Gaston Muyano, a graphic artist in Uruguay, spent about three hours a day to travel from his small hometown in Parque del Plata to the country's capital, Montevideo, for work. He left early each morning to avoid rush hour and he arrived home late in the evening, missing the chance to spend time with his wife and two young daughters.

He felt like Bianca, three, and Florencia, two, were growing up so fast and he wasn't there to see it. He missed out on the little things – such as braiding Florencia's hair, and taking them to kindergarten -- which were fortunately being done by his wife Lorraine. The closest thing he ever had to witnessing his daughters' milestones was hearing their shrieks and laughter through the phone whenever his wife delivered great news.

To top it all off, the job that took over his life wasn't even rewarding. He earned very little and the expectations were low. Even if it paid well, it wasn't a good enough reason to let his kids grow up with someone who was barely their dad. The only way he thought he could be fulfilled with his career and, at the same time, be present during the important early years of his daughters, was to be an independent worker.

Gaston took a leap of faith and brought his skills as a digital artist, animator, and graphic artist to Freelancer.com, the world's largest outsourcing platform. "I was attracted to work on the site because it was growing strong every day. The jobs are increasing, giving me more work opportunities. I knew that the site could help me achieve my dream to work independently," he said.

The projects he handled started small. The first one was to create an animated comic book that educates kids about different diseases, for which he was paid a little over US$30. Then came a relatively big one, worth US$600, where he animated 2D images of animals. The employer was so pleased that Gaston was very fast and skilled, being able to animate 20 images in the time some animators took to do one.

Due to the awesome feedback left by employers, Gaston was able to build his portfolio fast. He employed his brother Mauro, who is a 3D artist, to help. Together, they aimed to take the business to greater heights. To establish themselves better, Gaston made a small animation company, www.betterexplain.com. As the name suggests, they want to help their clients better explain their campaigns or objectives through animation.

The duo also work in other fields of animation, such as Gaston's recent and most favorite project done so far -- a collaboration with the singer Maesyn. She was delighted with Gaston's work, calling it epic, amazing, and beyond her wildest dreams. "Gaston wasn't just an animator. He's pure artist," she said in the feedback. Gaston was paid US$1,065 for the project.

Now, Gaston and Mauro handle several big projects that take weeks to finish and do smaller projects day to day. They are even planning on hiring another artist because of the high demand.

"This career not only brought my family economic stability, but it also allowed me to speed up my artistic growth. The different projects we take on, the different people, businessmen, and artists we work with help us to learn more and improve our craft. Most of all, I work on what I really love to do, here at home, where I can help my wife raise Bianca and Florencia," he said.

Interested in working as a graphic artist or animator? Sign up at Freelancer.com now!

 
Nikki Hernandez
Nikki Hernandez Staff

Wired and Inspired | Content Coordinator, Freelancer.com

I'm the coordinator of Freelancer's Case Study Program. I write inspirational success stories of employers and freelancers. When not busy writing, I play video games.

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