Animalators
IV
From Identity Visuals comes Animalators: curious conversations from the world of animation. On each episode, animator Zac Dixon sits down with members of the animation community to discuss life, art, business and the creative process.
Sarah Blank is a freelance animator, compositor, designer and sometimes-writer/director. In the episode, we chatted with her about CG and live action compositing, Travel Oregon and user interfaces in VR.

Lisha Tan is a Creative Director at The Mill in Los Angeles, CA. In the episode, we chatted about The Story of O.J., reading YouTube comments and managing creative limitations as a director.

Wesley Louis is a Director at The Line Animation out of London, UK. In this episode, we talked about The Line’s team structure, hiring freelancers and Super Turbo Atomic Ninja Rabbit.

Manddy Wyckens is a director and designer at Studio AKA. In episode 57, we talk with her about giving direction, doing things she loves and finding a voice.

Handel Eugene is a motion designer and instructor for Mograph Mentor and Otis College. In the episode, we talked about his journey to Full Sail University, failure motivating success, and his obsession with documenting life.

Joe Russ is a director, illustrator, motion designer and one of the developers of indie game Jenny LeClue.

Tuna Bora is an illustrator, production designer, and content creator living in LA. On the episode, we talked about working with Nexus Studios, Hussein Chalayan, and getting out of your head.

Alex Griendling is the co-owner of Lunar Saloon with his wife Meg. On the episode, we talked about movie posters, creative freedom, and making what you want.

Andrew Kramer of Video Copilot joined us for episode 52. We talked about rising to expectations, Intercept, Star Trek lens flares, and relying on the talents of a team. Links: Website: http://www.videocopilot.net/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/videocopilot Element 3D: https://aescripts.com/element-3d/ Action Movie FX: https://apple.co/1kehsvC SENTiNEL: https://vimeo.com/248374832 Intercept: http://bit.ly/2D4iwii Notes: -Video Copilot -Deciding what to work on -Pushing yourself -After Effects -Star Trek -Concept vs. tools used -Element 3D -Bad Robot/Super 8 -JJ Abrams -Rising to expectations -Outside perspectives -Star Wars: The Force Awakens -Relying on the talents of a team -Tutorials -The After Effects community -Action Movie FX -Client work -Managing time

Austin Mann is a travel photographer who is constantly on the move creating content for today’s best brands. He also founded Weld, a co-working space and community for creative pros. On the episode, we talk about fostering creative communities, how to face closed doors in your creative career and how to pitch yourself.   Links: Website: http://austinmann.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/austinmann WELD: http://www.weld.co/ Good To Great: http://amzn.to/2EbyHj5   Notes: -Weld -Co-working had just begun -We work better together -Creating trust -Collaboration -Asking good questions -Relying on others -Define where we are going -Good To Great -Blind spots -Collective imagination -Pitching ideas -iPhone 6 Project -Photography -What makes a good looking image -Injecting time -Interacting with light -Dream Client: Audi -Favorite Animated Film: Toy Story -What do the people you love think you do for a living: Travel Ph

Wesley Slover is the founder of Sono Sanctus, a sound design studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan. On the episode, we talk about Wesley’s music library, learning to think like a designer, and his love for game development.

Ross Plaskow, is a freelance animator and creator of Meat Mysteries. Having worked with the likes of Google, Target, Disney XD, Hulu, and Facebook, he told us a little bit more about his university beginnings, falling into freelance and the London animation scene.   Links: Website - www.rossplaskow.com Twitter - www.twitter.com/rossplaskow Instagram - /www.instagram.com/rossplaskow/ Meat Mysteries - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vC0O6WtmY8A Animade - https://animade.tv/ Greg Gunn - https://www.ggunn.com/ Art&Graft - https://artandgraft.com/ Moth - https://www.moth.studio/ Claudio Salas - http://www.claudiosalas.com/ Pencil Bandit - https://pencilbandit.com/ Ransomniac - https://twitter.com/RansomniacToons?lang=en Bouncy Smash - http://bouncysmash.com/   Notes: -Meat Myster

Daniela Negrín Ochoa and Iria López are the co-founders of Wednesday Studio based in London, UK. We talk about how they work together as a team, why they often exchange roles, and the importance of always having a personal project on hand. Links: Website - www.wearewednesday.com Twitter - www.twitter.com/WeAreWednesday Instagram - www.instagram.com/wednesday__studio/ Anchorpoint - www.anchorpointanimation.com/ Strange Beast - strangebeast.tv/ NFTS - nfts.co.uk/ Daniel Clarke - http://www.daniel-clarke.com/ The School of Life - https://vimeo.com/188632975 Motionographer article - http://motionographer.com/2017/09/06/better-together-wednesday-studio/?utm_campaign=coschedule&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=motionographer&utm_content=Better%20together:%20Wednesday%20Studio Notes: Wednesday Studio Fine Art beginnings Jumping off po

Lana Simanenkova is an animator and designer at Animade in London, UK. On the episode we talked the Animade created program, Boords, gathering inspiration from tumblr, and the Estonian animation scene.   Links : Website :  http://lana.land/ Twitter : https://twitter.com/LanaSketch Animade : https://animade.tv/   Notes : -Animade -Character work -Talking to Clients and being nervous -Storyboards and style frames -Boords -Boords drawing tools and photoshop -Gathering inspiration from tumblr. and dribble -Trends and avoiding them -Skill development -Awkward characters that are happy about their lives -Early interior design roots -Live drawing classes -Grade School interests -London -Animation and short-films at university -Estonian Animation -Freelancing in university -Twitter -The path to Animade -Difficulties in working with a team -Learning at Animade -Personal projects for skill development -TV Paint and 3DS -Hom

Lauren Hartstone is a new staff creative director at Sibling Rivalry, having worked with a myriad of companies like Stardust, LoyalKasper, MTV, Imaginary Forces, and Gretel. On this week’s episode we talked about the pros and cons of being scatterbrained, how she approaches a pitch, pulling references, and the necessity of learning from other people.   Links : Website : http://lhartstone.com/ Sibling Rivalry : http://siblingrivalrystudio.com/ Imaginary Forces : https://www.imaginaryforces.com/work LoyalKasper : http://www.loyalkaspar.com/ Gretel :  http://gretelny.com/   Notes : -Sibling Rivalry -Background : VH1 -Brands having multiple specialties -Studios moving towards blended operational lines -Pros and Cons of being scatterbrained -Difficulties in modern personal branding -MTV -Stardust -Recognizing the need to learn from other people -LoyalKasper -Approaching a pitch -Pre production process -Setting the style with a team/creative collaborative process -Where to find references -Imaginary Forces -Narrative work and title sequences -The Pacific -Dusk -Pitching something you’ve never attempted be -Perspective and being mindful of the bigger picture -

Bee Grandinetti is an independent graphic designer, animator and illustrator who is currently working on a team at Google Creative Lab. On the episode, we talked about her consistent desire to learn, her love for small companies and working in her PJs, and how she manages to still be social while working so many hours.   Links: Website:  http://www.beegrandinetti.com/ Motionographer Article - http://motionographer.com/2017/06/27/the-good-and-bad-about-life-as-an-expat/   Notes: -Hyper Island -Google Creative Lab -A new/experimental team of Google. -Blend talk -School Of Motion -Freelancing -Trend researching company working design -Typography -Fresh Content -Moved to Sweden   -Feeling fresh and inspired -Always wanting to learn -Student perspective>Industry Leader -Final projects -Get familiar with people in the industry -Prefers smaller companies -Loves working from home -Goals: Learn Animate & TV Paint. Acting classes. -Learning how to represent people-acting-research. -Ukulele. (always wanted to be in a band) - Dream Client: No one in particular, someone who pays me in a comfortable way, and to hire friends to work with. Give me deadlines. Creative freedom. Something I cares about. -

Daniel Savage is a designer and director based in Los Angeles, CA. On the episode, we talked about his deep love for Instagram, why animation is best done in the context of a team, and the reason for mixed parts.   Links: Website: http://somethingsavage.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/somethingsavage Motionographer Article: http://motionographer.com/2013/12/05/daniel-savage-wondersauce-yule-log-2-0/ Vanity Fair Article: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/05/welcome-to-the-hive Mixed parts: https://mixed.parts   Highlights: - Transition to LA from NY - Networking - Starting from scratch - Linkedin - Print Jobs - Animation is hard when you don’t have a team. - Illustration -> Designer - React through storytelling - Rebrand/more mature work as you get older - Fear of releasing work/pigeonholed - Instagram an extension of portfolio - Versatility - Presenting the work you want to be known for - Mini portfolios catered to individual clients - Working for Comedy Central - Yule Log project - StandardVision - mixed.parts - Sense of community/friendships/connections - How can we get the animation community together?

Joey Korenman is the founder of School of Motion and author of The Freelance Manifesto. During the episode, we talk about why and how he started School of Motion, a few tips from The Freelance Manifesto and his love for teaching, his kids and a short commute.     Links: The Freelance Manifesto http://www.freelance.how/ School of Motion: https://www.schoolofmotion.com/ Toil: http://toilboston.com Twitter: twitter.com/SchoolOfMotion   Highlights: - Freelance.how - Story behind his new book - Two parts: Why you should freelance & recipe for getting clients - How he got his start in motion - Opened a motion design studio: Toil - Doing awesome work, but depressed - Didn't like going into work every day - Felt like there was a lack of purpose - So he created School of Motion - Wrong Mountain Syndrome - The Perfect Day Exercise - Tired of trading my time for money - The beauty of releasing products & passive income - Started teaching at a college: Ringling College of Art and Design - School of Motion started - 30 days of After Effects - Business coach helped launch it - Ask people to buy the course before making the course - Webinar about what is now Animation Bootcamp -100 spots filled up - It sold out in ten minutes - Wired to always be c

On this week’s episode, we were live at Blend Fest 2017 with Andrew Kramer, Patrick Osborne and Erica Gorochow. During the panel, we talked about how originality is a byproduct of authenticity, how their is power in saying yes to something you may not be ready for and the importance of creating in new mediums.   Links: Andrew’s website http://www.videocopilot.net Patrick’s website http://www.bighappyaccident.com/blog/ Erica’s Website http://peprally.co Tilt Brush - https://www.tiltbrush.com This American Life - https://www.thisamericanlife.org   Notes: -#blendanimalators -Blend -Pursuit of originality   -Creation -Originality is a byproduct of authenticity -Passion -Taking risks/chances -Safe Ideas -Pushing boundaries -Experimentation -Process of elimination -Sometimes limitations/constraints are good (ex. Creating a new idea in the world of Star Wars...it has to look like it belongs in that world, but can be a brand new idea) -Problem solving -Storyboards in VR -TiltBrush -Trying new mediums

Ted & Adam are the founders of the NYC-based design and animation studio Block & Tackle. During the episode, we talk about what it’s like to work with FX, the difference between being fine artists and commercial artists, and how they balance the fear and unknown in projects.   Links: Website: http://blockandtackle.tv/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/blocktackletv   Highlights: -Work habits -Managing staff -Working with people you like -Letting employees do what they do best -Varying work in portfolio -Trying new trends & styles -Helping clients communicate what they need to communicate -Pitching ideas outside of our usual jobs -Making connections with people in the TV industry -How to balance marketing a business -Working with FX -Pitching -Background -Started company -Taking on ambitious ideas -Balancing fear and unknown in projects -Kraken project -What are you learning, how are you improving -Dream Client: Film titles -Favorite Animated Film: Wall-E -What does your family think you do: Kids think I goof off all day.   -Animalator: Aardvark