Victoria Nece Motion Design

Six Tips for Jump Starting a Career in Motion Design

The Motion Design market is expected to grow 11% between 2019 to 2025, which means that we can expect a meaningful increase in career opportunities.

With that exciting growth on the horizon, as a product manager for Adobe After Effects, the world’s leading motion design tool, I’d like to share how graphic designers, illustrators, and creatives can build on their existing skills and level up to a career in motion design.

1.       Start simple – Working in professional programs like After Effects can seem like they require a steep learning curve, but each individual coming from design or video backgrounds will already have a unique and valuable set of applicable skills to build from (and, if you’re already using Photoshop, Premiere or Illustrator, you’re already halfway there with After Effects!). As you start your journey into motion design, focus your first ventures on simple projects that you can master, such as a moving poster for a film or band. Creating opportunities for success in the app early on will help build up your confidence, which is an incredibly important “secret weapon” to have when beginning a new creative venture.

2.       Fortify your artistic foundation – Motion design is governed by principles of animation. Rather than sticking to traditions, these foundational elements can help guide and inform new and novel applications of motion design. There are robust online resources from places like School of Motion that are invaluable to our industry. 

3.       Center creativity and inspiration – Successful motion designers strike a balance between technical mastery and creative ingenuity, so don’t downplay the need to take time and seek out inspiration. So much motion design work begins as a blank canvas, and clients may not have a clear vision, so you will need to establish the creative viewpoint. The real world is a treasure trove of different modes of natural motion – the different ways that people walk, how the leaves move on a windy day, or a squirrel bounding across a busy street – can all provide easy-to-access inspiration. 

4.       Misuse your tools – Think past what something is used for and find new techniques to experiment with to create new and novel applications. This curiosity and desire to experiment is a necessary skill in a fast-moving artistic industry like motion design. 

5.       Expect fluidity – A career in motion design typically doesn’t lie on a linear path. Most motion designers start as illustrators, editors, animators, UX designers, and other disciplines, with opportunities at agencies, in-house, as a freelancer, or starting your own studio. 

6.       Grow your network – Connect with artists across disciplines and cement a few solid contacts. Motion design is still somewhat small-scale, and networking will bring the benefit of potential jobs and to expand your creative perspectives.


Enjoying this article? Sign up now for the Creative COW Newsletter!

Sign up for the Creative COW newsletter and get weekly updates on industry news, forum highlights, inspirational tutorials, tips, burning questions, and more! Receive bulletins from the largest, longest-running community dedicated to supporting professionals working in film, video, and audio.

Enter your email address, a first and last name, and let us know what you’d like to see more of in the message!


We use anonymous cookies to give you the best experience we can.
Our Privacy policy | GDPR Policy