Motion Graphics Designer – Oliver Lynch


Ollie is a 20 year-young freelance web and motion-graphics designer, who has worked alongside independant creative agencies and in-house design teams.



Through Tristan Copley Smith.

Brewing Time:

45 min


Relaxed and down to earth realistic.

Number of Questions:



A very spontaneous tea, which turned out very well. This definitely helped me see that my possible career as a motion graphic designer is not necessarily dependent on another two years of studying.


Skype (both in London).

Personal Conclusion:

After this Video-CuriosiTea I would like to try a one-or-more-day work shadow, to see, whether my nerves can truly bear the time spent with all of those programs, screens and imagination skills. I see the potential of these skills becoming very useful, as there is a lot of demand for motion graphics, yet I am not sure yet, if the satisfaction I get from well-animated graphics, will justify the  reduction of time for my social contacts. I’m worried, I need more human and/or nature-contact involved in my work time to have a good work-life-balance.


Feedback on the idea of curiositea:

“I love the idea and think it will help a lot of people out. It’s great to see what the end game is like before you commit to doing a degree or putting a load of time into developing a skill set, that eventually will lead you to a job. A job, which will probably require you to do a heap of stuff that can be hard to foresee at the beginning.”

Skype CuriosiTea with Oliver Lynch

Ollie, How did you get into motion graphics?

I did webdesign first, trying my best to do motion graphics within that. But you couldn’t really do a lot yet, besides sliding things. In that period I realized I had a big interest in the field of motion graphics. So, for four or five months I basically taught myself by doing little personal projects to get a feel of how it works; making designs for about 20 fake companies just to design a website and do motion graphics along with that.

A little after that, through friends of friends, who have a film company I started doing work for them. Probably not the most conventional way, but it seems to work.


How long have you been working as a motion graphics designer?

For about a year and a half. I dropped out of college and had enough time then to work out those skills.


What do you like about it?

// LIKE //

I enjoy how the idea is originally in my head, rather hazy and then it is coming into view. Seeing it materialize in front of you, until it’s right there… I also like to have the freedom to not always be doing the same thing all the time. And being able to take a week off, if I want to do. I can arrange my days to work 30hours one day, but then have the next two days off.


Deadlines and rendering. I just had a project with a 25-hour-render-time, where I put a shake effect on, that didn’t turn out well, so I had to render it again. It then didn’t finish on time for the deadline.

Also difficult clients, who won’t understand, that these things take time (to render) can also be a challenge.


What equipment and skills do you use?

It takes a while to get into 3D graphics, but you should definitely get into that. It is important to have a good network of people around you to ask and work with. You need to use some animation programs. I use After Effects, After Effects Expressions – which is a kind of programming code for AE –  Illustrator and Cinema 4D. As for computer, I use a MacBookPro and an 8core MacPro plus an Eizo monitor,which has a good color depth.


What about render-farms?

I sometimes do use renderfarms, but I prefer seeing it render. For After Effects render farms don’t integrate nicely, you have to upload via FTP Servers and download again with files that can be as big as 120GB, that’s not doable. Another problem with those is, that if the farm doesn’t have the same fonts or plugins that you have used in your compositions, it causes it to interrupt.


Do you work by yourself?

I usually try to work in a studio, where there is company and a possibility for exchange of thoughts.


How many hours do you spend on average behind the screen?

About 13 hours. But I do different things: Let’s say I do a certain project from 9:00 — 18:00 and then from 18:00 — 22:00 I will work on a website, that has a later deadline, just to get ahead of things and take another day off. I rather work massive days, than blocking out other days with continuous work.


How much do you usually charge?

I’m charging 250 pounds per day and with that I’m still quite cheap. I’ve done projects for a lot less than that and for a lot more. If you take 8-hour-days it can easily go down to a 100 pounds per day. If I really love a concept, I will massively reduce my rate as it benefits me to have something representable to add to the show reel!


What do you think is the most common misconception about Motion Graphic Designers?

That we use flash and that visual effects (explosions in James Bond!) and motion graphics are the same thing.


What do you think is the role of motion graphics designers in the future?

I think they will be doing a lot more web-based motion graphics. Browsers will get better, so you can animate more in them. I think that there is a whole lot of life left in this field, we don’t need to be worrying about the sector dying anytime soon.


If you could give one advice to a MoGra Designer, who’s just launching his career, what would it be?

Be prepared to spend a lot of hours with figuring things out and around. You’ll need to do that. Be prepared for difficult clients and people not understanding that it DOES take time to do those things. They think it is not difficult and can have unrealistic expectations.

You should get into a shared studio, so you can meet people and have a barrier between work and free-time. Also get a sweet showreel together only showcasing the very best work you have, even if the final reel is less than a minute!

 — THANK YOU for your time, Ollie!



Related Links



1. How did you get into it?

2. How long have you been working as a motion graphics designer?

3. What do you like / dislike about it?

4. What equipment and skills do you use?

5. Do you work by yourself?

6. How many hours do you spend on average behind the screen?

7. How much do you usually charge?

8. What do you think is the role of motions graphics designer in the future?

9. What do you think is the most common misconception about Motion Graphic Designers?

10. If you could give one advice to a MoGra Designer, who’s just launching his career, what would it be?




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