Revisiting one of the motion designer bibles in 2021

Illustration by Piya Willwerth

The situation

This is it. This is the one that made me do it. The Freelance Manifesto: A Field Guide for The Modern Motion Designer.

The thing is, I’ve heard this from other people, too: This book gave a lot of people the courage to try freelancing.

While the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic took all of our circumstances, put the setting on high, and scrambled them into an unrecognizable holy mess, I would say that there was a distinct turning of the tide towards freelancing in my general demographic before it even happened. This would be due to two main things:

I quit Facebook twice and it was amazing

Illustration by Piya Willwerth

Around three or four years ago, I didn’t have a Facebook profile. This was the first time I quit, and it was wonderful. Let me explain.

You know that feeling you get when you had plans with a friend, and you didn’t really want to do it, but you didn’t want to cancel in case their feelings were hurt, and then they cancelled anyway? It felt like that, only, like, 10 times better, and more sustained. So, sex, basically.

Navigating a new career in a world gone mad

Illustrated by Piya Willwerth

There is a robust film essay community on YouTube in which FilmJoy, one of the best, has a series called “Movies With Mikey”. During their videos, which often describe the process or the genesis of the film at hand, there’s a phrase that comes up fairly often — often enough that I’ve developed a pet theory that it applies to everything, not just film. It’s called “No one knows what they’re doing.”

No One Knows What They’re Doing

What does this mean? It means that whatever the path, taken deliberately or not, no one can completely predict the outcome. It was most liberally applied to Gene…

Piya Willwerth

Navigating a new freelance career in a world gone mad, one thoughtful blog post at a time.

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