Upwork – This Is How

Upwork – This Is How

Upwork – This Is How

In collaboration with Upwork’s internal creative team, we unveiled an animated video series aimed at empowering freelancers with valuable insights about how to build their freelance business: from determining rates to acquiring essential skills, and of course — securing job opportunities on the Upwork platform.

The Brief

The brief from Upwork was to help create a fun and entertaining educational series that provides tips on how to be a successful freelancer.

To make this stand out, we chose to transform our real-life freelancers into illustrated characters and animate them, instead of showing docu-style, “talking heads” on camera.

Freelancer: Rob, Photographer

Illustrator: Alina

The Freelancers

The Upwork YouTube series was designed to showcase the experiences of distinguished freelancers, who generously shared their stories to help guide others in navigating the highly competitive landscape of the freelancing industry.

Illustrator: Studio Muti

Illustrator: Studio Muti

An extensive array of remote interviews were conducted on a global scale, resulting in the selection of five exceptional freelancers for the final in-depth discussions.

These interviews were facilitated using the Riverside platform, where participants were presented with thought-provoking questions exploring topics such as their journey into freelancing, the challenges they encountered, and various aspects of their professional development.

The Illustrators

In addition to freelance talent, the project needed unique, skilled freelance illustrators to imbue the content series with distinct design elements, elevating its visual appeal.

After conducting remote interviews with a large number of illustrators across the globe, five individuals were ultimately selected.

The illustrators assisted in the design of characters and scenes for our chosen freelancers. Upwork and our creative team carefully evaluated the personalities and unique attributes of the freelance talent, selecting objects that would best represent them in animation. 

Freelancer: Kaitlyn, Strategic Growth Consultant

Illustrator: Lex Van Tol

Audio Rough Cuts

Upon the completion of interviews with the freelance talent, we produced preliminary audio string outs and rough cuts.

As a result, this process produced a series of audio files that formed the foundation for the subsequent development and implementation of animatics.


Upon receiving approval for the finalized audio rough cuts, Tool transitioned to the animatics stage of the project. Instead of relying on static storyboards, the decision was made to employ animatics (dynamic storyboards) to help stakeholders at Upwork better visualize the process.

The team utilized the illustrations provided by the illustrators and incorporated them into their animatics. This method offered a comprehensive visual representation of the material, allowing the team to meticulously assess and enhance aspects such as narrative structure, pacing, and timing.


Once animatics were approved, the animation phase began. Utilizing the original illustrators' files, we created distinctive animations for the characters, ensuring each one possessed a unique flair and style.

Freelancer: Farah, Malay Linguist & Voice Artist

Illustrator: Jason

Title Cards & Lower Thirds

Mikey Burton, an illustrator on Upwork, was hired to develop a cohesive collection of art cards for the series. The specific deliverables included 3 main title cards, divider card templates, and lower thirds.

These cards aimed to introduce each video, segment individual sections, offer character context through lower thirds, and conclude every segment. 

Music Supervision & Sound FX

One Union was hired to assist with music and sound fx, focusing on capturing the BS Hotline's quirky and playful tone. The aim was a fun, engaging, and memorable audio experience with lively, spirited music, avoiding a corporate feel. Ultimately, the music embodied the fun, quirky, and engaging spirit of the BS Note line.