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Our Top 11 Platforms to Hire Animation Designers and Animators Online

1. Toptal

Toptal has helped reimagine the experience of hiring freelancers. Rather than sifting through dozens of online animators to hopefully pick the needle from the haystack, Toptal matches you with an animation designer. You can use Toptal for more than animators; they also have graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, video game designers, motion designers, and freelancers from related fields. It's like having direct access to your own animation studio.

Only 3% of applicants have passed Toptal’s extensive vetting and testing process, and they work to match you with a designer that meets your video production, visual effects, and animated video needs. If you’re unsatisfied, you can change designers or even cancel the project free of charge.

Toptal

Key Points

  • Because Toptal screens heavily to select the top 3% of animation applicants, you will have the opportunity to work with professional designers with years of experience.
  • Two-week, no-risk trial period.
Visit Toptal

2. Upwork

Upwork has millions of users and jobs posted each year. It’s one of the most well-known freelance marketplaces. The site provides project management tools for the clients and freelancers who use the platform. Upwork is not only a site for animators or designers; they have a range of freelancers. You can browse freelancers for web design, visual effects, video editors, 3D animators, logo animation, and cartoon animation on the site. Upwork also has business and enterprise subscription tools to assist with the hiring process. As you search through Upwork, you can find animators with a range of experience and skill levels.

Upwork

Key Points

  • Range of animators, freelancers and designers across skill level and geography, for most budgets.
  • With different ways to manage the project and payment, you can mitigate risk by, for example, only paying once certain milestones are achieved.
Visit Upwork

3. Dribbble

Dribbble was developed for designers to provide them with a community and space to share ideas, meet, and find support. Originally the platform was invite-only. However, it has since opened its doors to anyone that would like to join. Designers can create a profile and have a portfolio.

Using Dribbble Hire, you can either search through portfolios or post on the job board and have freelance animators apply. Find a range of skills for video editing, storyboarding, cartoon animation, product design, character animation, digital marketing, and more. Alternatively, you can work with a Talent Partner to receive talent recommendations that have been screened and pre-interviewed for the job.

Dribbble

Key Points

  • Save time with Dribbble Talent by skipping the process of sorting through profiles of freelance animators.
  • Search by location to make a local hire.
Visit Dribbble

4. Working Not Working

Working Not Working’s (WNW) “UnJobBoard” for creative talent includes elements you might not see elsewhere: unique job titles, an expectation of job perks, and aspirational descriptions on each person’s profile. Additionally, job seekers mark their calendars as working or not working, so it is easier to find someone available when you need them. The platform has recently launched Human, a concierge service that does the work of sorting through profiles for you so that you can just receive their recommendation and get your project started.

Working Not Working

Key Points

  • Open to most designers; you can find freelance animators of different skill levels charging different rates.
  • Human, their concierge service, can save you time by ensuring animation designers are qualified.
  • Because WNW does not charge a commission, it can be a relatively affordable way to hire animation designers long term.
Visit Working Not Working

5. Behance

Behance is a freelance marketplace for designers using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of services, which includes Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects, Lightroom, and other applications. Hosted through Adobe, Behance provides a platform for Adobe’s users to share the work and animation videos they have created using Adobe’s products. There are tools for social connectivity as well, like posting comments on portfolios, tagging, and following the artists you like. With a monthly membership, you can post jobs and receive access to searching portfolios.

Behance

Key Points

  • You can find animators at various skill levels.
  • Hosts independent graphic designers using the Adobe Creative Cloud.
  • If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, then posting public job posts is free.
Visit Behance

6. Freelancer

Freelancer is one of the largest freelance marketplaces. With millions of users, you’ll be sure to find an animator that fits your needs. The platform charges a fee for standard projects unless you are using the Preferred Freelancer Program. In this program, Freelancer charges a percentage but provides you with access to a group of experienced freelance animation designers. Additionally, both parties pay fees to initiate a project, which helps guarantee buy-in from the designer.

Freelancer

Key Points

  • You can choose the method for hiring that works for you, whether posting a job, searching profiles, or selecting a package created by the designer.
  • There are freelance animators that charge a range of different rates, so you can find someone to fit most budgets.
  • Freelancer has payment and project management tools to help manage risk.
Visit Freelancer

7. AIGA

AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) has a job platform for U.S.-based talent. As the professional association for design in the U.S., AIGA has several chapters across the U.S. and additional resources on its website. Each company can post two jobs for free or sign up for additional job postings. The platform is not geared towards freelancers but is a tool to find full-time animation designers in the U.S.

AIGA

Key Points

  • Post two free job postings.
  • Find full-time designers in the U.S.
Visit AIGA

8. Krop

Krop is a platform that provides profiles for creatives. There is a job board, for which you can pay by job post to receive applications, or you can pay a monthly rate for access to the database of designers. Designers pay a monthly fee to keep their portfolios active, and can sign up to receive alerts when a job post fits their interests. As such, the designers stay engaged with the platform and are usually actively looking for work.

Krop

Key Points

  • The job alerts mean that designers can keep looking for work even while staying busy working.
  • Designers have a collection of templates for them to use and maintain a portfolio.
Visit Krop

9. Folyo

The owner of Folyo describes the platform as a “private project alert service” for designers. Folyo maintains a database of vetted designers, who Folyo guarantees to receive quality vetted projects. As such, your project must be approved before it is sent out to designers. When it is approved for both content and payment rate, the request will be sent to designers whose skills match those needs. The designers that are interested respond and the process moves forward from there.

Folyo

Key Points

  • Folyo helps you find vetted professionals.
  • Projects must be pre-approved on the platform.
Visit Folyo

10. Guru

Guru is a freelance marketplace with freelancers of different types—Find dragon freelancers to religion freelancers. Structured with project and payment management tools, Guru offers flexibility in how you structure your project. Pay by milestone, by task, by the hour, or with recurring payments. Most of the cost falls on the freelancer, with a mere percentage billed to the employer.

Guru

Key Points

  • You have options in the project structure so that you can pick the format for you.
  • SafePay ensures the freelancers that you work with that their payment will be available when they complete the job.
  • You can choose to work with someone from a specific geographic area if you prefer to hire locally or with another geographic constraint.
Visit Guru
honorable mention

Twine

Twine is a freelance marketplace where you can post jobs for free. The platform recommends freelancers based on their skillset, and poor matches and proposals are screened out. You can reach out to candidates or wait for them to make a bid. You also have choices around how you want to manage the project and payment through the platform. Twine charges a flat commission. For more customized services, you can use Twine Enterprise and hire a creative at a daily rate.

Twine

Key Points

  • In interviews, Twine employees commit to screening pitches from designers before sending them on to employers.
  • Twine provides recommendations of the rates to pay by type of service, giving you some guidance on budget.
  • Because “Pro” designers pay an annual fee, they’re invested in staying active on the platform and maintaining their reputation.
Visit Twine
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