Are you someone looking to start a side hustle as an animator?
Animation is one of the few industries which demand a lot of attention to detail and needs utmost creativity as well.
The industry in animation is quite rewarding and has a projected growth rate of 5% over the next decade.
But, despite the above, having a side hustle is definitely added source of income along with your day job.
Global debt had reached around $303 trillion in 2021, which had a jump of 34% from 2020 numbers.
Besides the above, job losses, and no surety of having a full-time job with rising inflation is also a matter of concern for the animators as well.
This goes to show that people can’t rely on one source of income and must look for other sources to make money, even as an animator.
Let’s look at the side hustles to start as an animator to build income in the long run…
In this Guide
List of Side Hustles to start as an animator
Before we look deep into each side hustle, here’s a brief glimpse of what we are about to discuss as a side hustle as an animator:
|Start with Blogging||$500 – $1000 per month|
|Create a YouTube Channel||Earn upto $500 per month starting out|
|Do affiliate marketing||$1000 – $2000 per month|
|Start a Print on Demand store||$5 – $73 for each product|
|Create a Podcast channel||$2 – $10 per month per patreon|
|Create courses online||$34 each course|
|Create and sell NFTs||Earn upto $200|
|Make animated GIFs||$29500 per year|
|Become a Tutor in animation||$5 – $37|
|Collaborate with game developers||Get long term salary contracts|
|Become a Graphics Designer||$5 – $40 for each gig|
|Sell animation models||$5 – $350 for each model|
|Become a freelance content writer||$5 – $50 for each contract|
|Create animation videos for social media influencers||$30 – $230 per gig|
|Sell guides and ebooks||$11 for each guide|
|Work for a studio||Long term opportunity|
|Become an animation story teller||Upto $600 per gig|
|Create game trailers||$5 – $60 per gig|
Let’s start with the first side hustle as an animator and that is my favorite, i.e. BLOGGING.
Start with Blogging
A blog is like a passport for your knowledge and experience with the world.
What you share with others will be what you gain from others too.
If you love to write about stuff, then you can create your own blog and share with the world your learnings and experience.
You can share about a lot of things working on a Blog, such as:
- How to start as a 2D / 3D animator.
- Courses or books recommended learning 2D or 3D animation.
- Career prospects of getting into the animation industry, etc.
The above is an animation site, which also runs its own blog as well.
This site generates traffic of nearly 300k visitors per month.
This goes to show the potential available to make money having such a blog/site in place.
You can sell courses, books or guides, merchandise, and a lot more to make money from having such a site.
With time, as a beginner, one can definitely start to make around $500 – $1000 per month from the site.
Starting with a blog is definitely hands down the best side hustle to start as an animator.
Create a YouTube channel
YouTube has been the go-to side hustle for everyone for every millennial today.
The barrier to entry is ZERO and the opportunities are endless in the field.
You can create a lot of videos based on your experience and expertise in the animation industry and provide content on a variety of topics related to it.
Some of the popular topics to cover are:
- Basics of animation.
- How to create animation videos in 2D or 3D.
- Software or tools to use to get into animation etc.
As animation is a visual-based experience, a YouTube channel is always recommended for an animator.
Here’s a channel that is about animation and provides animation videos on a lot of topics.
This channel has got around 472k subscribers on the platform.
This YouTube channel is monetized from a lot of sources, such as Ads, patrons, merchandise, and more.
Here are some stats related to the monetization options open for the channel:
|Sale of Merchandise||$10 – $25|
|Patron Supporters||$352 per month|
Do affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to start a side hustle as an animator and make money online.
When you are using any product or service that has helped you immensely, you can be an affiliate for such products and promote them for money.
As an affiliate, you can market the products or services on several platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and a lot more.
As an animator, you can promote a lot of affiliate products such as:
- Envato Market
- Cartoon Smart
- Renderforest, etc.
Again the commissions earned are from 15% – 30% based on the products promoted.
There is a huge scope if one is able to sell the products related to the above.
The markets are quite good for the animators to take the best advantage of the resources available to them.
If there is a steady audience base of 10000 users coming onto the platform, you can easily expect to make around $1000 – $2000 per month promoting the affiliate products.
Start a Print on Demand store
Print on Demand as the name sounds is printing as per the demands and needs of the customer.
Being an animator, there are a lot of creative ways to market yourself today.
You can launch a merch store online selling tees, caps, mugs, bags, etc related to your brand.
The above is an example of an Animationmentor merchandise platform that sells a lot of merch stuff online.
As you can see, the pricing varies widely and can range from as low as $5 to $73 for each product.
If you have a strong audience coming to your page, you will be able to make a steady income selling merch from your platform.
There are several free platforms to try out such as:
- CustomChat etc
Create a Podcast Channel
A podcast is connecting with people with what you have to say via your voice and audio.
Today, podcasts are running popular and doing great with a lot of people tuning in each moment.
The future of content creation lies with how people connect with you and podcasts will stand at the top of the pillar in that aspect.
There is a forecast of 505 million users worldwide over the next 2 years period.
This shows the potential that podcasts hold for any content creator today.
Being an animator, running your own podcast will be really fruitful and you can make good growth by joining the podcast.
Source: JamesLee from Graphtreon
This is a podcast related to animation done by JamesLee who produces content related to animation.
The podcast channel has around 1405 patrons registered on the platform as of now.
This can bring over an income of around $2800 – $14050 per month online.
Create Courses Online
Launching a course is one of the best ways to monetize your knowledge and skills acquired from the industry.
If you are someone who knows the ins and outs related to a specific skill such as How to create a 2D animation (beginner friendly), then you are in for money.
You can find a lot of courses in the market which teach about a lot of things related to animation in general.
But, as with everyone, we all have our own way of doing things and this is what separates each one of us from others.
Creating a course is not that difficult and you can launch your own course by creating tutorials and learnings for the students for a price.
The above is a course created for people who want to learn about professional pixel art & animation games.
This course has sold over 70000k copies worldwide for a price of $33.74 each.
This means the creator of the animation course has made over $2.3M generated over a lifetime.
As an animator, there is a lot that you can offer to the world and this would be an amazing way to do so.
Create and sell NFTs
NFTs are known as Non-Fungible Tokens which can be traded for virtual currency online in the form of Crypto.
People are making huge money online selling NFTs onto marketplaces online.
One of the primary requirements for selling NFT is to create graphics or animated images.
This involves the creation of 2D or 3D images online which can help scale the revenue long term.
An animator can help in this regard when it comes to creating an image that can sell for a good price as an NFT.
NFTs have been trending for a long time and thus are an upcoming side hustle especially as an animator if you are looking to make money online.
NFT creators can make up to $200 for selling NFTs online.
The prominent areas where NFT creators can find a lot of value and revenue include:
- Game Videos
- Items related to games etc.
Here’s another example of NFT which has made over $69 Million in revenue with one sale.
This shows the potential that you hold for selling NFTs online and making money out of it.
Make animated gifs as a side hustle
As an animator, you can definitely create animated gifs for a living online.
When was the last time you laughed off looking at a funny gif that popped up on your phone?
Did it ever cross your mind that the GIF creators are also people who are making money from writing GIFs online?
Yes, as an animator you hold the advantage of creating such GIFs online and making money out of it.
The above is an excellent video demonstrating how creating GIFs can bring you income.
Gif creators can make an estimated salary of around $29500 per year (as per Ziprecruiter).
Become a tutor teaching about animation
Teaching as we all know can add a lot to other’s lives.
If you are someone who loves to express feelings and thoughts to others, then teaching is the right way to do so.
Tutoring others would be the best start to reaching out to others and helping them learn the basics of animation.
What you already know and have expertise in is something others don’t know about.
Ziprecruiter states that animation tutors can expect to earn around $32k with their job as a beginner.
The industry is wide open and has a place for anyone who would be interested to showcase their learnings and teachings along the way.
Teacheron is one of the good platforms to start looking for jobs in the animation industry.
This can be a good starting point to making money online.
The pay rates are around $5 per hour to $37 (fixed rate) as an animation tutor to get started.
Collaborate with game developers in game jams
Game jams are the best way to connect with game developers who are looking to hire an artist on board.
Game jams are running all around the clock and you can easily get opportunities to work online with others.
Itch.io is one of the biggest game development platforms hosted all across the world where people can join for game jams and collaborate with other people.
As an animator, you can work to develop 2D or 3D characters for the prototype game.
If that happens to be a good game, you can work to scale the game even further as well.
Game jams even have money associated with that contest.
If you happen to be a part of such a jam, you can expect to win rewards and prizes for that too!!
Besides the above here are more benefits of being a member of a game jam as an animator:
- Opportunity to connect with other people such as game dev creators, music artists, and more.
- Getting a chance to get work if your game is featured in YouTube videos and other platforms.
- Building a strong network of people across the globe helps to find more opportunities for work online.
Become a Graphic Designer
A graphic designer is someone who designs beautiful graphics and puts amazing graphics in front of an audience.
There are a lot of things that go into designing graphics which involve the selection of images, editing, shape, the color used, texture used, etc.
As an animator, you have a better understanding of all of these and you can create amazing graphics for a lot of content creators online.
A graphic designer can demand an asking pay rate of $5 – $40 for each gig that they offer for sellers on Fiverr.
Some of the best industries to target are:
- Animation and more.
This is a quite useful skill that can be helpful for an artist as well.
Sell animation models
Animated models are always in demand when people are looking to buy a model for their own commercial use.
As an animator, you can create a high poly or low poly model that can be useful for others and sell it for a price.
3D models are especially high in demand in the industry as more and more people are looking to use ready-made assets for their products (such as games).
cgtrader is one website that offers up to 80% royalties for the sale of 3D models online.
It’s one of the world’s largest marketplace to drive sales and create 3D assets for sale online.
Here’s an example of the 3D assets for sale and the prices for each of the 3D models would vary generally from $5 – $350.
This goes to show the potential of making money from such platforms and you can earn a decent income from the platform.
The top 5 most popular platforms for selling animated models include:
Become a freelance content writer
Content writers will always stay relevant for the time to come.
As an animator, you can definitely try writing about things based on your experience and expertise in working in the industry.
There is an enormous scope of work all around us, and the animation industry is no different from this.
Many content writers charge around $5-$50 for content starting out as a beginner.
You can get started for free today and start writing articles related to animation to earn money from freelancing.
If you have good enough experience of working in the industry, you can definitely utilize that for the best experience and create a good income source.
This is a really good opportunity and is also a good source of income when you work long-term.
Create animation videos for social media influencers
Animated tutorials and videos are always in demand especially when it comes to selling stuff online or explaining stuff as well.
As an animator, if you know the skills and have the right knowledge in store, you can definitely create short animated videos online to make money from it.
This has a high value for a lot of people and you can make decent money doing it at the convenience of your home.
The above shows that you can charge around $30 – $230 per gig creating animation videos online for others.
This is a high-paying gig online and the first and foremost expertise of an animator.
You can reach out to content creators who make videos on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or even Blogs to make money from it.
Social media influencers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers are the best resources to target for selling your services online.
Sell guides or ebooks
Ebooks or guides are the best resources where people can read and learn what to do next.
If you have a good following coming to your page or any platform available, you can sell an ebook or guide related to your learning.
Here’s a sample ebook that is sold for $11 each and there are almost 206 people who have registered for the same.
Creating and selling ebooks as a digital product is another wonderful side hustle to take as an animator.
You can create an ebook on any topic of your choice, such as:
- How to start a career in animation.
- Tips and tricks to remember while using Blender.
- How to create a 2D animation using photoshop etc.
These can be sold over Amazon or other platforms such as Gumroad, Instamozo, Payship, etc.
If you happen to sell these online on your own website or social media page, you can get more reach and eyeballs too on your product.
Work for a studio
Create some beautiful animation clips related to a topic and start applying for vacancies or positions available for working in an animation studio.
Many newbies or indie game developers are looking to build a team where animators would be required to create assets for the game.
This is the opportunity where you can utilize your expertise and provide them with your samples to obtain the work as desired.
Once you have created some models you can reach out to them via Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube asking for any work requirements (if any).
This is a bit of a time-consuming process but is definitely something that has the opportunity to make money as well.
Another best way to apply would be to head to Google Play Store or iOS play store and directly hitting the emails of the game studios for requirements.
Source: Garena Free Fire
Become an animation storyteller
Storytelling in animation is one of the best segments where you can explore your skills as a good storyteller.
Every game or each movie that is made with animation needs a compelling story to hook people to the end.
If the story doesn’t compel people to stay engaged till the end, then the product won’t fit the user’s needs.
For this, an essential component is understanding what to share.
If you have a knack for sharing stories, then you can definitely share stories created with your animation and make money from it as well.
The pay rates are decent and animators are charging up to $600 per gig for storytelling as well.
Besides this is a real niche skill and requires the ability to interpret the underlying message for the audience.
You can even try to create game trailers and sketchbook storytelling to enhance the ways of earning potentially available as well.
Create game trailers
Game trailers are always my favorite to watch out for.
The reason is pretty simple as it evokes emotions and helps me understand what to expect.
Many game developers who create fantastic miss out on a compelling game trailer which is the first thing a gamer sees before buying out a game.
Creating game trailers can be a rewarding experience especially when you know what it can bring to the table for the creator.
The price range for a game trailer would be around $5 – $60 per gig hiring an animator.
This goes to show it can be a rewarding experience when you are looking to build a following.
As a creator, this can bring out a lot of good stuff for you.
We have covered all 18 side hustles to start as an animator.
Final Words on Side Hustle as an Animator
There are plenty of side hustles to look at as an animator while starting out.
When you are starting out and looking to explore options, it’s better to have a side hustle alongside your regular job to make money from it.
An animator does the job of bringing experience into the world we live in.
But, it’s a fact that despite high paying salaries and good perks, the rise in debt and living conditions have made things more difficult with time.
In order to get the best out of what you already know, having a side hustle will always be the best way out to make money in the long run.
What matters is how much are you willing to push in the direction of bringing results in life.
Do share with us in the comments section below your thoughts on this.