, we are really conscious of building projects for, for behind tonight and be hands. Sometimes they give you these little badges to do you have to be hotspots or the illustration one. And when they give you one of those, you get to the top of the website and they've been giving us a lot of those. And that they'll help us grow a lot from that on that platform. And I think a lot of work comes from that as well.
Hayley Akins (39:51): Yeah. I mean, that's great that you mentioned be hands as well. I think the other thing that you do really well, which is probably linked to this is, you know, present all of the work like you were saying earlier as more like case studies. So even if it's personal work, like you were saying about telling people, you know, why you started that project and what you wanted to do it, and things like that, do you feel like that helps give the clients some confidence and also it shows them a bit more behind the scenes and stuff like that?
Cabeza Patata (40:19): Yeah, definitely. I think you're building it. Like it's a commercial project. And sometimes I think as well, that the language that you use is quite important on behind this project. Sometimes you see people in they're like, oh, I wouldn't say using kindness and shapes and what we try and do because we're linking it to the website as well. And because it's kind of a more professional setting, it's not Instagram. We say this project is an exploration into you being a bit more general. You're not being like, oh, I really liked the color of this. Or in a friendly conversation way. It's a bit more serious, a bit more like you probably would put it on your website or like a big studio. And we, and we put it, we put quite grand names. Sometimes we have a project called balance and the text is, you know, we made a culvert text in which it looks like an album cover or something.
Cabeza Patata (41:12): And that type of thing help selling the project. Culottes you have the language, even at the beginning, we were escaping the same using the language that this is a bit more being careful, almost being sorry of what you've done on it. On at the end, people put the text saying like, oh, I hope you like it or something. And then we were like, no, no, this is going to go in our website. I don't hope you like it. If you are here, you should be liking it. I don't need to tell you, you know, it's, it's a, it's a different way of expressing it that I think helped us to, to grow to the, is the language we use in our Instagram. And our behinds is very different than it'd be. We are more, it's connected to our website. It's part of the studio is fear.
Hayley Akins (41:57): That's really clever. I love that you're putting so much thought into all of these things. And I think that, you know, is probably been a big part of why you've been successful. The work is really good too, but having those two things together I think is really, you know, what is made some of these bigger brands and stuff take more notice of you and your work because you have the kind of professionalism and you also have the like fantastic art side as well. Yeah,
Cabeza Patata (42:26): I think, I think undoubtedly and definitely when we were starting out a bit more, these are all things, obviously that we've learned along the way, but sometimes we'd let it other students that we, like, we look at their website and think, how did they present the project? What kind of thing do they write in the text about the projects? How do they present themselves? And so we try and kind of see what people that we like did as well. So it's learning from other people, learning a bit from experiences and feedback that we're getting. That definitely, yeah. I think it's important to see what other people in your stay with doing, because if no, one's saying, I hope you like it at the end of the project. It's that's because that's not how you get really big clients. Yeah.
Hayley Akins (43:06): I think that's great advice before we wrap this one up, I just wanted to ask you about, because I saw that recently you did a paid post from a tablet company. Right. And obviously, because you've got a lot of followers on Instagram, I just wondered if you thought that that was going to be more of what you do in the future and maybe what more of what other people start doing as kind of studios almost become sort of influencers. Well,
Cabeza Patata (43:33): So we we've been thinking a lot about it with this, for example, we generally like the brand, we think it's a great, it's great as well to have someone competing against that. We use Wacom before forever, because that was the only brand that people will use if you were buying a tablet. So when we tried to establish, it was like, okay, this is quite cool. A company is competing against them. So we feel comfortable with it. But we got contacted before by all the people we've had different offers to things in the past. And that wouldn't, we feel like maybe it would be a bit dishonest. Something we actually had got an offer from another computer company who were not going to send us the computer. And they say, oh, just say that you made the image using this computer when I didn't see everything that's wrong with that sounds something to somebody that we haven't even challenged, pretending that we made our images.
Cabeza Patata (44:29): We don't even know if you could or, or some watch brands do not. For example, I never use a watch. You sometimes use the apple watch, but it would be weird to suddenly be promoting watches when we don't use them. So that I think, I think it's good to do something that connects to what we do, but I do. I do think that, I mean, we can tell from the engagement that when we put the stuff with who yawn, that people really care, that brands can get a lot from using you know, accounts that are, are getting a bit bigger from like giving them money or products to, to promote their run. Because it does people, people care about the, sometimes we even don't want to focus too much on the technical part, but people have so much about which laptop of we have was the brand of keyboards we'll use, what is the chair we are using. People ask a lot of that. And I think, yeah, there's an opportunity for brands. If any laptop companies are listening. Yeah,
Hayley Akins (45:37): Totally. No, I, well, I think it's just really fascinating and I think you're doing some amazing stuff. I just wanted to ask you one more question. If someone was listening to this and they want to start a studio in a pub and have a particular focus on one style, what is one thing that you feel like that they should do today?
Cabeza Patata (45:59): Oh, that's difficult. And I guess depends if they have the style already, if they have this style and they think this is so good and the world needs to see it, I think just make a lot of work in that style, make lots of images and projects do as much as you can and you'll see the style evolving and getting better. And then you'll see that the more you do and the more you put out, the more you're going to get that if you only post something on Instagram, like once a month, you're not really going to get that constant engagement. So I think just go for it and work and make things and don't get stuck on something. Yeah. I'm move on continuously producing and then never be afraid if you don't like it in three months, you can get rid of some of the stuff that you go like now it's completely fine. Nobody is going to complain. If they go to your website on something it's not there anymore. Yeah. It's moving on constantly producing and then you'll eventually get there. So what we've done is like three years. It's just like sometimes when you are enjoying it, because it's fun as well. So I think Dave obviously got stressed out about that, but do make it your love really? Yeah.
Hayley Akins (47:25): Well, I mean, this has been a fantastic episode. So do you want to tell the where they can find out more about you and your work?
Cabeza Patata (47:33): Well, yeah, our Instagram, I think is the most fun place. Because we, we do a lot of stories and we are sharing constantly things there. And then on our be hands is where we put her constantly our projects. And that's the most serious approach. If he has any questions or followups, we are the ones managing the Instagram. So
Hayley Akins (48:02): Awesome. And we'll put all the links as well in the show notes so everybody can find it easily. So thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been fantastic. Thank you very much.
Hayley Akins (48:15): Thanks so much to Abel and Katie for coming on the show. I hope you'll agree. That was an incredible episode. If you've enjoyed this episode, please do consider leaving us a rating and review wherever you get your podcasts from and why not share this episode with a friend who you feel might find it useful as well. You can always take a screenshot of you listening to the podcast and let us know what you think of it. Maybe share it on your Instagram stories. We are motion hatch on Instagram. Thank you so much for listening all the way to the end. I appreciate you. See ya.
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