Hypnotic aqua lines and Kaleidoscopes
So in today’s showcase I spoke to motion graphics artist and graduate David Wheeler. His Animated sketches on instagram really caught my eye for their trippy designs and ambient music. His body of work is mesmerising and generally a lot of fun to look at. I wanted to know what was the inspiration behind his Instagram series and what has been his experience so far a year after graduating.
Tell us a bit about yourself and How did you get started in animation?
David: My name is David Wheeler and I started college in 2009 and did 3D animation for 2 years and then I started a foundation degree in 2011. So in my 2nd year of university, I realised that 3D animation wasn’t really something that I wanted to do and realised that I can use it in a different way. So I wanted to learn 2D animation and so on and so forth in after effects. In my third year I focused more on the 2D with 3D and collaborated the two in my projects. When I graduated it was really difficult to find work in freelance and design. So I got the ball rolling with a large company in London and it went on until the end of the year, and then I worked with Rightmove one of the biggest estate agents in the UK. As I went into this year I worked more in office spaces in London with small knit teams and picked up new skills here and there and just generally networked myself a lot better than I would have done last year. My showreel grew and grew and its still growing now and I obviously don’t have time to update it. It’s a bit mental when I compare myself to now to what I was like last year. I mean sure I do have periods where I am very inactive but when I compare it to last year where I had nothing and I had to start with nothing and it was such a difficult way to start when you have very little in terms of corporate or professional animations.
What are some of the benefits and challenges to freelancing?
David: Scheduling your own time. The benefit is I guess you can make up your own time and I can obviously do as I please but I do have to satisfy the client and you obviously want to get everything delivered on time. I can go wherever and I can be in London one day and then the next day I can be back at home doing animations whenever I feel like it.
Tell me a bit about your geometric animations on Instagram, I have noticed a pattern with them and they are turning into its own Instagram series, could you tell me more about it?
David: It was about christmas last year I had very little going on because when it is christmas time there is very little going on; everyone is doing their own stuff. I was bored and started thinking, “I really should make my Instagram more interesting” rather than me posting pictures of food which I had already done for a year and so I thought “maybe I should make it more of a creative outlet”. So, I decided as a very early new years resolution that I would sort of make sketches as it were; where I would spend about an hour or so on after effects and see what I came up with. The main idea was at that present time when I make the animation I will pick the song first so the music that goes with the animation, I had sort of picked out already. It might be a song that is recent or something that I liked listening to that came up on shuffle recently, it sort of provokes me in a way I guess and I get a sort of feeling or idea from it. So there isn’t a specific pattern like, ” I’m going to make 5 posts to do with one thing” it really is how I feel about it. The point of it is really “sketch” based like pencil on paper it is like me drawing in after effects and I don’t really want to spend a ginormous amount of time on it. Though I spend just about an hour maximum then go on my way and do something else. Last month or the month before that, I saw someone that was looking for music based motion graphic visuals. I didn’t even bother sending my portfolio website anymore I just sent them my Instagram and I got the job, just fully based on my Instagram; which I thought was quite crazy. To think that some work that was sketched and put on Instagram got me a job and I got my own animations in an upcoming indie film and got paid for it. I already had the foundations of the animation, so I didn’t have to make a new one they had asked me to make an alternative, like a different coloured version and I was like “Yeah sure!”
This one is one of my favourite animations you have done, I wanted to ask what were you feeling at the time, it is so psychedelic and cool; could you explain the process behind it?
David: So with that one I had actually made whilst in university, I realised before starting work on my final year project, I was like ” Ok, I’ve got to learn a bit of Trapcode”. So I just played around with it and I got the mirroring effect and I distorted it, added shine and all sorts of bits and bobs. That’s how I sort of came around it and again it started with a piece of music, this was a response of how I felt about it, when I listened to the piece of music I felt “Kaleidoscopes” and “Warmth”.
There is a pattern to the series but not in the way you imagine, try to guess!
Be sure to follow David on Instagram to keep up with his work and if you can guess the pattern make sure to give him a tweet or shoutout on Instagram