Martin Siuda is a Motion Designer from Czech Republic.
- Hi Martin, tell me who you are and what do you do as a freelancer?
Hello, I’m not famous at all, so making an interview is quite strange to me. Most of my work is school projects and personal projects. I live in the Czech Republic, I am 21 years old, and I study AVT at Silesian University.
I’m mostly a motion designer, sometimes animator or VFX artist, and sometimes everything is needed.
My specialty and love are lyrics videos, because they are similar in character to the opening sequences… I would like to get to them for a while.
- How long have you been working as a freelancer now?
Less than a year, I’m only at the beginning of the journey. It happened naturally. While studying instead of brigades, I helped on various tiny projects, until I gradually got to work freelancing. The first job for money, was three years ago.
- Why did you decide to become a freelancer? Did you think about it for a long time or did your decision come suddenly?
When I was fifteen, I started filming action movies with my friends. Gradually, video editing became the most important part of the process. Over time, I discovered 3D and moved from VFX to Motion Design. For a while, I thought the work would stop having fun, but with each passing year I abandon this view.
When I made the first lyrics, the band was excited and my name was sent to the world.
- What is your competitive advantage, which makes your clients hire you?
Every creator has his tricks … I have come to myself for most of the procedures, and have a different visual feel. I do not know a lot of people who focus on musical lyrics videos like me.
At the same time, I am able to do everything else.
Another advantage of my job is that I am working fast. I dont know how I do it, but it’s probably my personal superpower.
- Who are your competitors? What do they have that you don’t?
Some clients have a very low price as a priority, nowadays many newcomers are almost free of charge. But such people are mostly interested in not very lucrative clients. Since our field is quite young, we do not have to have big wrinkles with our competitors for a few more years.
- Are there a lot of freelancers in your business?
Most people in the field I know are freelance. Occasionally arrange for short-term work, but after a while they start to work as Freelancers again.
- What do your clients expect from you?
Clients want me to fulfill any of their wishes, mostly I usually do it.
And I understand that the deadline is sacred.
- Who are your typical clients?
Mostly music bands, sometimes advertising agencies, or production staffs who want to cooperate with me.
- How has your business changed over time?
My business is at the beginning, I think it will change as soon as I graduate from college. Meanwhile, I work less and I enjoy more free time than the millions earned on my account.
- How did you gain your first customers?
In the beginning, I was very intrusive and offered my services wherever possible. One folk band noticed me and asked me for a lyrics video. Then I worked through acquaintance and gradually began to get the first real orders.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
I never had an ad, I’m mostly just in the right time on the right social network.
Every year I create a showreel that I send to all corners of the internet
- The best marketing move, you’ve done?
I know a couple of dance moves, but none of the marketing has ever done me. 😀
- The biggest marketing challenge that you deal with?
The challenge as such was to create a presentation for IBM in an extreme shortage of time. When it was over, I gave myself a cold shower and screamed freely. It was really cool.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working?
Sometimes I work for days, I sometimes do not work at all. There is nothing in between, and I have not yet done any research. In my case, it would be very difficult, because my life is still in college low-budget style, so I have chaos in working hours that is still tolerated.
- What is your current inspiration that drives you in the business?
I really enjoy watching Vimeo videos. Often there are lots of original pieces. Sometimes it is good to look at old surreal pictures, it will help to come up with a new idea. Music, movement and adrenaline help me a lot.
Its important to have a lot of stimuli that can unconsciously transform the brain into other stimuli for next other people.
- What would you do differently if you would start again?
From the beginning I tried a lot of different ways and procedures, but I completely skipped scripting, and that’s not what I can do now. If I was to start over again, I would pay more attention to python (programming language).
- What would you advise someone who has an idea, but no money?
Work like normal people, but when you come home, work on your idea. It may be worth it. There is no other way to find out.
- What was the best business advice you received?
Invest mainly in yourself and in education. Things are just things.
- Do you have an online resource which you use regularly? Which one?
My favorite is vimeo, CGSociety, and some facebook groups. It is good to see what is happening in the world of motion graphics
- What do you often dream about when you’re not working?
I want to work with a team of people on projects that have an overlap. I love the film industry and the opening titles.
I think it is not impossible, I just have to finish school.
- The place where you find your peace?
It’s always different. Sometimes in training, sometimes in nature, or with a beer with friends.
Sometimes take a rest at a personal project.
- Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
Adobe Reader, mapy.cz, messenger. Thats my strong three 😀
- What do you do in your free time?
I ride a longboat, study, or spend time with people. With my friends I train BJJ. I have been trying to travel more and more recently to cross my comfort zone overall.
I also like to read something from time to time.
- Your last vacation?
Life is a great vacation. Otherwise, I was about two months ago on a round trip around the Czech Republic.
- Business plans for the future?
I want to get to the famous bands and make stylish music videos for them. Later I want to move smoothly to the film industry and focus on foreign clients.
As soon as I get a school, I become a digital nomad and I will be wherever my clients will need me.
- Your plans for the future?
Gradually fill the points of my wishlist, see the desert and get rid of fear of the spiders. I would like to live in one of the big cities and learn a lot of new things. Maybe it has changed focus over time … In my opinion, most people canot do one profession for one lifetime.