20 Best Animator

to Hire
in 2023

Looking to hire 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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Recommended 5x
Amber Koski's avatar
Top Independent

Amber Koski

Ohio, USA

Graphic Designer focused on not-so-ordinary brands

Jocke Larsson's avatar
Top Independent

Jocke Larsson

Stockholm, Sweden

Multi-level visual artist

Recommended 1x
Animotion .design's avatar
Top Independent

Animotion .design

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Video Production & Motion Design

Julien Carlier's avatar
Top Independent

Julien Carlier


🎞 VFX, Animation, Motion Design.

Recommended 2x
Sílvia Pinho's avatar
Top Independent

Sílvia Pinho

Lisbon, Portugal

Social media strategy & content for FUN brands!

Recommended 1x
Luis Viana's avatar
Top Independent

Luis Viana

London, UK

Senior Motion Designer & Animator

Recommended 3x
Diego Rotmistrovsky's avatar
Top Independent

Diego Rotmistrovsky

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Versatile Filmmaker. Jack of all trades.

Mihai Tigleanu's avatar
Top Independent

Mihai Tigleanu

Bucharest, Romania

Illustrator, animator and communication designer

Laith Abbas's avatar

Laith Abbas

Brighton, UK

Digital Marketing Specialist 🌐

Ruben de Sousa's avatar

Ruben de Sousa

Lisbon, Portugal

Motion Design Storyteller and Character Animator

Axel Oliva's avatar
Top Independent

Axel Oliva


Graphic Designer | Video Editor | 3D Artist

brandon "deco"'s avatar

brandon "deco"

Palo Alto, CA, USA

🎨 🖥️ ◦ design/websites for early stage startups

Recommended 2x
Vule Stefanovic's avatar

Vule Stefanovic


Design that stops the scroll ✨

Kirstin  Hoogendoorn's avatar

Kirstin Hoogendoorn

Atlanta, GA, USA

Brand & UX Designer for hire 🎨

Hert Zollner's avatar

Hert Zollner


Motion Designer & Creative Producer

Recommended 1x
Mik Skuza's avatar

Mik Skuza


I specialize in super cool UI and Brand design

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Frequently asked

Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and change by rapidly displaying a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. It is used in various forms of media such as films, television shows, video games, advertisements, and more. Animators use various techniques, including 2D and 3D animation, to bring characters and objects to life and convey stories visually.

Animation is the process of creating the illusion of motion and change by rapidly displaying a sequence of static images that minimally differ from each other. It is used in various forms of media such as films, television shows, video games, advertisements, and more. Animators use various techniques, including 2D and 3D animation, to bring characters and objects to life and convey stories visually.

A freelance animator is an animator who works on a contractual or project basis for various clients instead of being employed full-time by a single company. Freelance animators have the flexibility to work on a wide range of projects, from creating animated videos for marketing campaigns to working on feature films and video games.

Freelance animators are responsible for creating various types of animations, including 2D or 3D animated characters, special effects, product visualizations, and many more. They typically work remotely, although they may be required to attend meetings or collaborate with clients and other animators on specific projects.

As independent workers, freelance animators must be skilled at promoting themselves and finding new clients, managing their workload and finances, and delivering high-quality work on time and within budget. Success as a freelance animator relies heavily on a strong portfolio, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work efficiently and autonomously.

As a freelance animator, your main responsibility is to create animations for various clients and projects. This can include different types of animation such as 2D, 3D, stop-motion, hand-drawn and special effects. You may work on a variety of projects from animated TV series to commercials, music videos, video games, and more.

Some of the typical tasks performed by a freelance animator include:

  1. Collaborating with clients to understand their goals and objectives for the project
  2. Developing concepts and ideas for the animation based on the brief provided by the client
  3. Creating character designs and storyboards to visualize the animation
  4. Utilizing animation software and technology to create the animation
  5. Adding audio, sound effects, and music to the animation
  6. Making revisions to the animation based on client feedback
  7. Meeting project deadlines and delivering the final product to the client
  8. Managing finances, including invoicing and tracking expenses.

Aside from the technical skills, successful freelance animators should also have strong communication skills, be able to manage their time and workload effectively, continually learn and improve their skills, and be able to promote themselves to attract new clients.

There are several reasons why someone might want to find and hire a freelance animator:

  1. Cost-effectiveness - Hiring a freelance animator can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time animator or working with a large animation studio.
  2. Flexibility - a freelance animator can be more flexible in terms of availability and the ability to work on short-term projects. Freelance animators can work on projects of any size, from short animated videos to feature-length films, allowing clients to scale their animation needs based on their budget and requirements.
  3. Bringing Your Ideas to Life: Animators are skilled professionals who have the creativity and technical skills to bring your ideas to life. They can take your concepts and turn them into animated characters, objects, or environments, which can be a great way to convey complex ideas or demonstrate products.
  4. Enhancing Your Brand: Animations can be a great way to enhance your brand. An animated logo or character can help create a professional and creative image for your company or product.
  5. Increasing Engagement: Animations can be more engaging than static images or text. Animations can grab attention and help communicate complex ideas quickly and effectively, which can escalate engagement levels and make your content more shareable.
  6. Saving Time and Effort: Animators can take care of the entire animation process, saving you time and effort. They have the knowledge and skillset to create high-quality animations in less time and with less hassle.
  7. Personalizing Your Content: Animators can tailor animations to your specific requirements, meaning you can personalize your content to appeal to a specific audience or convey a particular message.

Here are some steps you can follow to hire an Animator:

  1. Determine your needs: Before you start searching for an animator, determine what type of animation you need. Decide on the style, duration, and purpose of the animation.
  2. Research Animators: Look on Contra for animators who specialize in the type of animation you need. You can also ask for referrals from colleagues or friends who have worked with animators before.
  3. Review Portfolios: Check the animator's portfolio on Contra to see if they have experience creating animations similar to what you need. Look for quality, creativity, and style in their previous work.
  4. Evaluate their Skills and Expertise: Check an animator’s skills and expertise. Ensure that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to create animations for your project.
  5. Communicate your Requirements: Once you have shortlisted potential animators, communicate your requirements to them and ask for a quote. Discuss the animation’s style, duration, and budget to make sure that the animator can meet your expectations.
  6. Hire the Animator: Evaluate the responses, and hire the animator who you think can provide you with the best results. You can sign a contract or agreement with the animator, outlining the details of the project, timelines, and payment terms.
  7. Provide Feedback: Once the work begins, provide clear feedback to the animator. Ensure that you provide constructive criticism and give specific feedback to help the animator create an animation that meets your requirements.

There are many software programs and tools that animators use to create animations, and the choice of software depends on the type of animation they are creating. Here are some commonly used animation software programs:

  1. 2D Animation: Adobe Animate, Toon Boom Harmony, TVPaint, Moho, Pencil2D, Krita
  2. 3D Animation: Autodesk Maya, Blender, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Houdini, Modo
  3. Stop Motion Animation: Dragonframe, Stop Motion Studio, iStopMotion, AnimatorHD, BoinxTV
  4. Motion Graphics: Adobe After EffectsCinema 4D, 3ds Max, Apple Motion, The Foundry's Nuke, HitFilm
  5. Others: Toonz, Synfig, OpenToonz for both 2D and 3D animation, Unity for creating video games, RenderMan for rendering high-quality 3D images and Pixar's animation software.

Each of these software programs has its own user-interface, strengths and limitations, and learning curve. Animators may choose to use one, or more pieces of software depending on their project's requirements and personal preferences.

Freelancers are paid commission-free on Contra. They may charge per project, per hour, or per milestone. Freelancers 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 cost of hiring an animator varies depending on several factors such as the type of animation needed, the length of the animation, the complexity of the animation, and the animator's skill level and experience. Generally, animators charge an hourly rate or a fixed rate per project. The hourly rate can range from $20 to $150 per hour or more, depending on the animator's experience. The cost of hiring an animator for a simple, short animation can range from $500 to $5,000 or more. For longer or more complex animations involving multiple characters and environments, the cost can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more. It is imperative to discuss the project's details, timelines, and deliverables with the animator to obtain a precise cost estimate.

The salary of an animator varies based on the animator's experience, skills, type of work, and location. Here are some estimates of animator salaries:

  1. Entry-level: Entry-level animators with less than two years of experience can expect an average salary of $35,000 to $45,000 per year.
  2. Mid-level: Mid-level animators with 2-5 years of experience can earn an average salary of $50,000 to $65,000 per year.
  3. Experienced: Experienced animators with over ten years of experience can earn an average salary of $80,000 to $100,000 or more per year.
  4. Freelance: Freelance animators generally charge by the hour or project and can earn a similar salary to, or even higher than, full-time animators.
  5. Industry: Salaries can also vary based on the industry. Animators in the film and video industry generally earn higher salaries compared to those working in advertising or graphic design.

Note that these figures may vary based on location, company size, and other factors.

To start working as a freelance animator, you can follow these steps:

  1. To start working as a freelance animator, you will need to become an expert at using animation software like Maya, Lightwave, and Softimage.
  2. Determine your rates and pricing structure. Research industry standard rates on different freelance websites or online communities and set your rates accordingly.
  3. Create a website or portfolio on Contra to promote your work and services.
  4. Market yourself and network with potential clients. Start reaching out to potential clients through Contra and on social media. Attend industry events, make connections, and share your portfolio.
  5. Be professional and reliable. Respond promptly to clients, meet deadlines, and have good communication skills.
  6. Continuously learn and improve your skills. Take online courses, attend workshops, and stay updated with industry trends to improve your skills and increase your value as a freelancer.

You will need to get experience by creating animations and you will need a portfolio. You may want to consider getting a degree in animation or at least getting a certification in animation software. Then create a free profile on Contra and start looking for freelance clients.

The time to become an animator can vary depending on the individual's goals, educational background, experience, and the type of animation they wish to pursue. Here are some pathways to becoming an animator:

  1. Self-taught Animator: One who wants to become an animator as a self-taught individual can take some online courses and leverage online tutorials, books, and networking skills to gain knowledge and practice their craft.
  2. Degree Program: Completing a bachelor's degree in animation or a related field usually takes four years, which can include courses ranging from traditional animation, 3D modeling an animation, visual effects, and art history.
  3. Animation School: Enrolling in an accredited animation school can take two to three years to complete, which offers hands-on training, industry insights, and portfolio development.
  4. Mentorship/Apprenticeship: Undergoing an apprenticeship or mentorship program provides an opportunity for aspiring animators to learn from experienced animators in the field, which can take up to 2 years.

Overall, Becoming an animator can take anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the chosen pathway and the individual's skills and dedication.

Yes, animation can be a good career for those who have a passion for art and storytelling. Animation allows you to create your own unique world and tell stories through characters and animations. The animation industry offers a wide range of opportunities, including creating animated movies, TV shows, video games, and more. Additionally, with the growth of online media and social media, there is growing demand for animated content.

That being said, like any career, success in animation requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to continuously learn and improve your skills. Competition can be high, and the industry can be demanding, often requiring long hours and tight deadlines. However, for those who are driven and passionate about animation, it can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling career.

The 5 types of animators are:

  1. Traditional (2D) Animator - uses hand-drawn techniques to create animation frame by frame, using traditional art materials or digital tools.
  2. 3D Animator - creates animation in three dimensions using software, such as Maya, Blender or Cinema 4D.
  3. Stop Motion Animator - creates animation by manipulating physical objects or puppets, taking multiple photos, and stitching them together to create the illusion of movement.
  4. Computer-generated Imagery (CGI) Animator - creates animation using computer programs and algorithms rather than traditional hand-drawn techniques.
  5. Motion Graphics Animator - produces animations for commercial, advertising, or promotional purposes, using typography, graphical elements, and visual effects to communicate information about a brand or message.

These types of animators all have unique skill sets and work in different industries based on their specialization. Factors such as the medium, style, and purpose of the animation will determine which type of animator is the best fit for a particular project.

There are several types of animation, each with its own unique style and techniques. Here are some common types of animation:

  1. Traditional Animation (2D): The process of creating animation by hand-drawing each individual frame, typically done on paper. Examples include classic Disney movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Looney Tunes cartoons.
  2. 3D Animation: Involves creating a digital 3-dimensional object or character, and animating it using software like Maya or Blender. Examples include feature films like Pixar's Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Avatar.
  3. Motion Graphics: Combines animation with graphic design to create visual effects, dynamic typography, and other elements. It is often used for marketing and advertising purposes.
  4. Stop Motion Animation: Involves animating physical objects or puppets by manipulating them slightly between each frame of filming. Examples include Wallace and Gromit, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Coraline.
  5. Claymation: A stop-motion animation technique using modeling clay to create characters, sets, and props. Examples include Gumby, Morph, and Chicken Run.
  6. Cutout Animation: Involves animating flat characters or objects, traditionally cut from paper, cardboard, or other flat materials. Examples include South Park and Monty Python's Flying Circus.
  7. Digital Animation: Involves using digital graphics and 2D animation software to create motion graphics and character animation. Examples include video game animation and educational videos.
  8. Live-action Animation, also known as hybrid animation, is a type of animation that combines live-action footage with animated elements or characters. It merges the real world with the imaginary one and creates a unique and visually stunning experience.

Overall, choosing the right type of animation depends on the project's requirements, budget, and desired outcome, as each type of animation has its own unique advantages and limitations.

There have been many animators who have made significant contributions to the world of animation throughout history. Here are some of the most famous animators:

  1. Walt Disney - Founder of Disney Studios and creator of beloved animated characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He produced many classic animated films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Bambi.
  2. Tex Avery - Created the iconic Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig during his time at Warner Bros. studios.
  3. Hayao Miyazaki - A Japanese filmmaker who founded Studio Ghibli and directed popular animated movies like "Spirited Away," "My Neighbor Totoro," and "Princess Mononoke."
  4. Chuck Jones - Created Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and many other beloved characters as well as directing and producing many classic animated short films.
  5. Tim Burton - Known for his unique style, he directed films including "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Corpse Bride", and "Frankenweenie".
  6. Nick Park - Creator of the popular stop-motion animation characters Wallace and Gromit which gained popularity with the films "A Grand Day Out," "The Wrong Trousers," and "A Close Shave."
  7. Glen Keane - One of the most prominent 2D animators of Disney, he worked on many popular films including "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "Tarzan."
  8. Don Bluth - A prominent American animator who played a significant role in shaping the animation industry in the late 20th century. He started his career working at Disney Studios, where he worked on several films including "Sleeping Beauty" and "The Rescuers."

These animators have made some of the most significant contributions to the animation industry, winning multiple Academy Awards and and inspirating generations of animators to follow in their footsteps.

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