Darren J. DeF wants to bring your ideas to life—literally. As an animator and filmmaker, Darren (aka darrendefretias on Fiverr) takes transforms a static creative brief into a moving piece of art. And by freelancing on Fiverr, he has been able to work with independent professionals and business decision makers around the world without needing to leave Queens. Learn more about how this longtime New Yorker approaches an assignment, how he prioritizes his clients’ needs, and why he wanted to be a part of our #FiverrConnections campaign in our conversation below.
Tell us a little about you. Who you are, where you’re from, what you do.
Hi, my name is Darren Jamal DeFreitas, aka “Darren J. DeF” or darrendefretias on Fiverr. I’m an animator, writer, actor, producer, editor, and filmmaker overall. I’ve spent many years teaching myself, practicing, and learning from others in order to figure out how to do it all.
I was born in Georgetown, Guyana, but my family moved to New York when I was 6. We lived in Brooklyn on Grant Avenue for five years before moving to Far Rockaway, Queens, where I still live today.
What drives you? Why do you do what you do?
The thought of success always lingers in the back of my mind—kind of like a dog’s tail. I catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye that feels like it’s just out of sight, over the horizon. What I’m saying is that I don’t know what drives me, but I’m always driven by the idea of capturing that elusive goal.
The need to create something that is your own is such an amazing yet terrifying desire. You have an idea. You write it down, so you don’t forget. You go and try to make it happen. Along the way, you run into obstacles. Things that you couldn’t have predicted would stand in your way and every reason to make you give up. You will quit, at first. Then you find a way. You impress yourself. You feel completely clueless and genius at the same time. You’ve found your calling, or at least one of them. What makes someone an expert is not what they know, it’s how they know it. The inventor is never the master, but the person who obtains it.
How have Fiverr connections helped you accelerate your career?
Fiverr has been my main way to grow my business. I’ve been able to establish a brand, a style, and a name, in addition to creating a client roster. I started off on Fiverr by scouting around the Buyers Requests section; making offers, competing with other deals. After a few successful bids, I started getting approached by buyers looking for something specific. It’s amazing what people notice, and how you can keep exceeding those expectations by going above and beyond.
Do you have any favorite projects you’ve worked on with Fiverr connections?
One of my favorite deliveries was an animated music video for the song “Make You Love Me”, by Patrick Kretzler. It is one of my favorites because of the sheer challenge (the song is more than three minutes, much longer than most of my projects) and because I was given the creative license to try mixed-form animation, which in this case combined 2D with live-action footage. This project inspired me to mix more mediums and forms in my other projects, both personal and professional.
What advice do you have for first-time Fiverr buyers?
Communicate. Be as specific as possible. Most sellers will provide a rough draft or drawing to try to get a better understanding of what you’re looking for. If you don’t like it, let them know—and why. If you love it, let them know. Stay within your budget. If the seller says something cost extra, know that it does for a reason.
How are Fiverr connections changing how the world works together?
Affordable freelance talent benefits both sides of business. It’s convenient, cost-efficient, and quick. It’s always smart to invest—be it time, energy, or money—in talented people around the world. I just might be working for the next big company, product, or social media channel. Buyers just might hire with the next big artist, composer, or producer. It’s a win-win for everyone involved in the process. Collaboration hones your communication skills, feeds artistic needs, and helps everyone reach their respective goals.
Speaking of goals, what do you want to *do* next?
I want to do it all. I’d like to one day official establish my company “SugRPinkCar Studios.” I want to create a learning hub where other creatives can grow and expand their skills—kind of like Learn from Fiverr! I always felt at a disadvantage when it came to skills and education so I would love to help other people hone their skills, no matter their background or upbringing.
What is it like to be a #FiverrConnections poster boy—literally?
Well, it’s been quite the surprise. I’m grateful for the opportunity to lend my voice and experience with people who are skeptical about their wants and needs. This feel likes the goal I’ve been chasing—not knowing exactly what it is, but trusting in my skills enough to let them lead to more opportunities.