How to make money as an animator in 2024

Learn how to make money as an animator to turn your knowledge and skills into profit.

how to make money as an animator

Animation is a lucrative avenue for creative individuals seeking opportunities to showcase their artistic talents while generating a sizable income. Animators may be drawn to the profession for its creative flexibility, the chance to work on diverse projects and the potential to earn income both online and offline. Whether you’re aspiring to supplement your income, establish your own animation studio or pursue a full-time career in animation, understanding the most current strategies for making money as an animator is the first step toward transforming your passion into profit.

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Tips for making money as an animator

Succeeding as an animator requires a blend of artistic prowess, effective communication and adaptability to varied client needs. Time management, self-discipline and cultivating a healthy professional network are also pivotal for success in the animation industry.

Creating an an ,online portfolio is essential for attracting potential clients and collaborators. Your ,animation portfolio will be an invaluable tool for promoting yourself, highlighting your skills and showcasing your previous projects. 

Specializing in an animation niche can elevate your career, allowing you to hone in on a particular style or genre while ,making money as a freelancer. This focus not only enhances your artistic authority but also increases the likelihood of securing projects aligned with your expertise and commanding higher rates. Identifying a niche that aligns with market demand and your artistic passions is key for success in the freelance animation landscape.

12 ways to make money as an animator

  1. Character animation
  2. Motion graphics animation
  3. 3D animation
  4. Explainer video animation
  5. Cartoon animation
  6. Virtual reality (VR) animation
  7. Whiteboard animation
  8. Educational animation
  9. Game animation
  10. Storyboarding
  11. Medical animation
  12. Architectural animation

01. Character animation

Character animators bring fictional or real characters to life through movement and expression. This field is lucrative as businesses, entertainment companies and game developers are always looking for skilled character animators to create engaging and memorable characters for various media. Explore ,Meppity (Anya Butler) for some character animation inspiration. 

02. Motion graphics animation

Motion graphics animators specialize in creating animated graphics and visual elements for videos, presentations and digital content. As businesses increasingly utilize motion graphics for marketing and communication, there is a growing demand for talented animators in this niche.

03. 3D animation

3D animators use computer software to create three-dimensional animated visuals. This skill is in high demand in industries such as film, advertising and gaming, making it a profitable avenue for animators seeking diverse and challenging projects. 

04. Explainer video animation

Explainer video animators focus on creating engaging and informative videos to explain products, services or concepts. Explainer video animation is a sought-after skill in the corporate world as businesses are always looking for ways to simplify complex ideas for their audience. Some animators offer this as just part of their more extended animation repertoire, like ,Yukai Du.

05. Cartoon animation

Cartoon animators specialize in the creation of animated cartoons for television, web series or streaming platforms. With the popularity of animated content, particularly on digital platforms, cartoon animation offers animators opportunities to showcase their creativity and storytelling skills. ,Hannah Jacobs is a great example of an inspiring cartoon animator. 

06. Virtual reality (VR) animation

VR animators design immersive and interactive animated experiences for virtual reality platforms. With the rise of virtual reality technology, businesses, educational institutions and entertainment companies are increasingly seeking VR animators for innovative projects.

07. Whiteboard animation

Whiteboard animators use a unique style where illustrations are created in real-time on a whiteboard, accompanied by a narration. This engaging and simple animation style is often used for educational videos, presentations and marketing content.

08. Educational animation

Educational animators develop animated content for educational purposes, ranging from e-learning modules to educational apps. As the demand for engaging and interactive educational materials grows, animators in this niche can find ample opportunities.

09. Game animation

Game animators work on creating animated characters, environments and visual effects for video games. With the thriving gaming industry, game animation is a great way to ,make money online for animators looking to contribute to the immersive gaming experience.

10. Storyboarding

Storyboard artists create visual narratives through a sequence of illustrations, serving as a blueprint for films, animations and advertisements. Skilled storyboard artists are in demand across the entertainment industry, making this a viable source of income for animators.

11. Medical animation

Medical animators use their skills to visualize complex medical concepts and procedures for educational and instructional purposes. As the healthcare industry continues to utilyze new technology, there is a growing need for medical animators to communicate medical information effectively.

12. Architectural animation

Architectural animators create animated visualizations of architectural designs, offering clients a dynamic perspective of proposed projects. With the construction and real estate industries utilizing animation for presentations, architectural animation is a niche where animators can thrive.

How to get started making money as an animator

Begin by assessing your animation skills and identifying your preferred animation niche. Animator ,Marco Mori, who specializes in 3D animation, notes the importance of honing your skills and discovering new techniques and styles to stand out in the competitive animation market.

Next, think about ,how to make a website or an animation portfolio to showcase your best work. Include samples or links to previous projects, highlight your animation skills and give potential clients a glimpse of your creative style.

Set up a professional profile on animation platforms and social media to connect with potential clients, collaborators and animation enthusiasts. According to Lilach Goldis, Social Media Manager at Wix, “Identify the social media platforms your audience is active on the most and get an in-depth understanding of what it takes to rank on them. For example, converting your Instagram carousel posts into a Reel can capture attention more effectively and boost your content’s impact, ultimately leading people to visit your site.”

Understand the basics of ,how to start a business, such as setting your rates, creating proposals and managing contracts.

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How to make money as an animator FAQ

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