Welcome! My name is Alan Shisko, and I'm a freelance motion graphics artist working out of Toronto, Canada. I've been very lucky in my career to have had many inspiring teachers, and decided to start this blog to give back to the community that has enriched me both technically and aesthetically. Perhaps my words and images will inspire you to do the same! If you wish, take a minute to view my demo reel at Shisko.com, or view a comprehensive gallery of my past work Here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Where To Get The Gigs

You've worked hard, learned plenty, and now you're hanging out your shingle as a motion graphics artist. The question is, where will you practice and how do you get the gigs? There are many avenues of approach with regards to employment in the field, and it's pretty important that you take the time to determine what would suit you and your lifestyle best before you start looking. In a nutshell, you could seek... 1) Full-time, salaried 2) Full-time, contract 3) Part-time, contract 4) Freelance.

As a salary wo/man, you'll have a steady gig with predictable income, health benefits, technology budgets, technical support, retirement plans and, if you're lucky, a games room with a ping pong table. The downside is that you'll be working a daily grind. If it's a good, challenging, rewarding grind then you're doing well, but if it's not, you'll find yourself bound by the 'golden handcuffs'.

Full time contract usually offers a bit more flexibility time-wise, possibly at the expense of health benefits and guaranteed employment. Be prepared to bounce from gig to gig at a rapid pace. This is a great approach for beginners, as you'll get exposed to many different visual strategies and approaches and make lots of contacts for possible future freelance work. Befriend the producers, do good work, and it'll pay dividends in the future.

Part-time contract and freelance often work hand-in-hand: it's nice to have a steady contract (say, a day or two a week) to 'smooth out' the cyclical nature of freelancing. And while freelancing offers the most freedom, it takes a long time to establish yourself with the clients who will pay you what you're worth, and keep coming back for more. You're also never done working: it's a tricky balancing act, and you must remember that when you're pulling 18 hour days on a project, you also have to be concurrently seeking out your next gig. And don't forget that if you're freelancing, you have to build in the cost of software purchase/upgrades, hardware, office supplies, internet and telephone, desks, and chairs, and space for your office. It all adds up, and it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees if you're not careful. Most importantly, make sure that you get a good accountant right off the bat, as there are many financial incentives and opportunities to be had when you work for yourself.

So, with all that in mind, here are some links to job resources on the web. You'll find that some are more regional than others, and I would invite you to send in your own links ("alan" +followed by the 'at' symbol+ "effektor" =then 'dot'= "ca")that I will add as they arrive.

Motionographer (great for the high-end gigs, largely but not exclusively American, often NY/LA.)
Playback Mag (mostly Canadian listings, and not just motion graphics)
Mograph Jobs board (International, tending towards America)
Media Job Search Canada (Canadian, obviously. Not just MG gigs.)
DesignInMotion / 2-Pop Job Forum (International, tending towards America)
MGLA: Jobs (Los Angeles/ SoCal)
MGLA: Jobs Wanted (Post YOUR talents here- Los Angeles, SoCal)
Mandy.com (Global, OK posting propagation depending on your region. Many Low/No pay jobs for students and beginners)
xplsv.tv (USA generally, not many posts yet but seems to be improving)

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