If you follow “motion design Twitter”, you’ve probably encountered the work of Austin Bauwens, co-founder of Ravie Studio.
At 21, running his own 8-person studio, Austin is a bonafide motion design influencer. In this interview Joey explores how Austin dropped out of college 2 years early to focus on Ravie and how he’s seemingly cracked the code of using social media to actually get client work. They’ll also dig into a business model that Ravie tried out, where they offered clients a subscription to motion design services. Check it out below!
In this episode of the School of Motion Podcast, Austin Bauwen, co-founder of Ravie Studio shares his journey in motion design and his personal experience with starting a creative business. From his early start, dropping out of college to pursue motion design full-time, to the stellar mograph work he and his team are doing today, this interview runs the gamut.
Here's the scoop:
- So, Austin…he's just 21 and already running a studio with a team of eight. Crazy, huh? Especially since he left college two years early to go all in on Ravie. But his mograph journey actually started when he was just 12, doodling around with design for kicks.
- Austin, who is completely self-taught, delved into After Effects during his senior year of high school. He started out drawing frames by hand, but once he got a taste of After Effects, there was no going back. And where do you think he learned all his motion graphics techniques? Yup, you got it — good old YouTube tutorials.
- Find out what you're really good at. For Austin, it was whipping up some seriously cool, speedy video content. Putting it out on YouTube really helped Ravie's growth take off. With this visibility on YouTube, they've managed to reel in both big-agency folks and direct-to-brand businesses.
- A lot of the agency's growth comes from YouTube and social media - and that's without spending a dime on ads or promos. YouTube's been steady, but Instagram's a tougher cookie. Sure, a big boost on Instagram can do wonders, but it's a tough act to keep up and it can even out eventually. One thing they're doing to really focus on social media is to post as the whole squad, under the name Ravie, rather than as solo designers.
- Even though Austin shares the company ownership with his co-founder, he doesn't really play the "big boss" role. He's all about bringing in folks with serious talent. By keeping things chill and open, he's made it easier for the team to sort out any bumps along the way.
- Getting a business model that works is usually a game of hit and miss. After operating on a project-by-project basis, Ravie attempted to transition to a subscription-based design service. After facing issues establishing a recurring revenue model (as discussed in detail in the podcast), they went back to getting paid per project. This way, they could bag bigger paychecks and keep their work top-notch, without feeling boxed in by a subscription model.
- As the chat concludes, Austin explores how the landscape of motion graphics education is evolving. While mograph learning resources have become increasingly accessible, standing out as a designer has become more challenging. You gotta have that fire and gut feeling to really differentiate yourself.
- The podcast wraps around the ‘future of motion design’ as a whole. After ten years of explainer videos, maybe we're heading for a boom in experiential events? It's gonna be cool to see how that part of the industry shapes up.
Big thanks to Austin for the cool chat - and shout out to Ravie. They're gonna rock the future!