Facing Freelancing

Johnny Thunder-

University of WisconsinStout alumnus Michael Swearingen talked about his experiences with internships and how he made connections at Cartoon Network/Adult Swim on Friday, Nov. 3. Swearingen graduated from UW–Stout this past December.

 

After working with the creative agency Knock Inc., Swearingen interned at Adult Swim. After the internship, he was offered a position with the team there. When Swearingen first started working for them, he felt intimidated, but that quickly changed. “I realized everyone was in the same boat, just trying to get by while still enjoying their work,” he said. Swearingen slowly grew more comfortable with his colleagues and even had the chance to broadcast some of his work. “For a lot of my time there, I ran the livestreams. I was sometimes behind camera, and I eventually learned how to use the switchboard there,” Swearingen said.

 

At his presentation, Swearingen gave advice to students in the crowd. “Put your stuff in front of other people’s faces,” he said. He pushed people to get their work out in order to find jobs that relate to their passion.

 

Swearingen studied entertainment design with a concentration on animation. “My dream job would be freelancing from home,” he said.

 

Freelancers work from their personal setup on commissioned jobs. They get most of their work by sending their pieces out to companies and businesses who hire them. Swearingen’s connections to companies grew quickly as he attended numerous meetups and events to share his work with others.

 

The reason Michael was able to get into what some people would consider a dream job was because he spread his work throughout many people and businesses. This is something many freelancers have to do in order to find work, and in Michael’s case, it worked out in his favor.

 

For now, Swearingen works as a freelancer. His clientele continues to grow, and he sends his animations to as many places as possible.