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Stay Sharp

Never rest on your laurels

Before working here at GRIN, I worked as a Design & Communications Officer (which basically meant ‘in-house designer’) for the Birmingham Community Safety Partnership. Work there, whilst interesting in subject matter, was repetitive and monotonous without much freedom and scope to push my skill set and learn new things. That’s when I turned to working on personal projects and eventually freelance work – not only to bring in a bit of extra pocket money, but to keep my brain active and my skill set sharp.

I’d watch tutorials, download plugins, brushes, scripts etc and just generally play around to see what I could create. More often than not I’d be excited to get home, not just for the fact that I’d be leaving the office, but rather to continue whatever I’d started the previous evening. Freelance work was coming in and I’d find myself adapting the techniques I’d learned in the work I’d produce for clients. Not only had I felt I’d levelled up (I love video games) but my workflow productivity had increased meaning I’d get jobs out the door more efficiently. I was loving it and the client was too!

Now I’m happily experimenting and creating things here at GRIN, and whilst the variety of work that comes in satiates my need to learn new things, I’m never one to rest on my laurels.

Motion graphics has taken up a large portion of my schedule in recent months and it’s great, however, I always see different techniques and styles in other works to which I think, ‘yeah, I’d like to have a go at that!’.

Over the past couple of months, where possible, during breaks in the studio or breaks in the weekend, (having Evan – my 8 1/2 month old son – doesn’t leave much time to experiment these days!) I’ve been working on a character animation piece. Not for any particular client – although its style will likely be adapted to a job soon – but rather just for me; to keep pushing myself and learn new things. There’s always something new out there to learn and question and if you’re up for the challenge and persist with the pitfalls, the rewards and the sense of accomplishment will pay off in dividends.

I’ve included a few snippets of the untitled work in progress to give you an idea of project I’m writing about here. It’s been fun to work on and I’m hoping to have a completed and polished version in the next couple of months… Evan permitting!