Doers in motion tend to stay in motion—or in Lina Ortega’s case, stop-motion! We thought it was time we chatted up this kickass creator about how she balances being creative with crushing business. Read on to find out about what inspires her, how did she get her start, and what advice would she give other women considering freelancing. Then head to our Insta Stories for more BTS content with this week’s Newbie on the Spot.
Hi Lina! First things first – tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi! My name is Lina Ortega, I’m 24 years old and I was born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico. I learned how to lick my elbow in high school (true fact) and shortly after that, I attended Syracuse University in New York, where I studied TV & Film. After college, I ended up living in Los Angeles where I began my career as a stop-motion animator. I’m a dreamer, an optimist, and a creator who loves making cute, magical and playful things!
How did you become interested in stop-motion art?
Somewhere between wanting to become a Pixar animator and a film director, I found a tangible, yet digital way to express myself; stop motion. But with all the 3D animation going on, I wasn’t 100% sure it was the smartest career move for me. One day my friend invited me to an early screening of “The Little Prince”, which was a total epiphany for me. I was so mesmerized by the stop-motion scenes that I just had to get back into it. I gradually started creating content in the evenings, after getting back from my assistant day job) and posting it on an Instagram account dedicated to stopping motion. This became not only a hobby but my therapy in the city of competitive film producers. Through the use of the platform and the hashtags, I booked my first clients and became a legit stop motion animator!
Sounds amazing! So what is it about stop-motion that excites you the most?
My dreamy nature keeps me excited about stop motion on a daily basis. Everywhere I look, everything I see seems to want to move with me. I collect random objects all the time, just to give them life for a little bit through my hands and the camera. Stop motion allows my mind to stay active and think outside the box constantly.
Out of all the videos you produced, do you have a fave?
Of course! I created a video for a toy boutique called “Rose and Rex”. Their toys are the cutest and most detailed I have ever seen (I have a soft spot for toys because my mom used to have her own toy store when I was growing up). This project allowed me to let my mind run and create different scenarios using the same toy. I loved the outcome and the client’s first word when I delivered the video was “AMAZING”. The combination of doing exactly what I love, fully enjoying it, and have a satisfied client makes the slow process of stop-motion worth it.
Walk us through your typical day!
The first thing I do is exercise. It gets my morning started and reminds me that waking up is more than just getting to work. I then have breakfast while reading the “The Skimm” and catching up on the day.
Work time! My typical workday varies, depending the needs on the stage of my current job. If I’m mid-project, I’ll usually have a chat with the clients and take care of the production necessities. Otherwise, I reach out to potential clients or even go to local shops to offer my stop motion services.
On a normal day, I stop working at around 5 PM and hang out with friends. I usually don’t see anyone for the whole day! So making time for them is very important to me.
Due to the fact that every project is very unique and requires different execution, one of the hardest things for me is budgeting for a client. Fiverr offers a clear way to break down my services in detail, so I know exactly what I’m charging the client for. It helps me stay organized and on top of things. It’s also a great way to get an exposure that I simply could not get on my own.
What advice would you give other young women who want to become freelancers?
Getting noticed is hard, and even more so for women. First, define what ‘successful’ means to you. If you have to work a side job in order to get your art projects made, do it! Believe in your work and never doubt yourself so that others do the same, question everything, and make things happen!
Love it? Check out Lina’s two brand-new Fiverr Gigs!