One unique perk of running Music for Makers is I get to meet a lot of wickedly talented people and hear what they’re up to. Today I’d like to introduce you to one of them: Lawrence Taylor.
Lawrence is an animator and motion designer with more than nine years of experience working for some impressive clients, including Procter & Gamble and Duracell.
His portfolio is equally impressive—and diverse. Take a quick look at Lawrence’s Vimeo channel, and you’ll notice he’s been involved in a variety of projects, ranging from short explainers to music videos.
But that’s enough from me. I’ll let Lawrence take it from here.
1. Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Lawrence Taylor, and I’m a self-employed animator/motion designer.
2. How did you get started with animation and motion design?
As a kid, I was obsessed with trying to do stop motion animation and creating flip books. Then one year, my brother and I got an Amiga 500 for christmas, and it came with a piece of software called Deluxe Paint.
Deluxe paint was probably less powerful than MS paint, but in one of the later versions you could have frames and copy/paste stuff between them. You’d then have to output to VHS tape—we had a lot of fun nerding out with that back then.
3. What’s a typical day on the job look like for you?
Currently, I’m working on projects for UK- and US-based clients, so I’m getting up early and going to bed late to make sure I’m available to clients in both places if needed.
But the typical process involves a client brief, a Skype chat, and blocking out the main points of the animation—this is the point where audio selection takes place—in time with the voice over (or terrible temporary version done by myself).
Once the feedback has been given on the rough draft, I’ll fill in the blanks, add secondary animation, and send it off for approval before giving it one last pass, mixing the audio and sending it to the client for sign off!
4. In your job, what’s one thing (e.g., process, tool, program) you couldn’t live without?
I work in both 2D and 3D, so my key applications are Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects. I do a lot of my planning and prep work with a paper and pencil, but I try not to share those ramblings with clients, as they’re often quite messy.
5. What are your top considerations when selecting and adding music to your videos?
Apart from having the appropriate genre, the main consideration would be whether or not the music has something that would overpower a voice over, like a strong guitar/keyboard part, etc. A lot of the good music sites will have multiple versions of songs with different instruments omitted from the mix.
I do a lot of explainers, so I like something that sounds confident and continues to drive forward, sounding “optimistic” where possible.
6. Of everything you’ve made, what’s the one project you’re most proud of?
Like many creatives, I always strive to put out stuff that I’m proud of, but there are often constraints in place that don’t allow you to do that.
But this piece I did at an agency for P&G will always stand out as one for which I was able to get my original creative vision across:
7. How to you find inspiration and grow your creativity?
I like to study a lot of different types of media—print and film mainly—but I like to visit galleries and buy quite a lot of design books also. Watching TV is also good to see what the bigger brands are doing, too.
8. What are your plans for the future?
I need more power captain! With the ever expanding technologies (4K for example), the viewing public are expecting more from their screens, whether it’s more realistic 3D, more vivid colours or simply larger formats—all these things require more computing power.
So a new fire-breathing, all singing, all dancing computer system will be on the cards in the next 12 months, along with a new office/studio to house it all in.
9. Where can we find you/your work online?
A lot of my work remains the intellectual property of the client, but I post what I can to my work Vimeo page at: https://vimeo.com/br0ckmedia
10. Just for fun, what’s your workspace look like?
(…And bonus: Here’s Lawrence’s adorable work buddy—Stella, the Italian greyhound. ?)