It is June 21st 2021. Considering my sporadic appearance on this blog, the summer solstice seems like a good day to post an update.
Here is a speedy summery of 2021’s first half.
New Year. New Company. Goat Knight is here.
In February I co-started a production company with a focus on documentary content. The company is called Goat Knight. and our slogan is “Climb Higher”. It’s going to be awesome (Just saying). My role will continue to mainly be that of a creative. I am truly excited about our upcoming projects, stay tuned.
As a jury member of the Indigo Design Award competition, I was asked to leave a comment for the winning animation “Arab News En Français”. My comment was published on Arab News. Check out the animation directed by Simon Khalil, it’s worth it.
I had the great pleasure of being nominated to speak with Shoutout LA. Interviews can be pretty interesting as they encourage you to stop and reflect about what it is you really think. Check out the full interview at Shoutout LA.
I had the great honor of being asked to organize and design an art exhibit for award-winning Spanish painter, Ana Westley. Organizing a (typically) social event during a pandemic is no easy task. I designed take-away cards for the visitors, as well as, created a promo video that quickly spread on social media and local websites. I also created a 3D model of the show that was used by the venue staff to built the exhibit. Regardless of the social restrictions, the exhibit had a good turnout including the president of the (AEPE) Spanish Association of Painters and Sculptors. I highly recommend you check out some of Westley’s art at awestley.com. My personal favorites are “Ayuda”, “2020”, and “Fuente sin fondo”, although I hear the first two have already been sold.
What’s up with mograph?
With good fortune, my mograph work has been busy and steady, (Which I will gladly use as an excuse for not being able to stay current with my social media posts). Famous Group recently posted a Milwakee Bucks project I have been involved in earlier this year. Check it out on their instagram @famousgroupla.
To sum it all up:
There’s more to share but, I think I have reached the limit for acceptable length of a “speedy-summary” post.
To sum it all up: The year has been kind to me so far, I continue to love design, and I am eager to keep on building.
One of my favorite projects this year, turned out to be one that I have been a part of for the past 5 years. NFL works with The Famous Group to design, animate and produce a series of animations for NFL’s supported initiatives throughout the football season.
2020’s message was that of strength, positivity but also, of humanity. We’re all in this together and, as NFL’s tagline said this year, “It takes all of us”.
Working from home in 2020 most certainly changed my perspective on many things, including my thoughts on how to approach a project I have been a part of for many years.
Working outside of the usual office environment pushed me into a more playful and experimental state of mind. This could have been because there was no one looking, or perhaps it was my attempt to win over the dullness of being quarantined in an apartment for weeks. It was probably both those things.
Torn, crumpled and taped paper carpeted the floor, along with paint stains, streaks and splashes. The result was a unique composition with custom textures created for the sole purpose of this animation alone.
Clean bold graphics softened by an imperfect but human touch. 2020’s NFL’s initiative animation is a full immersion into a tactile and familiar environment. Elements draw on and scratch off, as they lead the animation at an energetic pace.
This was a fun project and an experience I will certainly be taking with me into my future work.
As usual, it was a total pleasure working with the team at The Famous Group and The National Football League.
I can’t put in words how wonderful it is to be able to fly away into a magical world when reality’s light dims. It felt good to turn off the news, pause the podcasts and turn off my phone notifications just for a bit.
I am feeling very thankful for my profession today.
Being a motion graphics artist by profession, I am approaching this project like I would an animation.
What’s a motion graphics artist?
A motion graphics artists (aka mographer), is a professional who works with the moving image. A mographer can be either a designer, an animator or both, (as is my case).
A mographer applies motion to graphic design elements. eg: Typography can be used in a film’s title sequence, or a logo can build up at the end of a commercial. There are countless examples of motion graphics in all of our digital media.
My process for my comic thus far:
1. Write a script 2. Roughly sketch the frames out.
What is a Frame?
It is in the artist’s power to crop into a world and lend his/her vision to the viewer.
In animation, film or any other form of moving art, elements are framed to form a visually pleasant composition. Apart from aesthetics, framing can also position elements tactically within a composition to form a story.
If there is motion happening, you may need more than one frame to clarify a storyline. Frames placed in a sequential order will reveal a sequence of events.
If we were to simplify this: The frame is your “what?” And the sequence is your “how?”
Like in animation, comics also use framing to tell a story. Sometimes one vignette is enough, at others you need several steps to tell a story.
3. Once I have a good idea of what is happening in all my frames, I begin to isolate elements and draw each piece individually.
Why do I draw my elements out separately?
For starters, it’s because I am new to illustration and need to focus on each item separately. I start with a pencil and tracing paper, then draw and re-draw until I reach something I like. I trace my final drawing with a marker (this takes me quite a few tries!).
Second, animation has accustomed me to a workflow that prioritizes efficiency. If many of my scenes are going to happen in the same setting, I don’t want to keep redrawing the scenes from scratch every time. By building a library of elements, I will be able to re-use bits and pieces, helping me speed up the technical aspect of things. This allows me more time for storytelling.
Once I have all my pieces, I scan and vectorize all the elements. (Vectorizing the images gives me the flexibility to resize and reshape elements without losing definition.)
4. After having made any adjustments digitally, I am ready to composite my scene.
So here we are on week 2 of my making a comic from scratch challenge! I wouldn’t be surprised if in time my process changes. Processes change through out any project, let alone a new medium. I am excited to keep learning and sharing my experience with you.
If you have experience you’d like to share or any questions, I’m all ears.
The wonderful thing about being a freelancer is that you get to work on a myriad of different projects in a year. One day you can be designing stadium graphics, the next you’re animating ads on Instagram. Everything can vary from physical display scale, to type of audience.
I found myself walking through a hotel made out of hand painted cardboard. Every room is filled with an incredible amount of detail, hinting at the type of guest staying there. If you keep your eyes open you might spot a gun, or drugs, fancy little slippers, a phonograph, a box of chocolates, matches, cat food, and a multitude of other objects revealing stories. Walking through the hotel lobby, guest rooms, hallway and bar felt like walking within a series of drawings. A funny mix of fantasy and reality settles in as all the objects are so familiar yet, completely fictional. The walls separating the rooms are paper thin, giving the exhibit it’s title.
Zoey Taylor and David Connelly (members of Dosshaus), are part of the exhibit — literally. Zoey was sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed in room 101, writing in a journal. Behind her, a suitcase full of cash. David was lying face down by a film camera in room 105. Not far from him, a desk with RX pill bottles and several alarm clocks.
The detail and the innumerable amount of items in the hotel was humorous. Entire personalities were whipped up from common “stuff”. Every item relatable to anyone yet, the combination of said items set characters apart. We categorize each other and identify through the things we display. We surround ourselves with stuff, in a constant attempt to voice our identities. Whether what we come up with is real or fictional remains ambiguous.
If you haven’t seen the “Paper Thin Hotel” yet, it’s definitely worth a stroll before the show ends.