Really Showing You the Money

Okey dokey. This is the second part of ‘showing you your money’.

In the last post I covered the basics of starting to freelance in animation and/or storyboarding. I talked about setting up your invoices and for you Canadians, a bit about the wonder that is the GST. At the end of that I mentioned you can’t spend that GST money.

So here’s a little advice about handling the cold hard cash. Of course, you don’t have to do it this way. This is just how I did things when I started out and it worked pretty well for me. And if you’re young, you’ll thank me in your forties. 🙂

Separate your cash!

The GST you collect isn’t yours and about a third of your income isn’t yours.


That’s right. You’re going to have to pay the tax man eventually. If you think and act like all the money you collect is yours, then you’ll be in big trouble, baby. There will be nothing worse then getting the news that you owe thousands to the government when you only have a few hundred in your bank account.

You may put off paying your taxes.

You won’t sleep at night.

You’ll get dark circles under your eyes and maybe develop a substance abuse problem.

I can’t let that happen. If you want dark circles and a substance abuse problem, just keep storyboarding. 😉

But pay your taxes! Because it will catch up with you eventually.

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Show You the Money: The Basics

OK, I’m back. And I even had four days off…guilt-free. It’s a gift from above, let me tell you.

So here is the first ‘real’ post about handling finances and taxes as a freelancer after a request from one of my readers. See? I read my email and answer your burning questions! As best I can, at least.

But first, the big disclaimer:

This is meant as a general guide for beginners just starting on a freelance career in animation (or otherwise). I am in no way shape or form an authority on anything to do with your taxes or your finances. I’m pretty good with my own money but I prefer having someone else tell me what to do with it.

This is just how I do things and it’s quite possible I could be doing them better. And some of this may take a Canadian slant, so my apologies to the U.S. readers (and all you other wonderful folks). This post had some links to articles geared towards Americans so that should balance things out. I have zero knowledge about other countries on this matter.

Have I beaten that to death enough? Good.

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A Little Weekend Brain Food

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m still pooped. I survived Hell Week, but I’m pooped.

I will do the article about money and taxes but my brain can’t quite handle it yet. I’ll post it up for Monday or so. In the meantime, I’m going to post this article by the very cool Christina Merkley. She’s a personal coach that uses visuals to help her clients (see her blerb at the end of the article). So she thinks like us artist-types.

This might be a little ‘touchy-feely’ for some, but I think we can all use a little pick-me-up in this business of ours and check in with our way of thinking. Maybe you’re down because you can’t find work. Maybe you’re overwhelmed right now. Or just feel a little lost sometimes. Here’s some brain-food-for-thought for your weekend.

Hope you enjoy and I’ll be writing something in the next few days. Thanks for your Hell Week patience. 🙂 – KJL


We’ve all have them. Sometimes they last a short period. Sometimes they last weeks, months, years, decades – yikes, perhaps even a lifetime. I’m talking about downward spirals. Where negatives things pile one on top of another, until it seems that is the only reality that exists.

In the last few weeks I’ve fielded several calls from colleagues and friends who are in a down place. They’ve hit a bump, a logjam — what seems and feels like a downright calamity. They turn to me for some hope and inspiration, as they know I’ve weathered tough times and have come out the other side. So, having been through this process, I can understand it a bit and hopefully guide others about what to do and what NOT to do. So here is what I am sharing them with.

1. Recognize What You Are Doing

If you’ve got a negative spiral occurring, the first thing you need to do is recognize that you’ve got one and take responsibility. Chances are this has been building up for a while. Negative spirals don’t just come out of the blue. They are a slow build up of energy that eventually picks up speed – attracting negative situations and events like a magnet. Like attracts like. Somewhere back in the chain of events you got something you didn’t like and you really focused on it – and unfortunately, you began an attraction parade from there. Its very easy to do, and unfortunately again, our society kind of supports this way of thinking and being.

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Show You the Money: Part One

OK, this is a quick one. No picture, sorry. I’m still in ‘Hell’ (that week seems to get longer and longer) so I won’t be writing a real post until later this week. But just so you know, I’m going to write about handling your finances and doing your taxes if you are a freelance … Read more

Production Journal – The One Thing You Should Do Before Putting Pencil to Paper

I once had a colleague come to my place to help me out with a pressing deadline. I had two desks at the time, so she could work alongside me (which was great). When she walked in my studio, she stopped, looked around and said, “Did you clean up just for me?”. A little confused, I said, “No, this is how I work.”

OK, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a freak.

I’m an artist and I’m organized. An unusual combination that I’m not ashamed of. Some creative types seem to think that disorganization equates being a true artist. Well, if riffling through mounds of paper every-single-time I need a design means I’m not a true artist, then so be it.

But I think that’s cr@p. Storyboarding is a business and every business can benefit from being organized. Gee…that almost sounded like a rant : ).

So what’s that one thing you should do?

Organize your work area.

I’m going to turn this subject into a whole category because it’s something I enjoy and think can be useful to the rest of you. For now, I’m going to keep it general and about the problem of paper.

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