Sweet FA 2020 Winner: Allie Crawford
When covid hit in March, Allie’s partner lost his filming work overnight, so Allie continued to freelance up until the morning she went into hospital to have her baby and was back at it only two weeks later.
Allie worked on an NHS Charities together animation. It was a 3 day job but Allie worked several days more, for free on the project, off her own back, because she wanted to give back to the NHS who were working so hard during the covid crisis. All profits for that project went to the NHS Charities Together - raising over £50,000.
See some of Allie's work here: https://www.hopetherainbowfairy.com/
We met with Allie to see how she feels about being a Sweet FA 2020 winner and to learn a little more about her.
How does it feel to be a Sweet FA 2020 winner?
It feels amazing! I didn’t expect it at all! There were so many inspiring stories from the finalists that I was honoured just to be up there with them. But to win… that's is incredible.
It feels amazing! I didn’t expect it at all!
Why did you offer your services for free?
The company I was working for (Make Believe Ideas) were working on a project where all profits were going to the NHS Charities Together. When the budget was used up, I just kept working on it for free until I’d made the animation as great as I could so it would hopefully raise as much money as possible for the NHS. I just really wanted to do what I could to help during the pandemic and to be able to use my skills as an animator to do that was perfect.
Let's learn some more about you:
What do you do?
I’m a 2D animator, motion designer, graphic designer and video editor.
How did you become a 2D Animator?
I went to art college and got to try lots of different subjects in my first year. I found animation was magical and it really stood out to me. To see your drawings come alive in worlds where there are no rules and anything is possible, is so much fun!
How long have you been freelancing?
17 years but with a permanent job for 4 years in the middle.
Why did you decide to go freelance?
It was just the natural process for animators starting out when I left art college as a character animator.
What's the best thing about freelancing?
There’s so many, it’s hard to choose! I’d probably have to say that I love the freedom it gives you. In my twenties, I could hop between freelancing in London as an animator, with living in Thailand working as an underwater videographer whenever I wanted. I would often spend a year in Thailand and then a year in the UK, another year in Thailand and back to the UK. I also spent 6 months Freediving in Egypt and you can’t have that lifestyle in a permanent job. It also doesn’t hinder your career to do that as a freelancer. Now I have kids and Im more grounded, it gives me freedom to work to a schedule that fits with our family.
What's the hardest thing about freelancing?
Probably the worry about work drying up. I’ve freelanced for a long time so it doesn’t usually bother me but I did have a wobble back in April when my other half lost his filming work overnight because of covid and we suddenly had to rely on my freelance wage to pay all the bills and feed 4 hungry mouths. But it’s never failed me in the 17 years I’ve been in the industry.
How has YJ helped you as a freelancer?
YJ has brought fantastic clients and really interesting projects my way. It’s such a brilliant platform. I don’t use traditional recruiters to find work. YJ is original and takes away all the things I dislike about recruiters and replaces it with all the tools a freelancer needs to find work without having to go looking for it!
Can you tell me about a project you're proud to have worked on?
I edited a video for the UN on climate change, poverty and hunger. It was an honour to work on something so important and the icing on the cake was that it was screened on the sides of huge skyscrapers in Times Square and Broadway.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a 2D Animator?
My advice would be, don’t give up because you will absolutely get into the industry if you don’t give up. I was once told by an animation company when I was first starting out ‘You won’t make it, your work is not commercial enough’ and it was hard to hear but I never gave up. I just worked harder and I made sure I proved them wrong. So never give up and trust in yourself. Even on days where you doubt if you’re good enough, just keep improving your showreel and building your skills and you’ll have a great career to look forward to.
If a client was reading this, why should they hire you?
I think winning Freelancer of the Year says a lot about a freelancer. You can be confident that we can bring something special to your project to make it really stand out, knowing it will be delivered on time and to a very high standard.
I can take projects on from script and storyboard, right through to the final edit, music and sound effects, or jump onboard any step of the way. I have bags of creative ideas, with 17 years of industry experience to ensure the projects I work on are as great as they can be.
Allie is a 2D animator, motion designer, editor and graphic designer with over 16 years experience. She’s worked on a wide array of projects including music videos, TV series, feature films, short films, TV commercials, promo videos, billboards, and online films to name a few.