Emma’s internship Week 4

Explorer reaching the edge of the jungle

The final week has arrived. I’m surprised with how quickly it has passed over these summer months and how much I have done and learned in such a short space of time.

This week was a continuation of the last week, despite knowing that a full animation for Play-Doh day was not possible to be made in time, we have considered the idea of creating a simple- yet fun GIF using Play-Doh. A Game of Thrones GIF “Uncle Benjens One Trick Pony” by Eran Mendel sparked this idea. It was an interesting challenge to come up with an idea for a GIF that was simple, visually entertaining, and created a loop.

'uncle benjen one trick pont' eran mendal game of thrones gif

 

However we came to the conclusion that we just wouldn’t be able to create something  in time for the day, however we know for next year to plan ahead and now have some idea that could be developed when needed.

I also began an illustration for a blog about solar energy that Kim was writing, with this illustration I used colour surge, something I had learned about just the week before, I also experimented with a simple vector style that would be easy to animate.

Solar energyv2

After finishing this illustration I continued to work on the KEA Explainer video. Reworking the earlier storyboard from the previous week with the research I had done to improve it. Alongside thinking about the visuals, I also had to consider how it would be animated and how each scene would transition to the next, as this was one of the first animation storyboards I had worked on it was quite the challenge.

Though this week was the end of my internship, it was far from the end of working for KEA. This week I got my first taste of client work, and it was a big one. I got the opportunity to work on a project for Crown Paints; towards the end of the week I began sketching up a design to send to the client for them to give feedback on the style of the animation, during this process I experimented further with some illustration styles and looked into applying textures.

Thus ends my internship and I begin the next week in part time employment, I have done and learned so much in a short space of time and I know that I will continue to create and learn and only improve as an illustrator, expanding my skills and portfolio.

 

Emma’s internship Week 3

Desk with a laptop, drawing tablet and pen, notebook, cup, earphones, dice, and post-it notes

(Written Aug 30th 2017)

Week 3 has come and gone, each week passing quicker than the previous as I become adjusted to life in KEA.

I still have many tasks to do and am becoming more involved in the workings of KEA; this week I began devising ideas for the upcoming Play Doh Day on the 16th September, the freedom of the task make it difficult to come up with a single solid idea as there were so many possibilities that this project could lead to.

Kim helped with these ideas by us playing a game with a set of cards with random illustrations and a set of three action dice each. We selected three cards at random and rolled our dice, then with a timer we wrote down as many narrative ideas as we could, inspired by the cards and dice. This allowed us to create interesting and playful narratives setting a path to how we could develop these particular ideas to create a stop motion Play Doh animation.

However after developing the most favoured narrative and drawing out a rough storyboard, it came to light that it was too long and that we would not have the time to create this animation in time for Play-Doh Day. Instead we have opted for a looping animation yet still aiming for a playful feel and leave the original idea for another day.

I also continued developing the concept for the KEA explainer video, writing out the visuals alongside the script to properly explain my ideas and also help myself imagine how the visuals would flow and work out the timings for each visual. However some of the visuals were still too literal, I have been researching into how I can avoid this and other ways that I can visualise particular scenes in the script, by looking into animation Youtube channels such as the TED Ed channel and Charisma on Command Channel.

Though alongside this Kim had put together a research task for myself to look into the different storyboard styles, which is something I have little experience with. However I have always enjoyed creating narratives behind my illustrations.

I discussed these different styles with Kim mentioning which ones I particularly liked and disliked while she also spoke of the reasons and ideas behind the storyboards and why some worked and some didn’t.

Still now I am learning so much and developing how I work best as an illustrator, whist improving upon other areas such as storyboarding. I have been given enough freedom to express my ideas, yet being given enough challenges that I am needing to do plenty of research and not settling on the first idea I come up with.

I still have plenty to do, with projects to complete and projects to begin as I continue to develop as a creative individual and become more involved with KEA and upcoming projects.

Emma’s internship Week 2

4 panel comic of when you are excited for the bank holiday but the weather ruins it.

 

(Written Aug 22nd 2017)

The second week has passed and my internship already feels like it’s flying by. I already feel that I have done so much in such a short space of time, at KEA I am always given tasks to do so there is never a second where I don’t have anything to do, nor do these tasks include making cups of tea (this I do voluntarily) that some internships are known to include. This week I was tasked with creating an Illustration for the upcoming Bank holiday, with support I brainstormed ideas which – as I had a lot more freedom with coming up with the concept- I was able to come up with multiple ideas and I quite enjoyed this task. The final design was a small four panel comic that depicted that excitement of being able to go out and enjoy the bank holiday weekend but then being bitterly disappointed to find out that the weather doesn’t particularly care about your plans to visit the beach and continues to rain like the rest of the year.

After completing this task I began work on creating the design concept of a KEA explainer video, I started off by simply reading through the script that was provided so that I understood what was being explained and that was able to influence any design decisions and the overall narrative. I also began to research current visual trends for an up-to-date look, this was also quite educational for myself as this gets me to also keep up to date with any trends but also about what is happening in both the illustration and design community, alongside with strengthening my illustration skills by stepping outside my comfort area.

Just by what I have been able to achieve in just a couple week confirms the development I am already making over the internship, and seeing all that I will be doing over not only the remainder of my internship but after that I am positive that I will continue to develop not only in my illustrations as I start to be able to work faster and maintain a level of quality, but with my research and business skills.

Emma’s internship Week 1

Illustration of a university graduate after just receiving their certificate, questioning if a job also comes along with it.

What I thought would happen when I graduated and then what did happen.

 

(Written Aug 15th 2017)

You step up onto that stage, hundreds of eyes watching you as your name is called and you’re walking across the stage towards the Chancellor who is holding your certificate waiting to congratulate you (though you’re too busy concentrating on not falling over). Only afterwards once your back in your seat staring down at the certificate on your lap does it click that this is it- you made it- You’re now officially a graduate. Then it dawns on you that you that now you’re no longer a student, just another unemployed person with a degree and a large amount of debt.

However, I was a little more fortunate than some of my fellow classmates as just a couple weeks earlier I had attended my first (and currently last) interview from the vast amount of design jobs I had applied to so far – having little luck with responses. Yet when I received an email from KEA, which I recall applying for the Illustration Graduate Work Placement I couldn’t help but feel excited upon being offered an interview.

Jump to the day after the interview and I was called receiving an offer for the job, this was incredibly surprising considering I hadn’t officially graduated yet at this point- I wasn’t much expecting anything for months after graduation, imagining that I would end up working in a bar or restaurant again for a while.

I consider myself lucky to get this opportunity and my foot in the door of the creative industries this early on.

Working for Kim Emson Animates so far has been a steady journey. Though it has only been a week, there is so much more I am looking forward to experience and get involved with. As the business is still small in terms of the number of employees I am able to work one on one with Kim to improve my development as an illustrator and gain a closer look at how a creative business is ran. So far I have already done multiple illustrations and researched into the inner working of KEA, and even brainstormed ideas for future projects.

I am looking forward to what the next few weeks of my internship entails and will continue to record my journey with KEA so that I may look back and see how much I have developed.

 

Visual trends to look out for in 2018

Title illustration for 2018 visual trends

Every year new trends come to light; previous trends may stand the test of time while other may wither away after not too long. As seen all across the internet we see many bloggers and designers report on the possible trends for the upcoming year; 2017 we saw new trends emerge or grow within animation: motion graphics, illustration, virtual reality and augmented reality. Overall visual design such as the use of “Colour surge”, minimal design, and the evolution on flat design aka flat design 2.0 also made an appearance this year. Here are just some of the current and upcoming trends that may affect animation over 2018.

 

Dynamic Typography

Typography has always been a huge part of design and has always been a long standing trend that won’t be going anytime soon.

While typography has always been a huge part of web and poster design, animation is now combining with typography to create beautiful, flowing messages as another way to convey the message of the animation. Imagination is the only limitation when it comes to animating typography and with the variety of font and styles, dynamic typography with is a big winner in animation in 2018.

Love Hate:Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.18.04

 

Alphabetic:Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.22.29

 

GIFS

GIFs have blown up in the past couple years, thanks to the popularity with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter allowing users to use this medium effortlessly to improve their posts and convey specific emotions and reactions that an emoji might not allow.

Animation is able to take hold of this popular use of GIFs to be more creative in what they are trying to say and is a great way to display humorous, yet simple illustrations.

Boords is coming!: 

Olivia Huynh:

 

Retro

We saw the a retro style in both graphics and animation make a rise during 2017 through both animation and motion graphics, however with the release of the second season of Stranger Things back in October has only aided to sky rocket the popularity of this trend extending its stay through to 2018. Animation gives a refreshing update to the style yet still maintaining that nostalgic feel, and is an effective way to convey a message to an audience.

Yeaaah! Studio Spring 2017 Lookbook:Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.44.00

 

Double

2018 we’ll be seeing double because of these upcoming trends seen all across design and could also be effectively used in illustration and animation.

 

Double exposure: This trend has been around for a few years now it still can amaze an audience when used correctly and has begun to evolve to maintain interest.

 

Double Light: This is an effective way to transform simple, boring graphics into something new and modern. This can be achieved through channel splitting, or using two sources of coloured light.

 

Double Exposure Duotone: This is an example of the evolution of “Double Exposure” spoken about earlier. This is the combination of Double Exposure and Duotone (Which was also quite popular over 2017), this can be achieved by overlapping two images and two colour channels, creating a bold image.

 

 

Glitches

A trend that has taken the digital world by storm, what was once annoying and unwanted is now sought after. A popular use when it comes to horror, it has also started to be used in animation, effectively used in 2D animation where it would seem more likely for a glitch to take place and is something that will be seen in the upcoming year.

An incredible example of this effect taking place in animation would be “I am Here” by Eoin Duffy, he brings a whole new feel to 2D animation with the correct use of glitching to build up a tense atmosphere:

I am Here:

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.54.16

 

 

Colour transitions/ gradients

A trend that was first seen back in 2016 when Instagram changed its logo to its now colourful gradient, although at first it received mixed opinions nobody would have guess its rise in the coming years.

Now that flat design has begun to bore audiences, they are craving for something new from this trend to continue to grab their attention.

Colourful gradients are one of the simpler, yet effective way to add a fresh coat of paint to minimal, flat design when using bold combinations.

TEDxNingbo Opening:

Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 10.55.12

Animatedly generating awareness about sustainable energy truths

Recently, E-on conducted a survey of homeowners regarding sustainable energy, and the results are positive and interesting giving reason for solar energy providers to invest in a marketing strategy.

The details have been included in many articles;

The survey of 2,000 homeowners conducted by utility E.On found that when asked about the types of smart technologies they would want in their homes, four in ten (44%) said they’d like solar panels and/or an electricity battery storage system by the end of the decade.

 

This beat out the likes of smart lighting systems (35%) and an electric vehicle charging point (13%), despite the obvious synergies between the technologies.

 

In addition, those asked who already have solar (9%) highly praised the technology for the improvements it has made to their homes. More than three quarters (76%) said they’re saving money; almost two thirds (65%) said their home is more energy efficient; and almost a third (30%) said they’ve seen the value of their property increase as a result of having solar panels installed.

 

However, the survey also found that many of the myths regarding solar that have long dogged the industry continue to persist. Almost a fifth (17%) of those questioned claimed solar panels only generate electricity when it’s sunny rather than during ambient levels of irradiance, while 11% wrongly believed that solar panels don’t work in cold climates. [source]

Why is this insight useful?

It is excellent news that the demand for sustainable energy is there for the taking, but the lack of knowledge and understanding and misconceptions are clear blockers to sales for sustainable energy product providers, as we all make buying decisions based on what we know and understand. Those who are prepared to stand out from the crowd and educate their prospects will win the biggest chunk of the demand for solar. With no current consumer awareness program, it’s up to you the product providers to do so, as E-on have been pushing.

 

However, the article gives great information to show the financial reasons for investing in sustainable energy, but its not clear how widespread that knowledge or understanding. You would expect an existing solar owner to know this already, perhaps potential prospects don’t yet understand this, and this is preventing further sales. So it would be beneficial to promote this factual information to prospects for solar energy.

 

I should think some of the financial benefits of solar energy are dogged by the feed in tariffs change, so you really need to shout about the financial benefits. It is a shame that there is no national consumer awareness initiative from the government, but this is more reason for you to really get out there to your potential customers!

 

The next job would be to educate and promote the truths about solar energy working using daylight, not sunshine, so even residents in Manchester where the rain sounds like home can benefit from solar energy. This combined with the financial benefits will be a powerful combination.

 

Now this is just homeowners! How do block management or commercial property owners feel? Well they are most likely a residential home owner too, so if you educate the homeowners, that is your access into the commercial side.

 

But how do we promote these inspiring facts?

Through the power of animation! Kim Emson Animates can create an animation that is simple to understand yet easy and enjoyable to watch and absorb. The animation will be created bespoke to you making it clear to the viewer why they should choose you and not your competitors, as there are many solar energy providers and installers and how are you going to stand out? If you invested in animation, your prospects would be suitably impressed that you took the time to explain the details in an interesting and appealing way.

 

E-on has also teamed up with the Gorillaz, demonstrating how solar energy and animation is a great match!  The animation is to celebrate the launch of a solar powered studio. However, the animation is set in a desert, to further cloud the myth about the panels operating in daylight not sunshine.

 

Check it out!

 

If you would really like to sell more solar panels and batteries through creating an animation to combat the myths of solar, then get in touch!!

 

Animatedly Strategic Planning days

team meetings animation

Do you have a burning desire to express your creative side?  Make something you will be proud of? You would if you had the time, and your job isn't too creative?

Read more

Growing pains?

animation can help your business video GIF

It is exciting times here, as I have decided I want to grow my business. One way in which I am going to do that is through recruiting some new talent with different skill sets from mine. My first employee will be an illustrator.

 

Recruiting

I am growing slowly and recruiting slowly; to ensure both my first employee and me are the right fit for each other.  Although it feels like a big step, I am happy in the knowledge that the role will grow over a long-term strategy, alongside business growth, and only a particular type of person will enjoy this. Having the right culture fit is important to me, with some talent that I can nurture and mould into a superstar.

How to nurture a happy work place?
How to nurture a happy work place

Freelancer to business woman

The freelancer life can give so much freedom, yet be lonely, for a long time I have enjoyed no commute and the freedom of cooking fresh for lunch, rather than grotty sandwiches or the same meal deal each day from the local shop. But now on the flip side, I am looking forward to bouncing ideas around and discussions on the possibilities for each project, as we build up trust, respect and responsibility together. The very exciting thing is that I charge for my time, and suddenly now I have pretty much double the time available; so the risk doesn’t seem so scary!

Growth

The role will slowly but surely develop from an internship, to a part time role, to a full time role. This means that at each stage, both parties are able to assess what is right for them, as it will consist of many first times for both!

I have received some criticism for offering an internship, which of course was horrible to receive, but was from a very negative person. But I hope I am demonstrating here a strategy for sustainable, longevity and steady growth, fair for both parties. I regularly receive enquiries for students looking for work experience almost as often as I do from companies looking for animation, so now I’m able to turn it into a realistic opportunity for both of us.

I would be interested in hearing other small business’ strategies for growth and recruitment.

 

Retention

I am also aware that there may be bigger opportunities out there, so I’m looking to retain the right candidate. I’m going to offer a perk program, as well as personal development coaching.

It’s exciting times here at KEA, and I would enjoy hearing about your own strategies for staff retention too.