The Era of Freelance Animation Jobs
Freelance is growing popular. More and more employees are chucking their day jobs in favour of freelancing as they get to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with working as independent professionals. Meanwhile, companies are adopting a flexi-hire approach, balancing their teams with a mix of full-timers and freelancers as they look to leverage the cost advantage and specialized expertise that freelancers bring to the table.
And this is happening in every industry where face-to-face interactions or physical presence is not required. Skills ranging from design and creative to copy and content, sales and strategy, advertising and branding, digital marketing and traditional marketing, IT and engineering, data and analytics, accounting and consulting, AI and VR, animation and VFX, gaming and comics, and graphic design and web design are all enjoying high demand in the freelance market.
Growth of Freelance Animation Jobs
If one were to go by market predictions, half of the world’s workforce today is expected to go freelance in the next 10 years. The last decade witnessed a huge jump in the number of professionals who joined the global freelance animation jobs. Currently, over 58 million professionals are doing freelance animation jobs in the U.S Currently, over 58 million professionals are working as freelancers in the U.S. They account for about 35% of the country’s workforce and contribute roughly $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy. This fast-growing group is all set to become the majority, eclipsing the traditional workforce in another 5 to 10 years.
India currently has about 15 million freelance animation jobs and their numbers are growing by the day. India is one of the top-10 fastest-growing freelance economies in the world. Reports indicate that the country registered a huge 45% increase in the number of new freelancers for the Q1 – Q2 period in 2020. The development is a direct result of the pandemic and lockdown-driven job losses across industries. The number of professionals contemplating a full-time, long-term career in freelance is increasing. And there is a corresponding increase in new freelance animation jobs and projects as well, particularly after August 2020. From March to July 2020 in the initial phase of COVID-19, the freelance market was rather subdued.
Many initiatives of the Indian government such as Skill India, Digital India, and Startup India are motivating people in the age group of 25 – 40 years to take up entrepreneurship….many are getting into freelancing due to the low investment required to start a freelance business. The Indian government has also done well to encourage entrepreneurship/freelancing with other campaigns such as Atmanirbhar that are playing a critical role in making people self-reliant and creating a self-reliant India.
Opportunities for Freelance Animation Jobs Across World
The top-10 fastest-growing freelance markets in the world are U.S.A., U.K., Brazil, Pakistan, Ukraine, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Russia, and Serbia in that order. The freelance market in the U.S.A. is hurtling North at a break-neck speed of 78% while the U.K.’s freelance market is racing the growth track at 59%. Brazil and Pakistan are accelerating at 47 – 48% while Ukraine and Philippines are coasting along at about 35 – 36%. India and Bangladesh are all set to shoot beyond their current growth rates of 27 – 29% while Russia and Serbia at a healthy 19 – 20% growth rate are raring to move up the top-10 list. All these numbers will be COVID-corrected to higher growth rates in due time.
The progress of the freelance economy is being propelled by many other factors. The MSMSE (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector is a major source of new projects for freelancers. This is because freelancers offer competitive prices allowing small and medium companies that have modest budgets to save substantially on costs. Also, freelancers are flexible and are accommodative to the needs of smaller businesses which have several constraints. In India, an overwhelming majority of companies in the MSME sector work with freelancers and utilize their services regularly. Trends indicate that more MSMEs are likely to hire freelancers in the future.
A very important development influencing the growth of the global freelance economy is the rise in the number of online freelance platforms across industries. As more and more freelancing sites populate the web, the opportunities for freelancers are expanding. Freelancers are experiencing an increase in the number of projects as more online freelance platforms connect with industries to generate projects. These online platforms are acting as a bridge between companies and talent as they provide an impetus to the freelance economy. Most of these freelance platforms are based in the U.S.A, the U.K., Brazil, and India.
Predictions of Freelance Animation Industry
Going by the current growth rates, the number of projects executed by freelancers across the globe is expected to double in the next 7 – 10 years. Recruiters in diverse industries are consciously tilting their team’s balance towards freelancers because factors such as costs, work flexibility, and talent diversity are gaining precedence in the HR matrix. Talented freelancers with diverse skills and proven expertise have an edge in the freelance market and secure more work. Just for perspective, today the animation freelance work out in the market accounts for as much as 70 – 80% of the total 2D animation projects generated every year. And most of these freelance jobs are executed by gifted artists with rich experience in a range of projects.
In several instances, freelancers are preferred by companies because they are more passionate about their work. They are always in overdrive trying to exceed expectations, deliver on time, build trust, secure repeat work orders, and strengthen their relationship with the client. And they are eagerly willing to tread the extra mile when required in order to help the client achieve their project goals. Many freelancers keep themselves available to the client and are flexible with the client’s changing needs. This gives clients a strong reason to stick to the freelancer. In the case of freelance game developer jobs, studios are generally awarded such projects, but more and more freelancers with specialized expertise in gaming are being considered for these projects by large CG studios.
Key Role in Entertainment Industry
Also, freelance animation jobholders have a point to prove; that they can deliver at par with studios or agencies that have large teams and better infrastructure. So they are always giving it their best shot and producing great work. Importantly, freelancers across industries are constantly updating their skills to widen their expertise and stay competitive. As they work independently, control their own work schedules, and are always looking out for projects, they utilize the considerable freedom and time on hand to capitalize on knowledge, training, and business opportunities at workshops, seminars, trade shows, and other related events. This allows them to network and build contacts with prospective clients, just as large studios and agencies do.
Freelancers, especially in the gaming, animation, and VFX space have a great chance to succeed as plenty of opportunities exist in the market and clients always appreciate creative work. This particular segment of the freelance market is showing great promise as the media and entertainment industry which is a huge, high growth industry globally, contributes significantly to the projects basket of CG freelancers. With more films being produced across markets including Hollywood and Bollywood each year, new and powerful platforms such as OTT driving demand for content, and with CGI finding lucrative applications in new industries, the opportunities for freelancers are increasing. For instance in animation, many freelance animation jobs are there in the market.
Another factor in favour of CG freelancers is the flexibility to work remotely. Unlike some other sectors, the nature of work for gaming, animation, and VFX freelancers ensures that their physical presence is not required for the most part of their work. They can communicate, work, and deliver remotely without any hassles. And with advancements in communication and CGI technology, remote work is becoming more popular. And as the world is trying hard to emerge from the shadows of COVID-19, more CG professionals are preferring to work from the secure confines of their homes, and many CG studios are cutting their staff strength and hiring more freelancers on a project-basis to conserve cash. This is leading to more freelance projects in the market, for instance, the number of jobs in online VFX effects and other related jobs are growing popular.
Together, all these factors are proving advantageous for freelancers. For those keen on building a career in freelancing, there’s no better time than now as the current business environment is highly conducive. The future is certainly promising for the freelance economy and its key players….the freelancers. Are we on the cusp of the golden age in freelancing? Time will tell.