Not Where You're From But Where You're At?
  • I've had this question wrapped inside my head for the past couple months and thought I would open it to discussion since it's an issue that I think is getting more aware due to advances in social media and technology.

    I moved from Denver, CO to Brooklyn, NY leaving a Designer / Animator position at a studio, ditching a girlfriend, and blindly moving to a place I've never been before. It's been about 7 months now and I'm getting some work and making contacts, even getting some work back in Denver. But why is it I have to move across the country yet still work with clients via email / skype? Do you feel you have to be in a specific city to do the same amount of work as another? What's stoping me from moving to the Bahamas, getting a T1 line and a super-fresh MacPro and dealing with clients there? It seems plausible to freelance in a different country, if you get the work done, who cares where your from?

    This may be sort of a rant, but it would be nice to gather some intel from all sides of the spectrum (and globe) on this. Here is also an animation I did that represents my move from CO to BK 

  • Great animation. 

    I think eventually we'll get there, but there’s still a lot to be said for the ability to meet with clients directly and work through problems & revisions. Some clients need to be able to stop by and check progress or give feedback in person.

    And even for remote work, some clients will value a NY/CHI/LA designer more than someone from another city. As silly as that is, it happens.

    Like I said, it’s getting there. Many clients are perfectly comfortable working remotely with designers—I’ve been getting more & more remote work from all over—as long as the work gets done to their liking. But some still need that face time & accessibility.

    [Sidenote: Nothing’s stopping any of us from moving to another country and working from there, but many businesses’ accounting departments might take issue with hiring a designer internationally rather than someone in the same taxable country. Money is complicated.]
  • First off, love the animation! Secondly, I too have moved around. Started in Iowa, made my way to Chicago, stayed there about 7 years, and just about 9 months ago I moved to Texas. There's a decent sized motion graphics community in Austin, but I'm about an hour or so from there. Oddly enough, I find myself working mostly with clients via email and Skype, many of them from the Chicago area, where I had a little bit more recognition.

    I think we will reach that point not far off, where we can get that cozy beach setup, but as @conigs said, money is complicated.
  • you guys are making freelance sound pretty damn good. 

    I'm on staff and I'm pretty sure if I lived in London or Manchester I'd be fighting off work...not that I'm supertalented - there's just more work there!

    I agree with @conigs - clients love live, face to face conversations, it's pretty difficult to trust someone you've never met in person with work that may be personally very important.

  • I recently had some problems with a client overseas . He still hasn't payed me . Something about a client overboard , he has more excuses not to pay you . I prefer working with people I know , at least now
  • Thanks for the feedback mates, it's good to hear different perspectives on the subject. @dan_hin is there quite a bit of freelance work in London and Manchester? I'd love to get out there and jump into some projects
  • John - London seems to be far, far busier than Manchester, lots of work for games studios etc. Manchester will be bigger as soon as the BBC move more staff up there..

  • Moving to London would be awesome, but unfortunately, you have to get a visa for a place to hire you, and the only way to get a Visa is if a company sponsors you, OR you marry someone from EU/UK.  Trust me, I've looked into it and it sucks.  Such a pain in the ass to move to Europe, but I'm still applying to places in hopes that some company will sponsor me!
  • Do you have any links for sponsorship? Or is it just asking studios for it. I'd also love to work with some interesting chaps and get away from these student loans for a bit. Though working in China Town does feel like I'm in a different country.
  • JohnCamalick said: Do you have any links for sponsorship? Or is it just asking studios for it. I'd also love to work with some interesting chaps and get away from these student loans for a bit. Though working in China Town does feel like I'm in a different country.

    You'd just need a company to hire you and in turn need to sponsor you for a work Visa.  A lot of companies don't do it because it's a bit of a process to do all the paperwork to get you a Visa, but some are willing I'm sure especially if you're very talented.
  • Yeah, like you EJ, I've looked into it as well. I'd love to move to EU/UK as well.... I just need to keep honing the skills until I'm awesome enough to get a sponsor. It'd be nice!
  • Ha, I'd like to work in the U.S (am currently in London) but visa stuff would stop me too..

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