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Recognising your strengths in the design world with freelance 3D generalist Laine Kocane

Sticking To Personal Strengths in Design | Freelance 3D Generalist
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
May 20, 2022
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Having first discovered 3D animation at college, freelance 3D generalist, Laine Kocane describes always being

Really fascinated by the field and its potential!

Since then, Laine has been working in various freelance design positions, carving an experienced career and gaining great exposure on a number of different projects.

We spoke to Laine about heading straight into freelance life, accepting new briefs and where to find the best inspiration from fellow designers online.

A lot of incredibly talented artists post their case studies, blogs, tutorials, workflows online - either on their websites, blogs or other sites. There is a wealth of knowledge out there online and its the next best thing to actually talking to them face to face.

We first asked Laine how she handles briefs before agreeing to new projects and what she looks for;

I plan out the actual task at hand: does it seem doable in the given time frame, what are the software and render requirements for the task and the proposed rates. I've been fortunate to have a few regular clients, who I know and enjoy working with, however with a new client, often you don't know what to expect, good communication right off the bat is a great sign.

As 3D animation is a relatively new part of design work, we then asked Laine if there was anything clients could do to help prepare for working with freelance 3D generalists;

The best thing they can do, in my opinion, is to have an understanding of the workflow of a 3D/2D project. This also ties in to making the brief straightforward and not mixing different fields together too much. For example, a 3D Generalist may not necessarily be able to do graphical design elements as effectively as a graphic designer. Mixing things like this for a single artist will slow down the project workflow and potentially produce elements of varying quality.

As most freelance careers have quieter periods throughout the year, we asked Laine how she remains productive during the quieter times;

I've always had long-term goals which I go towards - this is my main focus in-between projects. Sometimes, I do some personal projects and experiment with different techniques or software. Also, lots of research and reading helps to stay productive and grow as a professional.

With such a wealth of experience working with different clients throughout her freelance career so far, we asked Laine to share any stand-out projects she’d worked on and why it was so good;

One of the projects that really stood out for me was with Entourage Live (5 LIMITED). The project itself won’t sound exciting: all I had to do was build a venue 3D space based on point cloud data. For me though, it was great — an amazing client, I had an excuse to use Rhinoceros Software (which is amazing) and working with point clouds is fun. It was a simple, enjoyable and a straightforward project among the madness that was 2021, overall!

Having started her professional 3D generalist career fresh from university, we asked Laine if there was anything she’d recommend for anyone considering going freelance;

To anyone starting out freelance in this field, or any field for that matter, I would say plan ahead. Ideally, save up some funds before starting freelancing (I have to admit, I just jumped right into it and got lucky to start working as a fresh freelancer straight away. Not recommended!). Just as importantly, always set aside part of your income for taxes and rainy days, if you do this straight away, you'll be ok.

And when it comes to sharing advice to anyone going into 3D design, Laine says;

Following the news and technology developments is a must, this includes following the work of industry giants, best artists, campaigns and software updates.

Finally, we asked Laine how it felt to learn she was a winner in the 2021 Freelancer Awards;

Honestly, genuinely very surprised! Never would have thought that I would win this, especially since there are so many superb artists in this same field. I am (usually) one of those people who never win anything, so this was an amazing morale boost!

If you’d like to work with Laine on your next 3D design project, why not book her here.

AspectEmployeeIndependent Contractor
Control and supervisionDirect control over how, when, and where to workFreedom to set their own schedules and methods
PaymentRegular wages; taxes withheld by employerPaid per project; responsible for their own taxes
BenefitsHealth insurance, retirment plans, paid leaveMust arrange their own benefits
TerminationOften requires notice and may include severanceCan usually be terminated at any time without benefits
Tools and equipmentProvided by the employerTypically use their own tools
I'm Laine, 3D Generalist and Visualisation Artist.I visualise ideas, pitches, concepts and produce 3D assets, look-dev and animation on freelance/contract basis.
Laine Kocane, 3D(Maya, Cinema4D) and Concept Artist
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