5 Mins, Animation 8 years ago

Watching cartoons and building an animation career, with Oliver Sin.

Animator, Director, Illustrator all round nice guy Oliver Sin talks about building his career.

So, why did you feel animation is best suited to you as your main art form? What excites you about it?

I’ve tried many other areas of art but nothing intrigues and excites me as much as animation does.

I know it’s the right medium for me as I always get that proud feeling, and a sense of accomplishment when animating.

Being able to bring an illustration to life through animation gives me great joy! It really does make me happy.

I like to think that it’s always been something I wanted to go into after watching tons of animations when younger. I just never knew I could actually make a living doing it…who knew!?

Can you give us an idea of your average day, how you work and how do you get your creative ideas done?

I wake up at around 7:00am each day, mainly because my wife is already up and stomping around so I’m basically awake from the racket anyway haha! My next step is to get ready and at my desk for around 8:30am and then use some of my time in the morning to catch up on emails and Twitter.

After that, I tend to allocate time for flicking through Dribbble and watching Vimeo to get some animation inspiration for the day. My brain takes a bit of time to actually start working… Usually I’m churning away at whatever project I have on for the rest of the day, with a break here and there.

“It’s always great to catch up with some people over Skype through the day”

And if my mind is really feeling extra numb while working, I’ll usually stick some music on.

Then I finish for around 6:30-7:00pm, as I like to try stick to some sort of schedule so my brain doesn’t rot! My typical project usually involves me illustrating and creating animation for a video. Which consists of me designing in Illustrator and then animating in After Effects. Sometimes I dabble around drawing in Photoshop though if I need initial sketches, texturing or if I’m storyboarding.

Oliver Sin Air BnB Animation Jonny Wan Crazy Animal Face

Oliver Sin for Air BnB

How do you attract new work?

From my own experiences I have found that the best way for me to keep attracting new work is to:

Always stay active on social media and keep posting new work on places like Vimeo, Dribbble and my own personal website.

It’ll bring in new viewers each time and keeps my portfolio fresh.

I’ve had phases where I disappear from the net and don’t upload as much. That’s usually when animation enquiries can get a bit quiet. It’s a tough world, one day you can be the talk of the town and the next you’re yesterdays news. It just means we’ve always got to stay on our toes and keep working for what we want.

How long have you been an animator and would you say it’s your career?

I believe I have been working in animation for about 5/6 years. But only taken it more seriously and professionally the past 3 years.

My first taste of animating/mograph work was in University while I was studying Graphic Design. It never really dawned on me that I would be good enough to pursue a career in illustration and animation, until after 3 years in a web design job… Now I’m 2 years into a freelance career doing that exact thing!

For people starting their career, what advice would you give?

What really helped me at the start of my animation career, was to work on personal projects in my spare time. I found that it was always harder to find clients when you’re so new to the industry. So the best way to show my skill set and learn at the same time was to work on my own stuff.

Just keep working hard at what you want to become, I will admit that

there will be tough times where you feel things aren’t going your way. You may want to call it quits.

Initially, it’s normal to feel like you’re not getting the animation projects you want. Other artists work might dazzle you so much that it lowers your confidence in your own work… but trust me, every artist will feel like that.

Just keep plugging away, don’t be jealous of other artist’s work. Use it to inspire and motivate yourself in becoming a better artist. If I can making a living in art, anyone can! :o)


See more of Oliver's work on his site.



I'm co-founder of Crazy Animal Face, host of the CAF Podcast, and compere of our CAF events. My views are my own.

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