12 ways to make extra money on the side as a vfx artist

12 Ways To Make Extra Money On The Side As A VFX Artist

12 Ways To Make Extra Money On The Side As A VFX Artist

Want to make some extra side cash in the VFX industry? You're in the right place — read on!

VFX artists are constantly challenged to harness not only their technical abilities, but also their creative eye and attention to detail. 

While it’s easy to get burned out creatively, we’re going to take a look at some great side-gigs that will not only give you a boost of creative freedom and independence, but will also net you some extra cash in the process. Put your various skills and insight as a VFX artist to use!

Read the Fine Print

Of course, you’ll always want to read any contractual requirements you may be obligated to fulfill at your current job before you decide to jump into the wonderful world of side income. There can be some serious consequences if you violate your contract. 

Make sure your side job(s) are within your legal boundaries to pursue by talking to your employer or even a lawyer, if necessary. It’s not worth it to lose a great full-time job over a lower-paying side gig.  

As long as you’re good to go, here are 12 side hustles that can help you excel in your VFX career, and allow your wallet to breathe a little easier.

1. Become an ActionVFX Affiliate

One of the easiest ways to earn extra cash is by joining the ActionVFX Affiliate Program. How it works is simple: 

Next, share the unique referral link we assign you on VFX social media groups, forums, and online communities. We even provide marketing assets to make conversions even easier! A great way to organically drive traffic is to showcase VFX projects you’ve worked on that used our products, then include a link to purchase the assets you used.  
Here’s the best part. For every sale that's made on our website through your referral link, you’ll take home 20%. It’s an awesome deal that requires minimal effort on your part, and you can use your industry network and insight to get the word out about ActionVFX products. 

We even provide a dashboard so you can track your sales. There’s no easier way to make extra money on the side, so make sure you become an affiliate today!

2. Become a VFX Consultant

If you’re a seasoned VFX artist, consider becoming a consultant on the side. You can use a site like Clarity.fm to springboard into the world of consulting. Simply build a profile, add a listing, and set your per-minute call rate.

Interested parties can contact you to discuss their VFX projects, and explore other potential ways you could help their team in the future. It’s a great way to build beneficial professional relationships that can open the door to new opportunities.

3. Offer One-on-One VFX Training 

Social media can be a great tool to market your skills, and leveraging it to offer your VFX expertise in a personalized training environment can be another good way to earn extra cash. You could set an affordable rate for weekly 30 or 60-minute training sessions over Skype, and invite users to join your training program.
Not only would students benefit from being able to directly ask questions to the person giving the tutorial, but they could also receive valuable career advice from you as they prepare for their VFX career. Think of it like piano lessons, but for VFX!

4. Teach VFX at a Local University or Technical School

If you’re even more serious about teaching VFX on the side and possess a substantial college degree, you could look into teaching as an adjunct professor. You could also check with your alma matter to see if they have any needs. If your local schools don’t have many opportunities for VFX classes, you could also volunteer a Saturday for a "VFX 101" class. 
If there was interest from the students, it could possibly open an avenue for you to either teach at the college or funnel students into your one-on-one VFX training program.

5. Build Demo Reels/Breakdowns for Other VFX Artists

You’ve got friends in the industry, right? Hopefully, you do! Even if you’re the VFX artist that produced a scene, assembling a VFX reel or breakdown can be pretty time-consuming.

Offer to put together VFX reels for your colleagues, making their work look as awesome as possible, while also giving you the chance to make some quick cash.

6. Look for Videography & Photography Jobs

If you’re a VFX artist, chances are you’ve got camera gear. For most people in the industry, shooting weddings is like a rite of passage into the world of video. You may have had your fill of wedding shoots in years past, but it can always be a great way to bring in some extra money.

Also, consider using your photography skills to offer headshots for LinkedIn. You could even approach local businesses and offer your photography/videography skills, as well.

7. VFX Pre-Vis

We’ve discussed the value pre-visualization brings to the industry, so think about putting a reel together of your pre-vis work and post it online with an invitation to contact you for pre-vis kinematics. You can find some great connections if your pre-vis reel is impressive enough, and that could even lead to potential full-time opportunities in the future.

8. Sell Stock Video, Photos, and 3D Models

You may have hard drives full of photos and videos you’ve taken over the years. Why not put those to good use? Investigate the world of stock photography/videography to see if it’s a good fit for you.  

A great place to get started is BlackBox, where you can submit your videos to sell as stock footage across some of the leading stock footage websites. BlackBox is an aggregator that pushes your content to the best platforms for it, giving you the opportunity to make a great amount of money after you put in the initial effort on the front-end.

Check out the video below, and you can envision what BlackBox can do for you!
If you’re into 3D modeling, you probably have a lot of custom 3D assets lying around that you created and own, so look into selling on stock 3D model stores, as well.  

9. Archviz

The surge in architectural visualization has been tremendous, thanks to outstanding VFX tools like Substance and Unreal Engine 4. Find local home builders and architects to see if they’d be interested in contracting you out to upgrade their designs to high-end 3D visuals. 

Not only is this a great way to use your VFX talent in a side job, but it also could turn into a surprise career one day, if you find success with it.

10. Start a VFX-Focused Patreon/YouTube Channel

You could launch a YouTube channel linked to Patreon to offer training, discuss VFX best practices, cover VFX news, or even do valuable VFX hardware and software reviews. If you’re an established VFX artist, the best route might be to simply showcase your work, offering breakdowns and tutorials on how you achieved certain effects.

11. Sell Your Art Online

Use your VFX and design skills to create artwork for a variety of products. Sites like RedBubble let you get started selling your art for free across posters, t-shirts, stickers, phone cases, and more. Because RedBubble takes care of all the logistics, you don’t have to worry about buying an inventory and keeping the products on-hand.
RedBubble simply produces your products on-demand, takes care of the transactions, printing, shipping, and even customer support. You just collect the check once your product sells.  

12. Build a Mobile Game

Here you would be leveraging your experience as an artist who can design awesome visuals, as well as the technical side, which would probably be the brunt of the work. Luckily, there are a lot of low barrier-to-entry app development platforms out there, such as BuildBox, which aims to let users create casual mobile games as easily as possible.

You could even take pre-existing VFX assets you’ve built in the past (as long as you own the rights to them), and incorporate them into your game.

The value of creating a mobile game is the potential for astounding residual income. Once your game is built, it can, of course, be monetized via ads, in-app purchases, or through a price tag on the game itself. 
There you have it. Twelve ways VFX artists can make extra money on the side. An added advantage of most of these side jobs is that you can put any noteworthy accomplishments from them on your résumé. 

If you built a mobile app, taught VFX on the side, or have worked as a consultant, future employers will see your drive and knowledge, and any extra ventures like these can be what sets you apart from other job applicants.

Good luck, and remember to join the ActionVFX Affiliate Program!

First time here? ActionVFX creates action stock footage for VFX and filmmaking. (We also have some great free stuff!)

Remember to connect with us on our social networks to stay updated on our latest news, giveaways, announcements, and more!