2D Animator

20 Best 2D Animator

to Hire
in 2023

Looking to hire 2D Animator freelancers with the perfect set of skills for your next project? Work with the world's best freelancing talent on Contra.

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Jocke Larsson's avatar
Top Independent

Jocke Larsson

Stockholm, Sweden

Multi-level visual artist

Recommended 8x
Gian Carlo Villarreal's avatar

Gian Carlo Villarreal

Madrid, Spain

I design wearable products and memorable brands

Recommended 6x
Kayla Elorza's avatar
Top Independent

Kayla Elorza

New York, NY, USA

Designer, storyteller, and video wizard.

Recommended 2x
Emeka  Acquaye 's avatar
Top Independent

Emeka Acquaye

Abuja, Nigeria

Crafting Purposeful brands through design

Recommended 3x
Lise Perrier's avatar

Lise Perrier

Lausanne, Switzerland

Innovative brand strategist and visual storyteller

Mihai Tigleanu's avatar
Top Independent

Mihai Tigleanu

Bucharest, Romania

Illustrator, animator and communication designer

Mary C's avatar
Top Independent

Mary C

United States

Brand design to elevate your business

Recommended 3x
Nabeel A.  ✦'s avatar
Top Independent

Nabeel A. ✦


Product Design | Brand Design | Illustration

Levan Manjgaladze's avatar

Levan Manjgaladze

Tbilisi, Georgia

Motion Designer & 2D/3D Animator

Aureo  Ramírez 's avatar

Aureo Ramírez


Innovative visual artist for hire

Maddalena Contadini's avatar

Maddalena Contadini

Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy

Create your visual experience

Constantinos Spetsiotis's avatar

Constantinos Spetsiotis

Athens, Greece

Creative Director, Motion Designer & Animator

Recommended 1x
xpert design's avatar

xpert design

Toulouse, France

Glittering Designs for Impactful Communication

Sateesh Raja K's avatar

Sateesh Raja K

Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Modern UX & Brand Designer

Ruben de Sousa's avatar

Ruben de Sousa

Lisbon, Portugal

Motion Design Storyteller and Character Animator

luma al-ayyoub's avatar

luma al-ayyoub


Fast and Experienced 2D Animator

Recommended 13x
Cristian Rodriguez's avatar

Cristian Rodriguez


Children's Book Illustrator and Video Animator

Axel Oliva's avatar
Top Independent

Axel Oliva


Graphic Designer | Video Editor | 3D Artist

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Frequently asked

2D animation is a form of animation that involves creating the illusion of movement in a two-dimensional space. This art form has been around for decades and continues to be popular in various industries, from films and TV shows to video games and mobile applications. 2D Animators bring characters and stories to life through their artistic talent and knowledge of the software, ensuring that every frame of animation is carefully crafted to convey the desired emotion and action. These professionals often work in animation studios, game development companies, advertising agencies, or as freelance artists. They use a variety of tools and techniques to create dynamic and engaging animations that captivate audiences and bring their ideas to life.

2D animation is a form of animation that involves creating the illusion of movement in a two-dimensional space. This art form has been around for decades and continues to be popular in various industries, from films and TV shows to video games and mobile applications. 2D Animators bring characters and stories to life through their artistic talent and knowledge of the software, ensuring that every frame of animation is carefully crafted to convey the desired emotion and action. These professionals often work in animation studios, game development companies, advertising agencies, or as freelance artists. They use a variety of tools and techniques to create dynamic and engaging animations that captivate audiences and bring their ideas to life.

A freelance 2D animator is responsible for creating 2D animations for various projects, including advertisements, explainer videos, cartoons, and more. Here are some of the tasks that a freelance 2D animator typically does:

  1. Creating storyboards and animatics: 2D animators first create storyboards and animatics to illustrate the overall concept, timing, and flow of the animation.
  2. Designing characters, backgrounds, and assets: The animator creates visual assets, including characters, backgrounds, and props, to be used in the animation.
  3. Rigging characters: 2D animators rig characters to make them animated by placing joints and anchors on different parts of the character's body.
  4. Animating characters and other assets: Using different animation techniques, 2D animators bring the characters and assets to life within the composition.
  5. Editing and adding special effects: Animators use different editing and effects software to refine and polish their work, adding special effects, transitions, and finalizing the color grading.
  6. Meeting deadlines and communicating with clients: As a freelance animator, they must manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and communicate with clients and other team members throughout the production process.

Hiring a 2D animator can bring various benefits to your projects. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a 2D animator on Contra:

  1. Captivating storytelling: 2D animation is a powerful tool that can help tell your story in a visually stunning and compelling way. An experienced 2D animator can create characters and environments that help convey your message and engage your audience.
  2. Cost-effective: 2D animation is generally less expensive than 3D animation, which makes it a cost-effective option for those under tight budgets.
  3. Versatile: 2D animation is versatile and can be used in various types of projects, from TV commercials to explainer videos, and from mobile app interface design to social media promotion.
  4. Time-efficient: 2D animation can be completed relatively quickly compared to other animation techniques, making it a great option when you're working with tight deadlines.
  5. Memorable: 2D animation can make your brand and message more memorable to your audience. By creating unique characters, stories, and visuals, you can help your project stand out and leave a lasting impression.

Hiring a 2D animator can be a daunting task, but there are several steps you can take to make the process easier and more effective.

  1. Before you start looking for a 2D animator on Contra, make sure you have a clear idea of what kind of animation you need. Know your vision and goals, including the style and tone you want to achieve. This will help you identify the right animator for your project.
  2. Search for 2D animators on Contra who have experience working on projects similar to yours. Research their portfolios on Contra and past works to ensure that their style and skills match your project's needs.
  3. Be sure to check references and previous client reviews to verify the quality of an animator's work. It is easier to find the correct animator if you have an idea of their work quality, timelines and satisfaction rates.
  4. When you find a potential 2D animator, ask them about their workflow and project timelines. Get to know their expectations in terms of rates, deliverables, and communication. Ask to see a detailed project plan, terms and conditions to ensure alignment with your goals.
  5. Once you've found the right 2D animator on Contra, discuss rates and timelines upfront to ensure that you're on the same page. 2D animators charge for their services based on various factors such as complexity, experience, and deadlines, so be prepared to negotiate rates based on what feels reasonable and fair to both parties.

By following these steps, you can find a skilled 2D animator on Contra who can bring your vision to life and create animations that exceed your expectations.

There are several animation software options available for 2D animators. Some of the most popular software used by professionals include:

  1. Adobe Animate (formerly Flash): This is a popular software program used to create vector-based animations, interactive animations, and web-based animations.
  2. Toon Boom Harmony: This software program is known for its production-level capabilities and is used extensively by studios for TV shows and feature films. It offers a wide range of tools for 2D animation.
  3. TVPaint Animation: This software is known for its hand-drawn animation capabilities and is popular with traditional animators. It offers a lot of freedom and flexibility in terms of drawing techniques and styles.
  4. Moho (formerly Anime Studio): This software program offers features like bone-rigging and frame-by-frame animation and is used for creating complex 2D animations quickly and efficiently.
  5. OpenToonz: This open-source software is used to create high-quality 2D animations. It offers various tools for drawing and animation, and since it is free, it is a popular choice for independent animators and hobbyists.
  6. Pencil2D: Pencil2D is a free animation software program that allows users to create hand-drawn animations in a traditional frame-by-frame style or with vector graphics. Pencil2D is a lightweight program that is easy to use and is a great tool for beginners or those on a budget.
  7. Synfig: Synfig is a free animation software program used for 2D animation and motion graphics. It allows users to create vector-based animations using a range of animation techniques, including traditional frame-by-frame animation, cut-out animation, and skeletal animation.
  8. Powtoon: Powtoon is a cloud-based software platform that allows users, even those without design or animation skills, to create professional-looking animated videos, explainer videos, and presentations. The software features a user-friendly interface, a drag-and-drop design, and a library of customizable templates, illustrations, and music.

Ultimately, the choice of animation software depends on the animator's personal preference, the type of animation project, and the available budget.

Freelance 2D animators are paid commission-free on Contra. They may charge per project, per hour, or per milestone. Freelance 2D animators get paid for the work they produce for their clients. Clients must pay a minimum of $250 or $25 an hour to post an opportunity on Contra.

The pay rate for freelance 2D animators can vary depending on their experience, location, and the nature of the project. However, according to a survey by Payscale, the average hourly rate for a freelance 2D animator is around $25 - $75 per hour. Some experienced 2D animators may charge more than that, while beginners might charge less. Keep in mind that rates can also be negotiated with the client or employer based on the project's complexity and requirements.

The salary of 2D animators can vary depending on their experience level, the employer or industry, and their location. Here are some average salary estimates for 2D animators based on different sources:

  1. According to Glassdoor, the annual average salary for a 2D animator is approximately $65,000 in the United States, ranging from $47,000 to $90,000.
  2. Indeed reports that 2D animators earn an average salary of about $60,000 per year in the United States, ranging from $35,000 to $112,000.
  3. According to PayScale, the median annual salary for 2D animators is approximately $51,000, with a range of $32,000 to $86,000.

It's important to keep in mind that salaries can vary significantly depending on experience, location, and industry. Animators working in industries such as video game design, advertising, design, or film may have different salary ranges as well.

Starting to work as a 2D animator requires some steps, which include:

  1. Build your skills: The first step to becoming a successful freelance 2D animator is to develop strong skills in digital art and animation software. You can take online courses, watch tutorial videos, and read books to improve your skills.
  2. Set up your workspace: Set up a suitable workstation that allows you to work comfortably, with good lighting and an ergonomic setup.
  3. Establish your brand: Establish a unique brand identity for yourself. Build a free Contra profile to showcases your work and services, and network with animation industry professionals to find new clients.
  4. Create a strong portfolio: Create a Contra portfolio of your best work that showcases your skills and creativity. Your portfolio should showcase your ability to create high-quality animations with different styles, techniques, and subjects.
  5. Establish terms and negotiate fees: Create clear terms and conditions for your services, rates and timelines. Be prepared to negotiate fees based on the specific project requirements and your experience.

These steps will help you start a successful freelance career as a 2D animator. Always remember to continuously improve your skills, deliver quality results, and build strong relationships with your clients. With persistence and focus, you can build a successful freelance career in 2D animation.

The time it takes to become a 2D animator can vary depending on an individual's goals and learning pace. However, here are some general steps and estimated timeframes to become a 2D animator:

  1. Learn the basics: Fundamentals of traditional drawing, composition, and color theory can take around three to six months.
  2. Choose a 2D animation software: Learning 2D animation software like Toon Boom Harmony or Adobe Animate can take about four to six months to understand the basics.
  3. Learn the animation process: Learning the principles of animation, such as timing, movement, deformation, and expression, can take around a year or more.
  4. Building a solid portfolio: Building a strong portfolio of completed projects and worth sharing with potential clients or employers can take anywhere from six months to a year to achieve.

Overall, becoming a proficient 2D animator can take between 2 and 3 years depending on an individual's learning pace, level of dedication, and experience.

Yes, 2D animation has a lot of potential as a career path. With the increasing demand for animated content in various industries like entertainment, gaming, advertising, and education, the demand for skilled 2D animators is on the rise.

Moreover, with the advancement of technology and software, the field of 2D animation has become even more accessible and flexible. There are a plethora of opportunities available for 2D animators in animation studios, game development companies, advertising agencies, and freelance projects.

Like any other career, success in 2D animation requires hard work, dedication, and continuous improvement of skills. However, if you are passionate about animation, have strong artistic skills, and enjoy working with technology, 2D animation can be a very fulfilling and lucrative career choice.

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