How to Leverage Personal Projects to Improve Your Motion Design Career

with Qais Sarhan

Do you ever feel that you have too much client work to focus on personal projects?

It can be tough making the time for something that doesn’t bring you any direct income. However, these personal projects are an important part of your craft and will help you in your motion design career. They’ll help you sharpen your skills while imparting a sense of satisfaction that other work doesn’t.

About Qais Sarhan

Qais Sarhan is a 2D motion designer based in Reading. He creates simple, succinct animations in order to promote and explain complex marketing messages. When not creating for studios and agencies, Qais creates silly gifs about cats and food.

The Rewards and Challenges of Remote Work

As someone who works on all aspects of a project, Qais is able to work remotely. In this capacity, he seldom needs to come in-house and has the freedom to live outside of the major hubs. Even though you might not be physically in the room with clients, Qais urges you to stay in frequent communication.  Regular emails, calls, and messages will put them at ease and let them know that their project is in good hands.

Levelling Up with Personal Projects

When not working for clients, Qais is constantly refining his own skills.

Personal projects are a great avenue for this. By investing in yourself, not only will your craft improve, but you will also gain a sense of satisfaction that only comes creating for your own development.

It will also help you avoid being too harsh on yourself so you can focus on the joy in what you do.

Have you seen your craft improve through personal work? Tell me about it in the comments section on the episode page!

What challenges and solutions have you come across with remote work? Tell me about it in the comments section on the episode page!

In this episode


  • How remote work creates geographic freedom as a motion designer [2:09]
  • Tips for communicating with clients remotely [4:45]
  • Harnessing personal projects to improve your skills [6:48]
  • Avoiding the pressure of perfectionism [15:30]
  • Using Linkedin and other social media to share your work [20:20]
  • How treating yourself as a business can still highlight your personal identity [30:28]



“Every few months I’ll sit back and think, what’s one area in my skill set that I really want to develop and work on and how can I make that happen in my spare time.” [8:21]  “Don’t stress about the idea of the personal project so much. You need to enjoy the process. You need to develop your skills.” [12:31]  “You are a business ,and you’re promoting yourself as a business. If you are following any other kind of business, you don’t need to see personal posts from the employees. You just need to give people what they want.” [30:03]  “Don’t obsess with being the best because that’s exhausting.” [33:12]

Key Takeaways


Being able to work remotely opens many doors. It allows you to live and work wherever you want and take on clients outside your geographical area. However, you still need to be in regular communication with clients. Keep them updated as much as possible on whatever platform they prefer.

Personal projects are a necessary part of being in a creative line of work. They’ll help take your skills and abilities to the next level and keep you passionate about your craft. It’s often difficult balancing these projects with client work. Since they’re your own creations, you can break them down into manageable pieces that still leave room for your other work.



Find Qais Sarhan online

Follow Qais on Linkedin | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Vimeo | Behance | Dribble 


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Podcast music licensed by Big Waves

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