So long July! We’ve reached the end of Motion & Animation Month, where we have been highlighting ADC Members who dabble in the moving image. They make up a much smaller percentage of our community than , say, graphic designers or art directors, but their work is no less stunning.
Our final ADC Member to be featured this month is aBrooklyn-based animator who brings a lot of vibrancy to his projects.
Where did your interest in motion and animation begin? How did it grow into something you could see yourself doing professionally?
I guess my initial interest came from making music and skate videos and with friends and slowly learning about what animation and motion graphics really could be. I got offered to do some opening titles and a promo for MTV when I was working back home in Australia and really stated to see how exciting it all was. Animation is a really satisfying process and that really drives my interest. It’s such a broad industry and there’s constantly things you can learn and improve on as a designer and animator which keeps it super interesting to me.
How much of your ability is self-taught versus through schooling?
I had a more traditional graphic design schooling where animation wasn’t much of a focus. we learned all the fundamental aspects of design, which actually gave me a really great grounding, but not much of an animation skill set. Most of my animation know how was gained through doing, asking questions, learning online, and watching a lot of reference.
How would you best describe your style? How did you foster that style?
My personal style is more reduced and rooted in classic graphic design principles. I love to see what can be removed from a frame as opposed to added whilst still telling the story or delivering a message. This process of boiling down an idea to its bare essentials is a great challenge, and in my experience usually creates more fun, thoughtful and unexpected moments.
“This process of boiling down an idea to its bare essentials is a great challenge, and in my experience usually creates more fun, thoughtful and unexpected moments.”
Tools of the trade: what items make your job a million times better? Types of pads, pens, tablets, programs etc.
I guess like most people I start with simple sketches and then take those into the computer and flesh them out, but more recently I’ve been using a Cintiq that you can draw directly on. It’s a pretty amazing tool as you can draw 1:1 on your screen! It’s also made me completely useless with a mouse these days!
Which project are you most proud of and why?
I really enjoyed working on a recent project at Buck for Google Material Design explaining the principles Google established for designers regarding color theory. We wanted make a piece that was a balance of playful and fun abstraction whilst also articulating Google’s system for color. It’s very much graphic design in motion.
We worked closely with sound studio Antfood which was a great collaboration. We crafted the piece in tandem sharing our work in progress which established this great back and forth and a really fun result.
What’s the most challenging part of your career?
One of the most challenging parts is usually pitching, trying to find a unique perspective or voice or even visual style is always a tough task, but more often than not gives birth to some great ideas and executions! Animation is also a really time consuming process so your social life can suffer sometimes too!
How would you describe what you do to someone who has nothing to do with creativity?
I make the pictures that move.
Where do you go to find inspiration and motivation?
I find inspiration from loads of things, friends, photographs, illustrators, memes, comedy, quotes, really anything can be inspiring. I’m really into kitsch things in 99c stores too! I also love hardware stores; I like the smell of them for some reason.
But I always find motivation from my peers. Whether we’re working on a pitch together or in production on a job, it’s always a very team based process. There’s always a nice balance of collaboration and competition to keep things interesting.
“Whether we’re working on a pitch together or in production on a job, it’s always a very team based process. There’s always a nice balance of collaboration and competition to keep things interesting.”
Which professionals in your field do you most admire? What is it about their work that moves you?
I really respect a lot of directors that utilize a strong visual language like Jonny Kelly, Nicolas Ménard, Wong Ping, Rubber House, Saiman Chow. But to be honest there are so many great studios making good work these days it’s almost hard to keep up!
I really admire work that utilizes humor and embraces simplicity, I have a really short attention span these days so I always tend to love the pieces that are short and sweet!
At the end of the day, what do you love most about motion and animation?
I love the sense of magic and surprise that things in motion can illicit. It’s really fun to see how you can make someone laugh or react to a bunch of simple geometric shapes moving around. It has a great balance of art/design and technology and it’s exciting to see how many platforms animation and motion graphics is now working across – there’s amazing potential!
It’s also a great environment to work with a lot of different illustrators, animators, developers, technologists, 3D artists etc. It’s super fun when you’re all working together to tackle a problem and a great feeling when everything comes together (hopefully!).