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Leaving the Rat Race - and going Freelance....


Junior Member
I've been in continuous employment as a Motion Graphic Designer for over 5 years now - but I'm very serious about going freelance and I want to do it soon.

Unfortunately this realisation has clashed with the supposed 'economic meltdown' we're experiencing. So, I'd like to hear some opinions and advice about making change from 'Rat Race Regular', to Freelancer - especially from those who have taken the plunge. After all, I still have to pay the (very hefty London) rent.

Do you need to have savings behind you, and if so - how much is wise?

Is it important to register with an agency? Are they useful?

Will cold calling win new clients, or is word of mouth from other freelancers more important?

Is now just a really bad time to take the plunge - what's the freelance market up to? Should I just hang on and wait?

Those are just a few questions, and I know there are no hard and fast answers. I'm just interested to hear what you guys think.

Thanks :)


Active Member
Brave time to take a plunge, for any type of employment. There are some freelancers on DF with similar situation as yourself, just a few questions. Do you think a Motion Graphic Designer may find less work than web/print in the current situ? Only you know how much work could be out there so only you can truly know if you could survive. It's always useful to have savings and a warchest - 3 months survival cash is the norm. I'd be working behind the scenes to develop leads and potential clients so when you jumped you had a lifeboat( and food)


Junior Member
Thanks Berry, that's good advice on getting developing leads behind the scenes, that's something I'm definitely going to be doing this year.

As for the amount of work, it's so hard to tell with the Motion Graphics Industry.... it's very London centric, and I only know a couple of freelancers in the same industry as me so I'm polling a very small sample group! Are there any Motion Graphics people here on DF?

Developing new contacts/leads could also tie in nicely with gaining savings....
Hey Mookomatic, I'm in a similar situation to you (although my area of expertise is graphic design, but I guess that covers you as well to an extent) in that I'm right on the edge of taking the "plunge".

I work full time as a designer for a small design studio where I've been for about 4 years. I've been procrastinating for ages but I'm at the stage where I just want to go for it now and go it alone. What I'm doing just now is building up a portfolio for myself when I'm not at my full-time workplace (eg. nights and weekends!) and I plan to talk to my boss about going part-time in the next couple of months so its more half and half, if you know what I mean. Then make the break completely!

Networking is also a hugely important part of the process and has helped me a lot. But regarding the economic climate just now, from freelance creatives I've spoken to, a lot of them seem to be doing great despite the "doom and gloom".

It's an exciting time (and a bit scary) keep us up to date on how you get on and I'll do the same!


Junior Member
Hey EndofGeneric

Good luck with your freelance venture - sounds like you've got a good route mapped out. I'll let you know how I do....
I'm no expert on the Motion Graphics industry but from a Graphic Designer point of view, I went freelance just under a year ago and don't regret it at all. There are a hell of a lot of things to consider and I've written an article about taking the plunge on the Media Talent Bank Blog which may be of use.

Media Talent Bank

Also another post with some advice on to what to charge for freelance services

Media Talent Bank


Junior Member
Brilliant, thanks Russell. Great article, with some interesting points to consider. My boyfriend is a freelance online editor, so I have been able to stand at the sidelines and watch someone else take the plunge and deal with the headaches of self promotion, sporadic work and tax! However, doing it yourself is another thing entirely! I think I've slowly got a plan forming in my head, and a timescale...

Cheers for the advice :)