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.
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.
The beauty about Los Angeles is that the minute you look at the city’s calendar, there is definitely something going on. This Saturday I attended the opening of Heather Cook’s exhibit, “1D 5L 2D 6L 3D 7L 4D 8L 5D 1L 6D 2L 7D 3L 8D 4L” at the Praz-Delavallade gallery.
Two series of woven work was presented throughout three rooms. You are first presented with Cook’s Shadow Weaves and then lead to see the Weaving Drafts. The compositions are made out of yarn. The yarn is painted with acrylic before being woven together, creating a picture in which the image lives within the canvas as opposed to on the surface.
While standing in front of one of the huge woven creations and letting myself drown in the complex graphic imagery created by the weave, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own line of work.
There is a certain presence of chance in all finished work. The process of planning followed by building will be inevitably altered by interference. This sort of distortion that happens in the creation of every project is why shaping an idea into form is addicting and forever drives a creative mind to design.
If you have a free afternoon, stop by the Praz-Delavallade
The Heather Cook exhibit will be displayed until June 16th.
It was fun, but I’m not going to lie, it was also terrifying! It’s really weird to type in front of a live audience. I was constantly worried about misreading the questions, writing with typos, taking too long to answer! Phew!
Although the discussion was supposed to open to questions, I think I did take too long to type my answers, because the interview ran way over the 30 minute mark! Nonetheless, if you are still interested in catching up, you can still read the interview on VentureApphttps://va.chat/11kvw
Don’t forget to leave a clap if you enjoy the chat! 😃
Below is an abridged version of the interview. For the complete conversation visit the original Venture App discussion here: https://va.chat/11kvw
Hannah: Did you always know you would be in motion graphics? When you were a child, what did you think you’d end up being?
El: As a kid, I was all over the place. I wanted to be a lawyer, a doctor, a painter, a psychologist. As long as the profession included a brief case with papers and tools, I wanted it. I had no idea about motion graphics.
Hannah: So how did you end up getting involved in motion graphics?
El: I discovered motion at school. I was studying graphic design and ended up taking classes outside my major. I liked a bit of everything and was having a hard time focusing. When I realized that there was a profession where you can literally use everything from image to video to music, I was sold. Motion Graphics was for me.
Hannah: Would you consider yourself a creative person?
El: I would hope so! I am a designer after all. Then again, creativity has nothing to do with art. It’s more about problem solving, and coming up with alternate solutions regardless strict limitations.
Hannah: Do you think creativity is a requirement for your field?
El: Absolutely. It’s too competitive for someone who is not willing to be creative.
Hannah: In your opinion, can creativity be learned?
El: Yes. Although some of us might be innately more creative than others, creativity is definitely a skill that can be learned and developed. It’s a style of thought, and I think it’s something we never stop learning to do better.
Dallas: How have your travels affected your work El?
El: I think travel is a big part of my work. Traveling energizes me. It gives me a fresh perspective on life every time I return to my computer. It keeps my mood and health up, which contributes to productivity and high quality work.
Hannah: Do you think living in certain locations gives you an advantage when working in the field of motion graphics?
El: Yes. For sure. LA would be a good example. LA is the Mecca of motion graphics. Some of the greatest studios in the world are here. If you are looking to network and want to put your hands on some high end projects, this is the city to be in. However, with the increase of globalization, remote work opportunities and rapid technology improvement, it is becoming easier to work from all over the world.
Hannah: Only a small percentage of the motion graphics field is female. Why do you think your field is so male-dominated?
El: I think the male animator is a stereotype because of which many women aren’t interested in participating in fields like motion graphics. It sort of sounds like a dude’s club … which can have negative connotations in a women’s mind. Will they try to cut my pay? Are they going to give me the less interesting projects? Will I be taken seriously?
Luckily I think that today things are changing. The animation world has expanded and fields like motion graphics are slowly becoming more enticing for everyone. Women are encouraged to join a wider range of professional fields and are becoming more interested in participating in Motion graphics. As participation numbers grow, so will the respect for one another. We are learning to put our guards down and work together.
Hannah: What is it like working as a woman in this field?
El: It’s fun! Sometimes a little frustrating, at times a little disappointing. Overall however, I think it’s becoming better every day. Our society is slowly but surely moving towards a more inclusive atmosphere. We are starting to see inequality slowly shrink even in male dominated fields such as motion graphics. We still have ways to go, but the more women participate, the the faster we will be closing the gender gap we are still facing today.
Hannah: Have you encountered any particular struggles you think you wouldn’t have in your work life if you were male?
El: Definitely. Most of the struggles I experienced didn’t arise form malice, but from ignorance. Some people are not used to seeing women in my position.
The surprise of the unknown often causes uneasiness. I feel like I always need to work twice as hard to prove my value and I need to speak with twice the confidence to be listened to.
Hannah: What steps did you have to take to become a motion designer?
El: There are a million steps to any profession. In my case, once I discovered my interest in motion, I ended up interning at production company in Culver City called The Famous Group. I really enjoyed working there, and was a surrounded by an environment that was eager to teach me to do better. That internship gave me confidence to venture out into the entertainment industry as a freelance Motion Graphics artist.
Hannah: What is one of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on?
El: I have quite a few projects that I think about a lot. One project that was particularly fun was an animation for an Amazon sponsored Reddit AMA.
I had less than a week to design and animate a fun quirky animation about flight attendants. I was pulling two jobs at once which made things extra hard. There’s something fun about rush projects. You need to figure out how to make something good even if you don’t have the time to do so. It’s like solving a puzzle. I am a huge fan of Reddit, so this was one of those projects that I was passionate about. When you admire the client you’re working with, your work inevitably comes out better.
Hannah: Who are some interesting people you’ve worked with in the entertainment industry?
El: I work with fascinating people every day. Clients, producers, actors, fellow designers. Every person that contributes to the creative world has something to give. You can learn from your boss just like you can learn from your intern. I think the entertainment industry brings together people that are thirsty for challenge and eager to brighten the world with their energy. It’s an incredible group of people. I’m glad I found it.
Hannah: What advice would you give somebody interested in joining the field of motion graphics?
El: Don’t get stuck in the computer. You are the one inputing information into the computer, not vice versa. Your work will flourish if you give yourself a chance to absorb the world around you. Go out, sit at a park, go hiking, watch a concert, pet a dog, and most importantly talk to other people. You are designing for the world around you, so get to know it.
Hannah: I read in one of your blog posts that your New Year’s resolution is to concentrate on your work/life balance and “being more conscientious of my time, and learning to be more productive by adapting a more fulfilling lifestyle.” Could you tell us a bit more about that?
El: I went on a 2 week trip to Scotland. When I got back, everyone seemed so stressed and angry. Friends and colleagues all seemed to be on edge. It made me realize what state of mind I must have been in before taking that break. When I was back at work I was full of positive energy and I was working twice as fast effortlessly
I had the same situation happen when I went on another trip a few months later. Only this time, those who went on the trip with me experienced the same surprise when they got back to LA. This made me realize that It wasn’t just me. It’s how humans are. Being happy and relaxed results in higher quality work. The more you work on yourself, the more you can give back to the world around you.
Hannah: Do you think your field is one particularly easy to get overworked in?
El: Yes. The entertainment industry is brutal. Unless you push back, it swallows you whole. Companies have no problem “saving money” by throwing staggering work amounts on a single person. Until you choose to live your own life, you will be asked to pull long nights, skip lunches and accept lower wages. It’s harsh and it took me a few years to understand how to respect my time and health
Hannah: What’s coming up for you in the future? Any interesting new projects or travels on the horizon?
El: Travels are always on the horizon! Although I haven’t quite figured out what my next destination will be just yet.
I’ve been taking notes on my professional experiences throughout the years. I think I’ll start writing a little more about what I learned in my career so far. I’ve been lucky to have met really wonderful people in the entertainment industry. I received support and priceless lessons along the way. I’d like to give back through teaching and telling stories about my own professional experiences.
Hannah: Ok, last question for today… How do we keep track of you? Website? Twitter?
El: I have a website at el-ogorodova.com and i TRY to use twitter when I remember to @e1ena29
Hannah: Thanks so much for chatting with me today, El!