Glen Southern shares advice he says set him up incredibly well for when he started freelancing.
This series is all about how to become a freelance 3D artist, so I asked Southern, who has worked as a freelancer and as the head of a design company, what one piece of advice he’d share about his experiences.
Glen Southern: One piece of advice I was given by my accountant in the week we started my company was to act as a director of a large organisation even before you make a penny. Set everything up with the thought that you will be doing good turnover quickly and having regular contract work as needed.
I thought that it was a crazy idea and that it felt very much like faking it. In hindsight, I think it is one of the reasons I’m still in business 10 years later and I’ve never run into any major problem or no work. I created contracts, NDA documents, terms and conditions, rules about deposits on work I was pitching for. I set up my accounting software early and agreed to save tax as the funds were paid to me to stop big bills mounting up.
It works for a couple of reasons I think. Firstly, it gets you ready for the rough and tough world of freelancing and gives you some confidence early on when there isn’t a lot of work around. Secondly, it gives the potential client confidence in you and your abilities. Doing the work is only part of the deal. A client has to be confident in you as a business person as well. They need to know you will finish a job, bring it in one time, on budget and to the required quality. If you go in confident and charge the right fee that really helps them.
And don’t forget quite often the person you are pitching to isn’t spending their own money so think like a corporation and take the person out of the equation at that point.
This week at befores & afters is #freelance3dartist week, a look at various ins and outs of working as a freelance 3D artist.Sign up to the weekly b&a VFX newsletter