For illustrators, animators and designers.

WHY A MENTORSHIP?

IS THIS RIGHT FOR ME?

Here’s the problem.

There’s no comprehensive system specifically made for freelancers in the creative industry. You can find courses on illustration, motion design and character animation taught by industry heroes, but when it comes to freelancing the resources available are either generic (how to write an invoice, how to negotiate contracts) or a hodge podge of bite-sized, shiny ideas to try (value based pricing, building a social media following, starting a blog).

Folks spend thousands of dollars to give themselves the best education in their craft, but what’s the use if you can’t convert that into consistent, well-paid client work?

There’s a huge gap between technical skills and the ability to turn those skills into money. 

Worse, there are no good resources bridging this gap because there’s way more money in making scalable, technical courses than there is in taking on the labor- and time-intensive work of bringing an individual’s artistic and business skills up to standards required by clients willing to pay market rate.

This twelve week mentorship is my contribution to bridging that gap.

I created this mentorship to systematically convert your creative skills into a reliable flow of quality clients who will pay good money for your creative ideas. 

No more running around like a freelancing headless chicken, pecking at this new idea and that–you’re going to focus and thrive using this simple approach:

Only pay for enough technical education so your work is good enough to win clients who pay market rate. Then use paid client work to fund the development of your personal creative vision.

The stronger your personal creative vision, the more clients will come to you for solutions than other freelancers in your industry.

This is the approach I’ve been honing since I left my studio job in 2015 to freelance full time. Remotely.

I worked for over two and a half years at a small animation studio in Brooklyn, drawing and animating corporate cartoons. At the same time, I took a lot of very informative but expensive classes both online and in-person for perspective, color theory and motion design.

I quickly noticed a mismatch. 

The stuff I was learning in those classes was geared toward my becoming the most proficient artist I could be, and the implicit bargain was that by becoming more proficient I was somehow going to be successful in my industry.

No one was willing to burst this bubble–we just assumed doing lots of practice projects and getting on portfolio platforms like Behance or Artstation would somehow magically allow us to make a living.

My day-to-day reality working at the studio was totally different.

The work we were putting out was pretty average. I had very little experience in animation and learned After Effects and Illustrator on the job–I was hardly the most proficient artist I could be. But that didn’t deter clients, large and small, from paying thousands of dollars for our studio to make their content.

It dawned on me that clients weren’t interested in our skills as artists–they were far more interested in getting their projects done quickly, done well and on budget. Speed was more important than beauty for almost all the clients who came through our doors. 

In the evenings, after work, those client criteria were tossed out the window as I worked through courses I’d enrolled in. All my technical courses were concerned about how to make the most striking compositions, the smoothest scene transitions and the most beautiful color keys.

I was struck by this disparity.

The client world I functioned in during the day was concerned with speed and budget. The “craft” world I dove into in the evenings was only concerned with technical proficiency and beauty.

This mismatch is the gap between technical proficiency and the reality of paid client work. I could improve my craft and aim for beauty, but this proficiency alone was not valuable currency in the client world. My day job taught me speed and what real world clients actually wanted.

Armed with this insight and not much else, I jumped ship into freelance waters.

To be clear, I had zero clients when I started freelancing (um, not recommended). But orienting my portfolio toward the client criteria of speed, consistency and budget, I was flooded with work straight away. I made as much money as a full time, remote freelancer in the first six months as I did a whole year at my studio job.

I worked with brands like Cisco, PepsiCo and Al Jazeera English within months of starting to freelance. I stopped taking expensive courses to skill up, focusing instead on delivering the best work I could within the client’s budget and schedule.

Slowly, I built my client base. Within my second and third years of freelancing, I was doing title sequences for the International Center of Photography and broadcast animations for National Geographic and I started to structure my time so that most of the year, I was doing personal work.

This personal work started to reveal my own creative ideas, which I took and carefully nurtured, away from the pressures of client work. Eventually those ideas grew strong enough for me to offer my clients as original ideas to solve their creative problems. This led to work with Carnegie New York, Netflix and the Wall Street Journal–this was work shaped by my personal creative vision rather than just client demands.

You can build your client base and eventually get them to pay for work you actually want to do, too. Everyone’s journey to this point will be different, and that’s where the mentorship comes in. In twelve weeks, I’m going to share with you, straight to your inbox, detailed steps to put my approach into practice and we are going to work together to get your portfolio, service and pitch in place.

By the end of the mentorship, you’ll be pitching to clients and landing work. More importantly, you’ll have a schedule that breaks down exactly what you need to do in a given day to hit the goals you’ve identified to move you forward.

Here’s how the twelve weeks will break down:

Week
Content
Weeks 1-2: 
The Portfolio
  • Defining your role as a creative freelancer
  • Organizing your current portfolio
  • Formulating your client pitch
  • Assignment: selecting relevant pieces to support your pitch
  • Bringing your portfolio up to a professional level
  • Introduction to your personal schedule
  • Building tasks into your schedule
Weeks 3-5: 
Marketing Strategies
  • Building a website for your clients, not your peers
  • Anatomy of an effective landing page
  • Speak to clients, not peers
  • Assignment: formulate and mock up effective landing pages for your website
  • Constructing your brand
  • Building tasks into your schedule
Weeks 6-7: 
Getting Clients
  • Searching for and pitching to potential clients
  • Assignment: drafting your pitch email
  • Playing the numbers game
  • Getting paid
  • Which avenues to expand into, and when?
  • Building tasks into your schedule
  • Further reading
Weeks 8-10: 
Developing Your Personal Creative Vision
  • Don’t “follow your passion”
  • Finding your creative path
  • Picking a suitable project
  • Setting parameters for your personal project
  • Introducing deliberate practice into your project
  • Building your timeline
  • Assignment: the six week project outline
  • Identifying potential obstacles
  • Pushing for completeness
  • Building tasks into your schedule
  • Further reading

Weeks 11-12: Getting Paid for Your Personal Vision
  • Documenting your work
  • Breaking your project down into replicable methods
  • Introducing your personal creative vision into your client work
  • Sharing projects and getting feedback
  • Trusting the system
  • Assignment: setting goals for your creative freelance business

Throughout the twelve weeks, we will be scheduling six one-hour calls together. These calls are designed to answer any questions that come up in the previous two weeks’ mentorship content, whether from the content itself or from your own freelance work.

This mentorship is practical, and all the components of my approach come from my own hard-won experience as a remote freelancer with dozens of projects across multiple clients in various industries successfully completed over the years.

Here’s a recap:

What you'll get

A complete freelancing system, designed for creatives like you. Six one-hour, 1:1 calls. Five assignments with personalized feedback. Twelve weeks of accountability to get your client and personal work where it needs to be.

feedback from MENTEES

"Beini is not only an extremely accomplished and multi-talented person and someone to aspire to creatively and career-wise, but also an exceptional communicator and teacher. I intend to revisit this course as long as it's available to me. Our weekly calls were something that I looked forward to, and kept me accountable and present in my work week. I learned a lot about myself: especially where my time had been going and how I could incorporate my self-initiated projects and creative endeavors into each day, seamlessly. I've gained better perspective of my current client base and how I work with them and I have a fresh perspective on how I approach my creative endeavors. Im enjoying the journey much more. I highly recommend investing in yourself to be part of the mentorship program." --Jen Gaily, illustrator and graphic designer (has done the mentorship twice!)

"Beini is an amazing and patient mentor, a perfect guide for me to learn from as a beginner. I learned so much from her unique approach and philosophy throughout the course which has given tremendous benefits to my freelancing career in the long run." --Alex Tang, 3D animator and photographer

"Beini has created an incredibly valuable course. Not only will it always provide you with not only a better understanding on how to run your business, but how to refine yourself in the process as well. Her feedback and ideas are immensely insightful and help direct you to the next steps to expand yourself and your freelance business. Beini helped me refine my shine and this is highly recommendable and an investment you'll value!" --Keshvar Merchant, graphic designer and project manager

“After many years of trying to scoop up any job I could, I felt my identity as a freelance illustrator stagnating. Working with Beini got me clear on my niche, got my story on point, and set me on an actionable plan. I started getting results in the middle of the course – working with better clients in more specific areas while furthering my own artistic growth. Thank you, Beini.”--Josh Bauman, illustrator

“I’ve found the course and calls with Beini very helpful in moving forwards into a Motion Design career. She helped me focus how to communicate clearly to the types of clients I want to work for and also create an engaging portfolio site. Definitely the best business coach I’ve worked with who truly understands what it means to be a creative freelancer.”--Luke Stanley, motion designer

“Beini’s course proved to be very useful in a time where I was going through a lot of self-doubt. She lays out a clear structure that guided me through the different steps needed to restructure my approach to freelancing while fine-tuning my craft. She encouraged me to experiment and look for unexpected ways to be more creative and find my unique voice. I found her feedback to be very thoughtful and thorough in every lesson. By the end, I had a solid understanding of the steps I needed to take, with a more defined direction of where I wanted to take my freelancing business.”--Nayeli Lavanderos, illustrator and motion designer

"I have been working as a designer for a few years, but as a beginning freelancer, I had a lot of doubts and questions about my potential success in this career path. The written course is a great wealth of knowledge, and the one on one calls with her allowed us to unpack the material in a way that was tailored to my needs. She was extremely patient, candid, and made sure that all of my questions and concerns were thoroughly addressed. She's also just as spunky and smart in person as she sounds in her posts, and I truly feel like I have her in my corner! 10/10 it was worth every penny, and I would do it again :)" --Veronica Ni, illustrator

$1399

About YOUR MENTOR

I’m a full time freelancer working remotely from New York. I paint and I develop creative projects with folks at Netflix, WSJ, Nat Geo, etc. Get an in-depth sense of my freelance philosophy through the essays on this site.